Dear Wizzair, the ticket!
A 4 hour project to create a better boarding card.
Let me first say, I’m not a fan of self-initiated visual masturbation that I can put on Dribbble and get hired by some company. I have a job, a good one. I’m just a practical man and get pissed off by unusable stuff as many of you.
I flew Wizzair a couple of times now and I think their service is cool. They fly everywhere in Europe on the cheap without the stuff that is not needed for a 1 to 3 hour timeframe and a couple of days’ stay. Works for me.
There are issues a service designer could take care of but I chose to make a stab at their awful printed boarding card.
The boarding card
Wizzair works in a way that they only kept the essentials as a free service and they profit on ANY extra you require. This includes baggage bigger than a backpack, food, priority boarding, legroom and even check-in.
If you wanna spare some time and money you check-in before arriving to the airport and print your own boarding card. On a budget airline everyone does this.
The system is actually quite nice. You print the card on a piece of standard paper or use their mobile apps and — in case you don’t have baggage to check-in — you’re just going through security to get to the gate and board.
The printed card looks like this: (Warning, it’s going to be graphic)
- little to no visual hierarchy
- messy information architecture
- challenging to read
4 train rides
I spend 10 hours on a train every week. I usually work on Prezi stuff or watch TV series, but I thought I could use half of my last week’s commute time to fix something that was bugging me for a while.
I used the first 2 hours to understand and recreate the information on the page and check competitors. Then turned those findings into a new boarding card layout.
First I tried to identify what challenges I might face with printing and finding a better layout that is complementing the airport milieu better.
I prototyped quickly a couple of folding styles and came to the conclusion that the most acceptable style would be folding twice to fit my passport. This requires special care when printing because the printed material should fit nicely on A4 and Letter size too.
Then spent some time figuring out what a better information architecture would be by adding blocks inside the safe margins.
On the front page I need information prior to getting to the gate. (They going to tear it off at the gate)
On the back I need information about the boarding itself. Where to enter the plane and where’s my seat.
I can keep the inside for additional information, disclaimers and of course ADS.
Of course you can’t do anything perfect in 2 hours so I did not. What I did only represents a hierarchical layout for the same information on a more usable folded card. (I didn’t even change the font and used real data)
It surely has flaws and requires some heavy lifting on all the possible layouts and outcomes but what it shows is that it’s worth it. Such a better feeling to hold it in my hands than the old one.
As this is not meant to be an arrogant “I know better” redesign, here’s my invitation to Wizzair. Please take this design — any part of it — or just use it as inspiration to create us a better experience. It’s free, I did this for fun.
As you get simpler with your product/service, the overall experience relies more on the small details.
When I was halfway done I got informed that Ryanair (competitor to Wizz) has a similar layout on their beta service. Nice.
I made this in Sketch because I use that every day and I’m not that fast/comfortable with Illustrator. However Sketch is a great piece of software it is definitely not meant to create print so this needs work for sure.