A while back I wrote a blog questioning if processes can change behavior. What about design? Think about the iPhone – a work of art, sheer beauty and joy to those who use it (well except for the phone part!).
Take an aircraft as another example. The aisles are just wide enough for the beverage and food carts to smack everyone’s knees and elbows as it traverses down the plane. There are two bathrooms in economy for over 100 passengers, overhead storage is at a premium and there is nowhere to stand up and stretch without being jostled by another passenger or told by the flight attendants that you can’t stand there. By the end of “the experience” everyone is in a bad mood, passengers and flight attendants. (I imagine the cockpit crew is fine as they always seem to be smiling!)
Over the years aircraft have been designed for efficiency, not the experience. That has resulted in a bad rap for the industry and an overall view that flying is not fun. It didn’t have to happen this way. I remember happier times with a good amount of space, a piano bar and looking forward to pleasant journey to my final destination. What would have happened if that view persisted, rather than the relentless pursuit of efficiency?
Imagine some of these options:
• A “family flight. There would be a play area for the children, giving the parents some time to relax.
• A “workout flight” There would an area to stretch and exercise.
• A “pamper flight” where you could get a haircut, mani/pedi or chair massage
• “Foodie flight – good food and wine tasting
Plane design would be modular with the ability to reconfigure based on demand – much like a factory production line. There would be a charge for these services, just like there is if you were going to a spa, a gym or daycare. Certainly this could all pay for itself. Flight attendants would be happy, they could move around the aircraft with ease, passengers would enjoy service and arrive to their destinations refreshed and happy.
Short of “beam me up Scotty” with all the technology and advances that we have had in the last 50 years, why can’t we put some of that expertise into better design and user experience? Air travel is one area that sorely needs some innovation.
How many wishes do I have left?
For those in the U.S. have a happy turkey day!
Follow me on Twitter @eliseolding
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