In partnership with Honeywell, INDUSTRY created a software and hardware design language for the future of modern aerospace. Our challenge was to fundamentally serve aviation workers with good design, both on the ground and in the air, while creating a Honeywell experience that connected with the global design language.
We worked closely with Honeywell to bring this initiative to life through their flagship services suite: GoDirect™ Flight Bag Pro. This highly specialized software is used by pilots to create and file flight plans, calculate and compare aircraft cruise modes, download trip kits, access weather updates, critical airspace information, view airport approach plates, calculate fuel efficiencies and to deliver critical services to pilots globally – all within a single app.
DESIGNING FOR MODERN ENTERPRISE
Designing enterprise solutions can be a little daunting. Large corporations tend to become inward facing, with complex organizational structures. Innovation teams often serve different masters with with varying strategic goals. This culture can quickly become detached from needs of the people they are truly meant to serve. By remembering we are designing for people first, we can make modern enterprise a little more human. Consumers expect experiences to be as fluid as possible, whether they are booking a flight or planning one. While flight planning requires more expertise, the experience doesn’t need to feel more complex. Designing for modern enterprise is about making crafting simplicity no matter how complex the task. It’s about delivering solutions that connect with people in unique ways. It’s about being human.
GODIRECT™ FLIGHTBAG PRO
To create modern digital experiences, we need to address the old. When a feature is is added, what does it enable us to take away? Reductive design & mapping hierarchy can help deliver advanced technology through the simplest experience. When designing a flight planning application, our first task was to unapologetically hack through the weeds of old user interface and redundant features bolted on over years of bloat. That made the app 100% better, and we hadn’t yet ‘designed’ a single pixel. Next we tested our concepts with pilots in parallel to the design process. It’s important to understand what really matters to pilots when planning a flight. Where they do it? Do they do it all at once? What else are they doing? The fastest way to a solution is to make it real, and then to iterate. The fundamental opportunity was to create order, hierarchy and sequence. To make the experience as simple as possible without sacrificing any powerful capabilities. By understanding context we anticipated the needs of pilots and presented only what they needed, when and where they need it.
The aviation industry is heavily regulated. This is absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of aviation workers and everyone involved in the 43000 daily flights regulated by the FAA. Our challenge laid between remaining compliant and creating a modern digital experience for pilots – Whether you are a pilot trying to change a flight path, or a kid watching Avengers in seat 34B, there is an expectation for smart interactions that make your experience better. To truly serve each individual, we developed the design language to adapt to the different roles across Aerospace services.
The demand is for better, more advanced solutions, but easier to use; faster tools while reducing the margin for error; complete control powered by automation. It’s important to understand exactly what ‘better, faster, and more advanced’ means – It doesn’t exactly mean add better, faster and more advanced features – it means take the slower, legacy ones away! They are getting buried in years of development where iterative features are bolted on at will for every corner case.
A design language goes far beyond iconography and font. When someone engages with any product or service, they are experiencing the brand. Everything from information hierarchy, tone, photography and behavior impacts this impression. We wanted the experience to reflect the advanced technology embedded in Honeywell Aerospace’s products and services.
To anchor the visual identity we stressed what we called ‘micro polish’. We scrutinized hierarchy, detailing and white space to guide modern digital experiences. This wasn’t about creating the next user interface fad – It was about creating a design language for modern enterprise, deeply rooted in human interaction.