AirportNAV is a mobile app extension for Alaska Airlines that will give users turn-by-turn directions within SeaTac airport. This was a capstone project done with a team of 4 during my attendance at University of Washington Bothell. My main role in this project was a team manager, graphic & logo designer, and a UI design assistant.

Video - Introducing AirportNAV

Our Mission

We would like to make the process of going through the airport as smooth as possible. To do so, we have created an indoor navigation app specifically designed to give the users full support to utilize all the services that are available in the airport.

Stakeholder - Alaska Airline

Our project was supported by a UX team that works at Alaska Airlines. They have provided us many helps such as setting up for desirability/usability interviews and granting access to Seatac Airport post-security for filming.

Problem Statement

The process of navigating through SeaTac airport can be stressful for many individuals. Visitors need to get to their gate by a specific time to catch their flight. There are many obstacles that can affect the amount of time that it takes to get through the airport which can create a more stressful experience. For example:

Defining the problem

This is an ideation map we had made to map out the different possible pain points that people may face in the airport. We have also listed out the services that are available in the airport that are often overlooked or difficult to find. From there, we brainstormed possible features that could be a solution to improving the user's experience.


We have created 7 different personas that could possibly benefit from using our app. From those persona's, Ellen Miller has been chosen to be our primary user. Ellen is a new mother who needs to take care of her infant.

Persona Matrix

The decision of our primary user was decided using this persona matrix chart, which shows that the new mothers significantly has more specific need than the other users.


Here we have a storyboard where our new mother, Ellen Miller, is going on a trip with her infant with the help of AirportNAV. The app guides them from when she heads towards the airport to when she arrives at her gate. Throughout the journey through the airport, the app gives Ellen directions to the shortest security line, the train she needs to take, a coffee shop, the nursing room, the closest restroom, and finally their gate.

Journey Map

This is Ellen’s journey map. It talks about her emotions, thoughts, and questions from when she buys her ticket to when she boards the plane. There are a few pain points as she’s packing, getting to the airport, and going through security. While making the journey map we made some assumptions about ways we could improve the experience in the insights section. We thought about providing a packing list with information that’s TSA compliant, as well as navigation to items that would be suggested by user type, and notifications to have boarding pass and identification ready at checkpoints.

Competitive Analysis

We conducted a competitive analysis with some other applications that would be used for travel. Delta Airlines and United Airlines where identified as our top competitors All of the competing apps had maps, however, we found that none of the apps had a location-based wayfinding navigation feature which became our priority for our project.


This is our wireframe with layouts for our app. Each screen is what will show up when you first click on the tabs on the bottom. We have the main screen with all the flight information, a map tab for navigation, a chat tab to call for assistance, an info tab that gives you useful information around the airport, and a general settings tab to change your preference.

High Fidelity Prototype

This is our most recent prototype, where we’ve added a checklist with suggestions on what new mothers have found useful and important. We refined our navigation to include icons of all places the category gives, so within infant care, the map would display all nursing pods and nursing mothers suites. We also included the boarding time in the navigation, since that’s another factor that our users would have to keep in mind.

Link to our prototype

Usability Testing Insights

Moms found that navigation within the airport would be very valuable because they need to catch their flight on time and getting lost can be very stressful and potentially costly.

“Airports are confusing so it would be nice to know where to go.”

“The airport is huge and half of the stuff is always a mile away.”

Moms thought the packing checklist was useful because it helps them remember what is needed for their flight and also has all the information grouped together in one place.

“I will forget the diapers and the baby wipes or something else important so a checklist is very, very useful.”

“It’s helpful to start a list because then I’ll go ‘oh yeah, I need to make sure that I have all of this with me.

“I like it when everything is all in one place.”

Moms found that information about restaurants and stores would be very valuable because it allows them to see what is available to them and help them find what they want faster.

“I like to know what the options are. I want to see the price and access all the info in one location.”

“Information about restaurants and stores would help me make a clear decision on whether I want to go.”

Moms found that walking distance times would be very valuable because it could help them determine if they have enough time to go purchase an item before a flight.

“I would definitely value walking distance times because I would know if I had enough time to go do something or get something and then get back to my gate, or wherever I need to go. It would be helpful.”

Moms prefer to have the ability to add multiple stops to their navigation rather than one at a time because it allowed them to streamline their route and save time.

“I would prefer the ability to add multiple stops because if I am in a hurry I could get everything in there and have my directions guide me as I go.”

“When I fly, I travel to my gate first and along the way, I kinda see what’s in my route. Once I get to my gate, I turn around and get back to what I wanted, but with this app I could see everything all at once.”

Moms thought having more labeling on maps during navigation would be helpful because it gives more precise information about their surroundings so that they know they’re on the right path.

“I like knowing that this is the right spot – I might get anxious like what’s here to the left, what’s here to the right, and it offers me more flexibility when I’m walking.”

“I like a lot of information. I’ll know that there’s restrooms or something else available, so I know where I’m going in case I need to find something else.”

Moms didn’t think security line time estimates would be valuable because they would question their accuracy.

"I would like security line times in general but it depends on how accurate they are. If it takes longer than expected that’s a problem.”

“If I am by myself I usually go pretty early so it wouldn’t be valuable but if I’m with my family I generally can’t get there as early so it would be more valuable.”

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