Future Mobile Vision

Company: Air New Zealand
UX Designer
Maria Sauer, Sam Trustum and Josh Ong

An ambitious project

In the last year, a future vision for the broader digital customer experience has been proposed at a high level and could form the core of a future mobile experience. However, there is recognition that continuous improvement will not lead to a step change in the mobile customer experience.

Air New Zealand needed to explore a future customer experience anchored in key technology edges like machine learning, conversational UI and deep personalisation.

My role

The future mobile vision was my first project as a UX Designer at Air New Zealand. I had the chance to collaborate with stakeholders and UX researchers to build an innovative user experience and design language for the new Air NZ app.

I've participated in all stages of the design process, from workshops and usability tests to prototype and visual concepts.


Explore visions for a step change in the core customer experience, facilitated by a new mobile app exploiting cutting-edge technologies (e.g., conversational interfaces, machine learning and AI, robotics, augmented reality, smart earbuds, et al.).

Propose future state experiences for scenarios built around key customer interaction modes: customer-initiated assistance, proactive assistance, and customer self-service.
Evaluate those visions regarding improved operational and commercial outcomes and satisfaction of priority customer needs.


We conducted workshops to identify areas in Air New Zealand's customer journey and missions that showed potential targets for gathering insights into passengers' pain points around air travel.

We've also conducted intercept interviews with passengers in the Auckland domestic and international terminals. They validated that our ideas would meet their expectations and be desirable when dealing with the pain point they were meant to solve.

Ideas collected from passengers and staff

User testing at Auckland Airport

We started to get interesting material to work from the workshops and interviews which allowed us to identify the pain points in the customer journey.

However, the project was still very abstract and disconnected from real-life experience. To make it more tangible, we started creating concepts and prototypes to validate and more importantly, un-validate the clustered ideas and features collected.

I can't hide that when I start crafting and bringing ideas to life is the part I love most. :)

We created and tested a few different ideas during several days

Research process

• One-on-one interviews to understand travel behaviors
• User testing using an interactive prototype on an iPhone or Android phone
• Product reaction card exercise to test visual appeal

Visual design

The words customers used and selected for the new design were mostly positive.

The new design is more closely aligned with our brand compared to the current design, which came through in the words that were selected and the comments.

While the current design got positive feedback too, the new design felt like an evolution of the current design:

“It feels like the next generation of the current app.

“It looks very crisp and clean.”

Visual exploration

Next steps

We got back to the design table a few times, polishing our concepts to bring our users the best experience based on their feedback. Most users had positive reactions towards the prototypes we tested. Feedback collected included that the app was easy to navigate, the new features and suggestions were more dynamic, making the app more personal while still aligned with Air NZ brand.

After several months of work, it was decided to shift in a different direction and keep improving the current Air NZ app. The last round of research has been conducted to wrap up the design sprint and to understand which aspects of the design are working for our customers and which aspects need further investigation.


Using Format