DENVER IT'L AIRPORT

DENVER IT'L AIRPORT

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Problem / DIA was looking for a wayfinding solution throughout their terminals to help passengers and visitors find attractions, dining, and other art installations throughout the renown airport.

Industry / Transportation

Role / UX Design, Strategy, Interaction Design, Interface Design

 

Commonly known as DIA (and known for their terrifying mustang sculpture), Denver International Airport is located in Denver, Colorado, United States. At 33,531 acres, it is the largest airport in the United States by total land area.

Commonly known as DIA, Denver International Airport is located in Denver, Colorado, United States. At 33,531 acres, it is the largest airport in the United States by total land area.

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The approach / Denver International Airport approached my team looking for a multi-purpose, large format, interactive set of experiences that would be installed in standalone kiosks throughout their 3 terminals. The goal was to ease passengers anxiety and tension with thougthful experiences to guide users to their destination. 

I immediately dove all-in on learning everything I needed to know about passengers and employees, and their experiences traveling through a massive, sometimes foreign airport, and how I could use proper design to help solve their problems.

This was fun. Read on.

DISCOVERY

Anxiety reigns

I put myself in passengers shoes by conducting ad hoc interviews at DIA, approaching travelers, asking questions to staff, and fully understanding some of the business decisions that DIA had made to get this project off the ground. We knew we had 65" interactive screens, and the technology to dynamically wayfind on the screen from the location itself to over 400 gates, and about as many restaurants/art installments/help desks and more.

After interviews and research, I found that there every passenger coming through or coming into DIA had very specific needs that they wanted addressed when traveling, but narrowed it down to two massive groups: Those who had time to kill, and those that absolutely did not.

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NOTES & THOUGHTS

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CONCEPTING

Where is my gate?

I worked with our developers who had used boarding pass scanning peripheral devices to scan passengers tickets and show them their departure time and gate, while also showing them the fastest route. Also through interviews and other study, I found that passengers preferred eating or dining as close to their gate/destination as possible, and type always lost to convenience.

The next step was sketching, wireframing, and planning out an experience that was easy to use not just for people who had time with a layover, but people who were in a race to their departing gate.

I also used best practices and created wayfinding documentation and style guides based off of DIA's physical signage to keep consistency throughout the airport.

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OUTCOME

Robust & dynamic, but easy.

The outcome was based off of some business needs identified in the early stages of the project: Dining/Shopping/Services, Flights, and robust Wayfinding.

Using research and an in-depth design thinking process, understanding the end user, and fulfilling business needs, we ended up completing a fully-realized multi-purpose interactive guide to all things Denver International Airport. Not only did studies show that it helped passengers find their way, we also increased sales at restaurants and breweries, and guided more foot traffic into the art installations and services areas.

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Read all about the details of the work.

Read all about the details of the work.