Flight Attendants Panel
Redesigning the FAP for Singapore Airlines
Flight Attendants Panel (FAP) is the primary interface used by the cabin crew to determine the status of the aeroplane environment and to control functions such as temperature, illumination, passenger signs etc.
This project is the result of a 3-week long graphic design exercise at Umea Institute of Design.
Current Flight Attendants Panels (FAP) are designed for the aeroplane model, unlike the rest of the environment, which is customized for the airline carrier. This project is an attempt to close this divide by bringing in ingredients of a brand to design the FAP. I chose Singapore Airlines as the brand and redesigned the panel for Airbus model A350 - 900.
7 screens were redesigned for the final interface design - Seat Layout, Cabin Status, In-Flight Entertainment, Doors/Slides, Music, Lights, Temperature and 2 more screens were added to complete the workflow. The focus was to understand the brand identity and adapt this character to the interface. Care was also taken to keep the workflow more clear and intuitive.
I kept repeating the passenger seat number so that I would not forget and was looking for the seat light too, suddenly this lady who did not press the flight attendant call button asks me to get her a glass of water (...) I realized I forgot the passenger seat number and had to go back and check again.
The dark theme was followed from the generic airbus FAP to keep the functional aspects of the interface intact. I expanded the brand color palette to improve the visibility of each elements in the original interface. The visual layout was changed to keep the controlling functions towards one side (right) of the screen.
I chose to use a yellowish gradient (#f7971e - #ffd200) as the main accent color to a contrasting dark blue (#1a1b27) background. This was adapted as an extension to the Singapore Airlines color palette.
Being a closed industry, it was difficult to get direct access to understand how flight attendants interact with the screen during long haul flights. To compensate that, we reached out to flight attendants to hear their stories and also used inputs from Anne Katherine.
Research.Understanding The Brand.
Since, the character of the brand had to be infused to the interface, I studied various brand elements like ads, apps and merchandises as well as user testimonials to understand its core values.
Understanding The Workflow.
It was important to have a good understanding of the workflow to keep the design as functional as possible. With the resources available in the internet and inputs from Anne Katherine, a basic information architecture was defined. This workflow was later updated with the final wireframes.
Low fidelity prototypes were sketched out to finalize the composition of the screens and to segregate the functions. This was used for quick user feedbacks and further expanded to more defined wireframes.
An icon set was also designed to complement the textual information. This was attempted at improving the accessibility of the information and enhancing the readability of the interface.
The screen was detailed out in illustrator and the interactions were animated in after effects. This was done to explore the possibility of a more detailed micro interactions. A basic working prototype was later made in xd and protopie to evaluate the design.
Since it was difficult to get a feedback from actual users, I took the prototype to test it with my friends. The feedback was later on used to further tweak the design to its final form.
Even though the exercise was devoted to build a good visual sense, you always try to do a bit extra by brining in some interaction design sensibilities. This was evident in the attempt to follow the process, yet not trying to work towards solving an interaction design challenge. Meanwhile, one topic that intrigued me was the use of micro interactions in UI design to excite the users. This drove me to learn Aftereffects and develop the whole concept as animations rather than focusing on developing the prototype.