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Duration : 5 Months
Redefining Passenger Experiences - PaxSim
I had the opportunity to intern with Boeing on two different occasions. You are currently viewing my internship from February to June 2020.
I also interned with Boeing from May to July 2019. If you would like to have a look at that, please click the button below.
Confidential information has been omitted.
Coding the front end
I worked on redesigning the interface and user experience models of a passenger simulation tool (last updated in 2005) which is a part of Boeing's digital services. Working in close association with their design teams in Seattle, we ensured that the redesign was both intuitive and functional.
I also coded the front end of the interface using WPF and XAML. This front end was handed off to the backend developers to be developed further.
This internship was presented as my dissertation during my final year of undergraduate studies in Aerospace Engineering.
If you would like to see the dissertation and presentation, please email me.
Passenger Simulation Tool
The passenger movement simulation system (PaxSim) is an application that enables airport planners and designers to study via simulations, passenger and baggage movement and the use of associated resources in airport terminals. The last release of this software was in 2005. It includes tools for setting out the airport layout and resources, scheduling flights, passenger and baggage arrivals and departures, running simulations and generating reports on the simulations.
It processes flight schedules and actual passenger numbers for each flight when specified or average aircraft seating capacity and load factors and associated baggage to create simulations of the flow of departing and arriving passengers. It employs sophisticated algorithms to produce realistic passenger behaviour. The simulation can be viewed and interactively controlled on the screen and the spread of the simulation can be varied between real time and hundreds of time faster than real time. PaxSim produces a variety of statistical reports from the data generated by the simulations. The reports can be accessed and insights can be drawn from them.
The image above describes all the passenger movements that were focused on while re-designing the simulation model.
Optimising for effeciency
The primary user base for a passenger simulation tool includes aviation analysts, airport management authorities and professionals in airline management. This dempgraphic has very specific needs that the simulation software needs to cater. Allowing the users to be able to quickly run complex simulations while also allowing them to be able to customise minute details of a simulation was the biggest challenge.
Here's how we went about this redesign:
The collaborative, friendly and fast paced environment really helped me understand the importance of working with large teams.
These are the steps that we took to create an minimum viable product for the simulation tool.
Create seamless experiences
*Objects highlighted are where I had the most involvement.
1. Inform the user about their progress within a workflow.
PaxSim is an application that has multiple interlinked complex workflows. While designing for such an application, I realised that users heavily rely on knowing where they are in a particualr workflow to successfully complete a task. We worked on creating navigational interfaces and experiences which solely focused on keeping the user aware of their position within the application.
2. Consistency is key.
Sticking to standard conventions that define the core feature sets such as 'defining passenger characteristics' or 'generating flight schedules' drastically improves the users comfort level with the product. Providing them with the information as per the convention helps with their competency with the product as well.
3. Give the freedom of choice back to the user.
Creating a product that prioritises on user retention is the present situation in the industry. However, with PaxSim, we quickly realised that the users kept coming back because of the extensive feature set and UI/UX models that we had created and not because we put a system in place to keep them coming back. Giving freedom back to the users allowed them to be more comfortable using this product and they felt less skeptical about using it.
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