"Looking at airfares was the top reason participants reported for visiting an airline website on a desktop or laptop computer (61%), followed by purchasing an airline ticket (48%), and checking in to a flight (24%)."

case study by Jeff Sauro, February 12,2019


A desktop airline application


People book flights because they want to reach a destination, and airline companies exist because they need to accommodate the consumer’s need, which is again booking flights.

So airline companies arrange flights to get people to their destination as fast as possible, and at the most affordable price they can offer to get people’s attention. Booking a flight online involves more than selecting two cities and departure times, and Airline companies are trying to use these additional features to their advantage in order to stand out even more from their competition. Although users like to be given more attention, too many choices might have the opposite result of what the airline company was aiming for, and confusing users will probably be affecting their experience throughout the online booking.


Pain point analysis at 360°

Through various user research methods such as benchmarks, online surveys, interviews, usability testings, diagrams, and so on, I discovered that users become disoriented and nervous around the same site’s areas. I have seen users get upset picking unavailable flights, looking for information, wasting time picking dates and experiencing difficulty even before they were searching for flights. Small issues appeared through the whole booking journey, and users were constantly disturbed by exaggeration of up sells, not visible stopovers, imprecise selections, not clear information on fare types, and so on. Users had a really hard time making choices overall, and they were all expecting to book that flight more easily.

Online Surveys



Planning and creating concepts

After completing analysis and research, I focused on having a better understanding of the application’s pain points and user’s mental model. Not only I got a better feeling of how our users feel about the application thanks to a costumer journey map I made, but I also prioritized their needs, and worked on redesigning their main user flow.



Concept validation / Sketches / Prototyping / Wireframing

I sketched low fidelity mockups on paper first, and when I realized that the application was starting to get shape, I started a medium fidelity mockup to get a better feeling of space, features and interactions. Once I was satisfied with the sketches, I was able to validate my research on a medium fidelity prototype built with Adobe XD. All the pain points and mental models were finally solved through this process, and the application became much smoother than it was before in those specific areas.

Seat selection in the interface

Watch full video of the prototype here


A wireframe is a visual representation of a user interface, stripped of any visual design or branding elements. I used wireframes to define content and heirachy of items on a screen, which will help UI professionals and developers work on the next step.

In addition to wireframes, I would also hand over to developers information architecture and user flows.

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