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MICROSOFT TEAMS: AIRLINE BOARDING TOOL

Teams integration to improve coordination and expedite the boarding process

Boarding a plane can be the most chaotic aspect of air travel. From double booked seats  to bags needing to be checked at the gate — or passengers arriving from late connecting flights — any number of factors could slow down the process. In a situation where timing is key to succes, it is necessary to coordinate between multiple teams to ensure planes depart on time.

This Teams/3rd Party intergration demonstrates the breath and scope of the product so well, it was presented as part of Rajesh Jha's keynote presentation at Build 2019

PROBLEM

During boarding, flight attendants communicate with multiple groups or individuals. At present this requires switching back and forth between a variety tools. 

PROJECT TIMELINE

3 Weeks

ROLE

• Designer
• Envisioning participant

TOOLS

• Sketch

Envisioning

When working with certain clients, Microsoft will meet in-person, to run an Envisioning sesssion. During one such event with a major airline company (the Client), Teams subject matter experts met with members of their leadership team, development team and senior flight crew — I participated virtually. At the end of the two day session both parties had a clear vision of success, understanding of roles, and next steps to take.

Envisioning was run by the Design Lead. They began by asking questions to understand what the scenario was and where shortcoming arose. Each Client group had their own set of concerns and requirements. As answers were given, they were noted on the large whiteboard and the scenario took shape. After two days, the sessions was complete.

By the close of the first day, I had already begun desiging a portion of what later became the final scenario. After the session was complete, I translated notes form the whiteboard into a collaborative scenario that pleased the client. 

flybote_envisioning_whiteboard

As the Envisioning session continued, the scenario was honed and refined until a viable solution was reached the Client was happy with.

Design

The design process begins by defining several guidelines that impact multipe areas:

WHAT A tool to facilitate easier communication within and between teams around a flight. 

WHO Individuals and their associated groups involved in getting a flight off on time.

WHY It is easier, quickier, and better organized to keep all communication in a single environment

With these established, the scenario is fully fleshed out and exemplifies the scope of Teams and increased breadth with the integration of additional apps. The final user flow for a member of the flight crew is as follows:

Prior to a flight, a new channel and associated teams will be generated. Clicking into the team channel, a bot has injected a card into the chat with high level information about the flight. The user is able to access the Flight roster via a pinned tab in the chat. The bot sends a status update to the channe and the user comments by replying to the announcement in the thread.

When the gate crew scan the first boarding pass, a card is sent to the flight crew indicating that boarding has begun. The card updates as more people board the flight. The user notices overhead storage is limited and, via an adaptive card, simultaneously communicates this and additional details to the all teams in the channel. 

Two passengers have the same seat assignment. The user begins a 1:1 chat with their supervisor. They snap then share a photo with Teams. The Supervisor corrects the seating mistake and resolves the issue. Thankful, the user sends the Supervisor praise and the boarding completes without additional issue.

Clickable prototype of the flight crew member flow

Rajesh Jha Keynote Presentation | BUILD 2019

This flows exemplifies the collaboration first intention of Teams and was presented as part Rajesh Jha's Keynote presentaion at Build 2019. The user is able to accomplish multiple complex taskes because they have access to a hub of teamwork.