Working at Vanderlande the last couple of years has been a very intellectually rewarding experience. As a full-on mechanical engineering company with thousands of technicians its been a real challenge to introduce a design thinking mentality to their complex, multi-million dollar projects.
Although I’ve learned from many challenging projects at Vanderlande, redesigning the software product VIBES has probably been my coolest highlight so far. VIBES software is meant for airport operators that direct a gigantic number of suitcases to the correct plane every day. It’s used by 36 airports worldwide, including London Heathrow, Atlanta International Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. To put this in perspective, these three airports have a combined 660 thousand passengers they handle each day and more than a million pieces of luggage. I was lucky to work with an extremely talented group of both internal and external designers. The end result was securing one million euros for funding the development of the minimal viable product. Our goal was to drastically reduce the training time needed to fully understand the system; from 7 years to a few weeks!
Interaction Design Team work User Research
The airports industry is an extremely complex multi-stakeholder environment; airport management, airline management, baggage handlers, operators, mechanical technicians, IT technicians, security and I could go on for a while. On top of that, every airport is different, and requests different methods of being able to operate their systems. We believe our design takes to heart all the different wishes and desires of our stakeholder however, ultimately focusses on the people who use the system everyday. I have highlighted two of those users in a persona below.
Currently two multi disciplinary teams based of UX designers, visual designers, front enders and back enders are working in two weeks sprints to make this vision a reality. It has been an exciting and, at times, difficult process as three of the four disciplines are new to Vanderlande. In March 2019 we will have developed the first ‘Essentials’ phase. After which the first regional airport can go live with our new software design!
The ‘classic’ VIBES looked like this:
Our proposed redesign of the screen above looked like this. Watch the video for more screens and user stories.
Our process involved various visits to site to talk with various operators and technicians and brainstorm sessions.
Resulting in a smarter system that takes advantage of all the data that is available.
And is readily available on multiple screens and devices: