SFO Airport Security Redesign: Effecting Change in Complex Systems

Anchi Hsin
Jan 18 · 10 min read

The Design Challenge

Project Overview



Demo Video

User Flow

Process Overview


The three main problems we found out was way finding, check-in kiosks, and security
Our interviewees were staffs at SFO, students, and professors
Our findings were sythesize into say/do/think/feel categories
Four main insights based on interviews
Passengers have low satisfaction towards TSA security

The System Models

Concept map iterations
The concept map follow the core logic. The information is both connected from left to right and from up to down. Different colors indicate different locations in the airport.
Ecosystem map draft
The layers of circle indicate different components from smallest to largest. The outside arrow indicates the user flow that correspond with the geographical locations of the system.
Experience map draft


Our findings are summarized into a reinforcing loop that shows how the vicious cycle is created.




Final Solution

TSA APP shows the average waiting time for different time slots. If passengers don’t want to miss their flights, they need to constantly check the app to avoid peak times. It shows useful information but still doesn’t solve the problem.
Boarding pass making process
We reorganized the information into 3 travel stages based on location. Under the security section, we listed the assigned time slot and checkpoint location again, as well as the carry-on restrictions at the back.
Similar with the physical boarding pass, the digital version also categorizes information into 3 travel stages: general information (on the paper boarding pass, this information is sectioned under “Check-in”, but passengers who use digital boarding pass don’t need to go through check-in process), security, and boarding. Passengers can tap info icons to learn more details.




Anchi Design Story

A creative playground to document my process, struggles, and thoughts.

Anchi Hsin

Written by

A designer who aims to inspire empathy and create social impact through interactive experience. https://www.anchihsin.work/ | anhsin@cca.edu

Anchi Design Story

A creative playground to document my process, struggles, and thoughts.