Flight delays and long stopovers affect millions of passengers worldwide everyday. When traveling alone, waiting at the airport for hours can become a very boring experience.
Wanderair is a personal project that aims to connect travelers at the same airport to hang out and have a pleasing time.
How do passengers wait?
After doing some research, I observed that passengers generally get the feeling of being stuck with nothing to do once they had checked in, passed security controls, and head over the boarding gate areas. This is where they stay for the most part until departure time. Therefore, chances are that people are more likely to meet in person when they are physically close to eachother - unless they have very long waiting times and don't mind wandering around, as there's no risk of missing the flight.
How do strangers interact?
If we analyze the benchmark of similar meeting apps, we find that people we don't know can feel closer to us if we know something about them (how they look, their tastes, personal information, etc.) or have something in common. In this sense, user profiles are very helpful to decide whether to start a conversation or not, first via chat, and later on as personal meetings.
The conversational tone of the app was intended to be friendly and encouraging.
Because the onboarding phase was crucial to engage the user from the start, it was very important that the user knew where he was and why at every moment.
For example, the process of building the profile pushes the user to fill in the forms with one step at a time and shows a progress bar to give feedback. Also, the process of choosing from A or B tastes was optional but suggested it was a plus, so illustrations were given more importance than text to make it fun and interactive.
Conversations and iterative tests with friends and relatives during the wireframing phase, made it easier to prototype when design was ready. Animations completed the fun spirit and helped pursue an enjoyable experience.
The following animations are an example of how selection processes were made easy and interactive, avoiding classical forms and opting for visual illustrations and cards to offer clear and sintetized information.
Finding people coud be done through a list view or a map view.
On the left, the list view shows users' brief descriptions/intentions and offers wide filtering options. The map view, on the right, shows these people live in a map. User could access a user profile and chat from both views.
Wanderair is a personal project I come up with, that I took as a challenge to improve my skills and learn along the process of making it. The overall experience was motivating and fun, and at the same time it took a lot of hard work and long nights awake.
If we speak of limitations, I could say the project could have been tested more widely, but the lack of time to sit with people with different schedules, me included, made it harder. Another point was that as there was no briefing, possibilities were endless and because so, choices were harder, so I had to constantly remind myself the goal of the app to discard things just because they were cool.
As its aim was to solve a problem I had experienced first hand, it was easier to target some of the issues. However, research and constant feedback could only get better results. Testing with friends directly in mobile devices was a big plus and helped detect issues and validate proposals.