First quick sketches of the general approach.
Tested the “flat” version.
Returned to 3-D. Starting with clear and useful interactive elements.
Dynamic timetable with flight options at work. When you choose this mode, some flights will overlap. Tap on the top one of the bunch to make them expand. Inactive groups are faded until you tap anywhere outside the active one.
Preparing plan for all standard railroad cars and looking for a bold marker to choose a seat. Splitting the process in two: compartment and seat.
Adding error messages.
First design dropped them down from top of the screen. The drop down states the problem, the details, possible cause and suggestions how to fix it. The last item is a very important feature. To close the error message tap anywhere outside its frame.
Test-drive revealed these critical windows lacking visibility. We moved them to the center of the screen, fading away the rest.
Sorting out initial data input. All names and ID records are stored in your account for everyone included in any of your reservations. At first, all these information was held in a separate address book.
Later, we integrated the address book with the name choosing form, gaining extra ability to sort people by different criteria, such as age.
Choosing hotel rooms turned into a challenging task. At the end, we've figured out the optimal screen design and created the whole process step by step.
For the rooms-shopping-scenario presentation our secret advisor came up with a good soap-opera script:
“The following employees should go to the ‘NanoTech in Cranberry Harvesting, Mumbai’: Stumpf director Petrov with his spouse and twelve-year old; the head of the Filing Optimization department Karlson with a lady; middle-class managers Schwarz, Gopak, and Ust-Amazonsky; Petrov’s bodyguards Derzhimorda and Lomonosov.
The secretary Evkalipta Brusnichkina goes to the nearest Just Travel kiosk in the nearby store ‘Three Bits’ to purchase this trip.
On the first screen she chooses India, Mumbai in the ‘hotel location’ window. She enters four travelling groups: two adults plus one child (12 y.o.), two adults, three adults, and two adults.
On the second screen she picks the dates of the conference: 30 December 2010 to 10 January 2011.
The third screen presents Evkalipta with a list of all the Mumbai hotels able to accommodate all four groups together. In the cheapest five-star ‘Ramayana’ she chooses the best fitting rooms: a two-adults suite with an extra bed option, regular two-adults and three-adults rooms, and another two-adult suite.
On the fifth screen Evkalipta distributes travelers by rooms. Naturally, she knows bodyguards’ last names and the sleeping arrangements. So, all the secretary needs to do is to assign one adult per room for check-in purposes, pay the order via text message and she is all set.
For checking-in the hotel will need only four passports from each assigned person. Ust-Amazonsky, Schwarz, and Gopak are spending their two weeks over drinks and euchre. Petrov with his family is strolling down Mumbai. Nanocranberry is safe.”
This detailed scenario showed the need for tabs on the room-choosing page to avoid overloading Evkalipta’s head with irrelevant rooms.
Drawing icons for all possible hotel services.
Researching different payment options.
The timing came to mind.
The trip booking system can drag. The kiosks can drag. We have to come prepared for such a case making plan B to entertain you during the processing time. We started by trying a tennis game, where you hit the ball with the progress indicator.
On second thought, an abruptly finished play is disappointing, so it was ditched for a pleasantly blue sky with leisurely passing clouds. That is a part of the finished product now, you can enjoy it at any Just Travel kiosk.
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