How can design enable passengers to be high performing?

Are you one of those passengers always rushing to the gate?

Picture two scenarios:

Scenario one:

I’m running through the airport; my gate has only been announced 15 minutes before my boarding time and I’ve just seen a sign telling me it’s a 15-minute walk to said gate. Stress (and a bit of sweat) set in as I make a mad dash to gate 95, all while hoping I don’t miss my flight entirely. It’s stressing a few other passengers out, but I don’t have time to worry about that!

Scenario two:

I’ve made it through check-in and security without merely having to speak to anyone. I knew how long it would take so I’ve got through in plenty of time, and it’s clear where I need to go to find my gate, so I take my time to wander through the Duty-Free section. I’m heading to the beach, I wonder if there’s anywhere that does waxing in the airport…

Do these both sound familiar? They do to me, and to many of you I’m sure – and I know which experience I’d prefer any day.

Airports can either be the gateway to excitement or a stressful experience. Happy passengers spend around 45% more on average than grumpy ones. So, how can we create airports where people have positive, but also operationally efficient experiences? How can design drive positive passenger experience?

It begins by looking at the passenger’s journey through their eyes…

High Performing passengersIf a passenger can navigate from start to finish independently, they can be seen to be high performing. This independence eases pressures on staff and operations, as the airport has enabled the passenger to help themselves. A lost passenger is a stressed one, which is why in-depth behavioral research is crucial to passenger experience in an airport.

For many passengers, their visit to your airport could be their first and while elements of the environment will be familiar, for many it is brand-new. A stressed or lost passenger is much less likely to stop and spend money purchasing something in a hurry to find their gate, which can have a knock-on effect on fellow passengers, causing congestion and stress.

Research provides a deeper understanding of where passengers experience confusion and pain points. In designing to create high performance passengers these insights are key to resolving factors that inhibit passenger efficiency.

International travel is increasing – by 2025, the number of international travelers will be close to 1.8 billion – 58% more than in 2014. Airports need to ensure that as passenger numbers rise, passengers continue to have positive and efficient airport experiences.

Wayne Marques Butler from CCD will be on the British Aviation Group (BAG) stand (location 8060) in the main exhibition hall so drop by, say hello, and discover why a better understanding of human behaviour will help you create high performing passengers.

Tweet us @CCD_Design_Ergo and let us know if you’re going to #PTEAmsterdam

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David Watts

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