Airports, Assumptions and Archetypes… Oh, my!

Beginning with Interviews

To begin to learn about users and behaviors, it’s a good start but not good enough.


Quality of questions and number of questions asked
Interviewees gave short answers, some weren’t honest, some responses weren’t relevant to me and I felt some told me what they think I wanted to hear.

Q: Can you share your worst airport experience?
A: I got stuck at the Manila airport.
Am I being recorded? If so, I think I should change my answers or use bigger words! Where is my thesaurus?!

Time consuming and exhausting. Felt like I was looking for something I lost but I don't even know myself what I lost.

More interviews = more data = more stories = more confused


I did notice that the more time I spent in an interview, I was able to set a casual and relaxed atmosphere, I was able to get real emotion and stories.

There were common responses that stood out:
1) Pricing and cost drives people’s actions and behaviors
2) Travellers didn’t like to wait. Period.
3) Travellers didn’t respond well to changes in plans.

Then the Archetypes Appear

We can assume that these common responses form archetypes based on their behaviors. We can also assume they would react a specific way when presented a specific situation but to test our assumptions, a survey was needed.

I decided to focus on one archetype: The Price Conscious Traveller (that doesn’t like to pay for parking at airports)

Survey Questions, Answers and Solutions

Where to even start? What questions to ask? What would be useful?
The article 5 Steps to Create Good User Interview Questions By @Metacole was extremely helpful.

I started off with a list of questions and continued to brainstorm, rephrase and re-frame questions I thought would help me: 1) define my archetype, 2) validate my assumptions on user behaviors 3) reveal problems
Even still, I ended up with some questions that weren’t useful and people still gave me short answers. #annoying
I was happy with the number of respondents I received. 52 total
And I did find some possible areas of improvements for my specified archetype:

1. Users complained about having to wait to pay for parking. Some felt rushed to leave to avoid the time counter from going up (resulting to higher parking fees).

Mobile App Solution: Allow airport visitors to pay for their parking ticket via a mobile app avoid long line ups at the short term parking stations. This is currently only available for long term parking. Also, if travellers could know how much they are paying (a running total) they could be more mindful of their parking fees as many users didn’t know what the parking rate is — they just paid what was asked of them and commented afterwards that it was expensive. Giving the user the ability to be informed would provide a pleasant user experience.

Create an account
Timer to calculate parking duration
Accept payments
Show phone to exit airport
Live timer to track cost of parking

2. 80% of travellers avoid using the long term parking lots because it is too expensive and some complained that it is always full.

Survey results revealed opportunities.
Live Feed App: I suggest there be an app that provides a live feed for airport parking space availability. This information would include the exact number of spots available, in which lots as well as the price to pay to park. An added feature would allow travellers to reserve their spots and pay in advance to avoid any waits or lineups.

View map of airport parking lot
GPS navigation to get you to your reserved stall
Real Time updates of parking availability
Create an account
Accept payments
Show phone to exit airport

User Stories + Job Stories

As a person that drives to the airport, I want to be able to park my car so that I can save time and money.

As a cab driver, I want to know when the airport parking lot is full so I can predict peak call times.

When I pay for parking, I want to pay online so I can leave the airport quickly.

…. read more!

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