Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines contracted me as a Senior Product Designer / Information Architect to work on a variety of projects, typically as the lead designer. The team sized varied per project, but nearly every project had the luxury of a dedicated UX Researcher for me to pair with!

    Below are 4 projects I worked on as the Lead designer and/or Information Architect:
  1. Article Content Merchandising - Information Architecture & Feature explorations
  2. “Saver” Deals” Page
  3. Flight Revenue Journey maps
  4. Contact Us Page

1. Article Content Merchandising - Information Architecture & Feature explorations

Background: Alaska’s previous experiments with Article Content Merchandising (selling flights and ancillary purchases through content) had demonstrated that the more time guests spent interacting with content, the more likely they were to actually book a flight or make an ancillary purchase.

Team: Me – Information Architect, Product Owner

    My Task:
  1. Explore IA and Features for reference in choosing a Travel Content Merchandising CMS
  2. Audit Travel Content merchandising CMS’s – idea being they could purchase a system, customize, brand and release and MVP cheaper and faster than it could be built in house. If the idea tested well, it could be built in house, and if not – discarded.
  3. three

Process: I worked directly with the Product Owner on feature mapping, and the overall information architecture, taking care to ensure all business needs were accounted for. The overall IA employed a fairly standard hub/category-list/detail page pattern. Below is the visual diagram we landed on showing how guests would navigate between articles, and a detailed landing page listing the desired features, components and CTAs. The designs are optimized to promote browsing and/or buying depending on the nature of the content.

Content Merchandising IA and feature exploration

I also spent a good deal of time in video conferences auditing various Enterprise Content Merchandising CMS’s during scheduled demos by various company reps, asking questions about each CMS’s ability to adapt to potential IA structures, out of the box components and difficultly or ease in “skinning” to match Alaska’s brand.

2. Redesign: “Saver” Deals Page

Background: Alaska is preparing to launch a new fare type, “Saver flights”, which needed to be integrated into the existing “Deals” page. Testing revealed guests would need education about the new fare type and how it differed from existing fare types.

Team: Me – Lead Designer, Design Manager, Product Owner, Product Manager, Dev Team, 2 UI Designers, UX Researcher

My Task: Redesign the "Deals" page and educate guests on new "Saver" fare type

  1. Synthesize existing research
  2. Map the user journey of 4 established personas
  3. Competitive Analysis (Conducted by myself, another UX Designer and UX Researcher)
  4. Wires
  5. Design
  6. Prototypes and Iterations (myself and UI designer)
  7. Testing (whole team)
  8. Initial testing insights
Competitive Analysis and Guest/Feature Journey
Initial, hi-fidelity prototype design
Version for testing destinations controls
Comparison table
On-load new product messaging

3. Flight revenue mapping

Background: The Deals Page itself is just one step of one distinct journey for a guest trying to book a flight. Other steps of the guest journey –while interdependent– are owned by different teams with different timelines, different deliverables and different metrics for success. Knowledge of the various flight booking paths and ownership of each section for the various journeys was siloed and not widely known. With Saver fares being a company-wide new way of doing business, the siloing of knowledge around flight revenue paths was causing multiple logistical challenges.

Team: Me – Information Architect

My Task: I tasked myself to map the various revenue paths for guests to book flights.

Process: I interviewed several people from various teams (product owners, product managers, developers and designers) and began to identify and map the various routes guest can take to book a flight. I created a set of reusable icons to represent various processes and steps in the journey.

Early flight revenue mapping

Results: The mappings are a tool that can be used by team members to identify inter-dependencies between teams and convoluted user journeys.

Mapping of Flight revenue guest journeys
Detail of Flight revenue guest journey icons

4. Contact us page

Background: Alaska was preparing to add new channels –such as text and live chat- for guests to get in to contact the company. The existing page had analytics and heat mapping data, but the page’s length and general inaccessibility made the data difficult to interpret.

Team: Me – Lead Designer, Product Owner, Product Manager, Developers

My Task: Make the page more accessible so that new, and more meaningful analytic tests could be run on the page.

Process The heat maps showed that guests were not scrolling down the page and were unaware of the many different contact options. I created wires that introduced a secondary navigation options making the various contact channels immediately visible to guests.

Original "Contact us" page and Eye-tracking heat-map overlay
New Contact us wires
Animated wire showcasing functional intention

Results: Finished designs have gone into production and are undergoing new analytics and heat-mapping tests. Soon, Alaska will be able to audit the findings and make data driven decisions for future iterations of the page.

Final Contact us page ready for real world analytics
Existing Alaska mobile nav pattern and alternate version for AB testing
Final FAQ tab

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