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Explore Southwest Mobile App's Newest Feature

Project Type

Conceptual Project

Date

March 2023 - 2 week sprint

Role

Researcher, UX Designer

Southwest Airlines deals with around 250,000 instances of lost luggage each year, which has become a leading source of customer discontent. However, it's challenging to attribute sole responsibility to the airline since they run over 4,000 flights every day to more than 100 airports involved. As a result, Southwest is striving to improve their luggage management and our challenge was to introduce a new feature on their mobile app that empowers passengers to manage their lost luggage with airports.

Conversations with Travelers

We conducted interviews, surveys and online research to develop our understanding of the process travelers go through when their luggage is lost or delayed

from this we learned...

Lost luggage can cause inconvenience and anxiety for travelers. The emotional impact of losing luggage can be significant.


Airlines have different protocols for handling lost luggage, and the experience can vary depending on the airline. No two airlines seem to do the same.


Language barriers and lack of communication between airlines and passengers can add to the frustration of dealing with lost luggage.


Some passengers choose to avoid the risk of lost luggage by carrying important items in their carry-on bags. The experience of losing luggage can change the way people travel.

Our greatest insights from Passengers

"I  felt frustrated with the lack of communicated updates regarding my luggage."


"I  felt undervalued when the airline didn’t acknowledge that losing my bags was a priority issue."


"I  felt misguided when the airline wasn’t transparent about the standard procedure of baggage recovery."

Say Hi to Taylor!

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she embodies our travelers

Taylor works as a world news journalist and her main goal is to tell unique stories from different cultures from all around the world. She wants to showcase the beauty and diversity of the world through her work.
 

Taylor gets frustrated when she loses her baggage, as it can impact her ability to work and travel efficiently.

She also gets frustrated when people don't take her seriously as a journalist, especially in certain countries or cultures where women are not always respected.

 

Additionally, she gets frustrated with a lack of communication, as it can make her job more difficult. She is also impatient with people wasting her time, as she has a lot of work to do and needs to be efficient.

so we wonder, what's the problem Taylor?

Taylor needs a way to be more reassured from the airline that her lost luggage will be looked for promptly. She feels frustrated by the lack of timely updates and transparent information regarding baggage recovery procedures.

some thoughts on how we might be able to help...

  • make passengers feel acknowledged

  • reassure them that their lost luggage is actively being looked for

  • communicate with them about the status of the situation

  • create a simple understanding of procedures

Taylor, we figured it out!

Our solution will be a feature of the Southwest mobile app which allows airline passengers like Taylor to track the status of their lost luggage in real-time and provides transparent information about the procedures involved. Passengers will be notified through their preferred communication method, such as SMS, and will have the option to chat with a customer service representative for additional support.

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Our first attempt...

While attempting to solve Taylor's problem for the first time, my team and I discovered that we were attempting to merge different concepts.

Based on the results of the usability testing, it became apparent that the "track my bags" option was unclear to all users, and they still had doubts about the airline's commitment to locating their luggage.

back to the drawing board!

But the second time around...

Our team listened to feedback and took action.

We placed the 'Track My Bags' feature as a top option.

We built out several informative pages detailing Southwest's approach to handling lost luggage.

After conducting usability testing on our second iteration, we discovered that users were extremely satisfied with the airline's diligent efforts in locating their missing bags.

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Check out the newest feature for Southwest!

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active prototype

My Reflection...

One of the challenges we faced was with our initial flow; we wanted to incorporate every aspect of our solution into a single design and it just didn't translate easily to users.

I feel like an important concept in design is to be open to changes and be ready to flow into a different path that offers different solutions. 

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