Case Studies

Homebrew'd Projects


Enterprise Web Platform


Amidst a thread of competitors, we helped an engineering-driven company win the business of a major airline through a UX/UI overhaul.

The Challenge


AOS is a company that created a system that allows airline crewmembers to bid on their flight schedules each month. The goals are to achieve crew satisfaction, control open time and guarantee seniority. While the system was highly effective for crewmembers who knew how to use it, the product was confusing and looked dated, and competitors were swooping in with more polished products. Our goal with the redesign was to help them win the business of one of the largest airlines in the world.

(Which we did.)

Above: AOS whitelabels its products for over a dozen major and local airlines

The Approach


While the client had detailed specification on the functionality of the existing software, they had never done and qualitative research on the customers they were designing for. Our conversations with actual pilots and crew members led us to a flexible software solution that was simple enough to use for the early crew members just starting their careers, but customizable enough for the veterans, who had a lot more control over the schedules.

            Product Audit


Working with the client, we did a workshop discussing how the product got to where it is today, the rationale, known issues and what’s currently working well.

     Heuristic Evaluation


Since the team never went through a formal design process, we “reverse-engineered” the product to figure out the complex architecture and workflows, noting our instincts on what is broken or what could be done better.

Customer Research


We spoke to existing pilots - from juniors to veterans - as well as personnel that worked to train new users on the existing system, and figured out their biggest pain points and opportunities in the existing product.

           Framework Concepting


Based on what we learned in research, we sketched out a number of different ways of reorganization the information, working closely with the engineers to understand the restraints based on how the database was currently built.

    Iterative Architecture


The AOS team had deep expertise in the various legalities that were airline-specific, and we worked closely with them to refine a design that complied with the diversity of their current and future partners.

Visual Design


Perhaps one of the biggest challenges was making a system that inevitably had complex functionality feel simple and light. Our tactic was to only present as much information as was needed for a given task, using color consistently and smartly to provide meaning, and to use a tightly controlled typographic system to present a lot of information in a readable way.

The Outcome

“Going in, we honestly didn't realize the extent that design would make such a difference.”


Our client admitted to us that when they first brought us on board, they thought what they needed was more of a cosmetic exercise - to make the product look more professional and win the business of one of the world’s biggest airlines.


Our relationship went deeper as we, through customer insight, learned how to  bring more perceived value to the product and to potential customers, and that story became a part of the pitch which won them the business of one of the world's largest airlines.


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