SkyLedger is a revenue accounting system for airlines that records reservation and flight activities in near real time. It allows accountants to reconcile booking data with ledger transactions and generate reporting to see a comprehensive audit trail.
Getting all the information for a single reservation required the users to generate reports from a couple of different parts of the system. The data had to be manually consolidated if the user wanted a comprehensive view of transactions related to a reservation. The existing web interface was also very stale and outdated and in need of some sprucing up.
My role on this project was to work with the product owner and development to organize the disparate information into meaningful groups, provide a layout for the information and apply corporate branding and styles to the interface.
Analyze and group the data from different sources into meaningful groups so that all of the information can be viewed in a single place. Update the aesthetics of the UI to the latest corporate/branding standards.
Scope and Constraints
The scope of this project was to consolidate the accounting information for a single reservation into one location. Other parts of SkyLedger had already been migrated to an updated UI so I would not be starting from scratch and could leverage existing pattern libraries. The biggest constraint on this project was gaining access to customers to get feedback on the new designs.
Chunking the Data
The first step of the design process was to chunk that data into meaningful groups. I worked with the product owner to put all the information in an outline. We came up with three main categories of information: summary, accounting, and taxes/fees.
Figure 1: Outline of the data for the comprehensive view.
Sketching the Layout
Now that we had an outline for the content, it was time to do some quick sketches of layouts. I would discuss these with the product owner via conference call or email after he had time to review them (usually a day or two turnaround time).
Figure 2: Rough sketches for the layout of the PNR View.
High Fidelity Designs
After several interactions of discussing the sketches I moved on to creating the final designs. At this point the product owner and I engaged with development to make sure what we were trying to do was technically feasible. When the first draft was complete, it was sent via email for review in the form of a PDF file that allowed the reviewers to make comments and offer suggestions. This continued for several rounds and eventually we came up with the final design.
Figure 3: Hi fidelity designs of the PNR view.
Outcomes and Lessons
- The new UI consolidated all the information into a single place in a more readable format than the existing system.
- Being able to leverage existing pattern libraries really improved the efficiency of the final design.
- Lack of user input was the single biggest risk factor for this project. No good data if the designs really meet the user needs.
- Several new design patterns were used in this UI. These will be helpful when designing other parts of SkyLedger.