A UX overhaul for a complex data product

Company

$330m+ revenue

2500+ employees

Finance

B2B

Global

Team

2

UX/UI strategists

4

UX/UI designers

1

Front-end developer

The Airline Analyst is a leading airline data platform that allows people to stay on top of their investment portfolio with comprehensive, historical data about airline performance. It is a key part of Airfinance Journal, part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC Group.

Although TAA is  a well-established aviation tool and has enjoyed market success for a number of years, design had not previously been a high priority.

An outdated interface was blocking new features, holding this complex data product back from further progress and growth. Users needed better routes through the complex information the product stores.

That’s where we came on board, with our expertise in designing data products making us a perfect fit.

TAA income statement screen

UX audit

Our first task was to audit the product, finding the main usability blockers and issues while also assessing the UI and noting potential improvements. We talked to a variety of customers to understand the main use cases, pains and gains as well as communicating with stakeholders to get their perspective.

From this we discovered that there were very diverse user types, from expert ‘super users’ to casual browsers who barely scratch the surface of the platform’s capabilities.

This knowledge was essential to inform our decisions when designing TAA’s features.

Fran
TAA wireframe

UX design

We integrated areas of interaction in the main database view, removing unnecessary complex flows by allowing users to create groups of data from the main table view. Next up we enhanced the usability of hidden or low usage tools. In addition, we re-arranged blocks of data to improve the information architecture, guiding users through data-heavy screens.

We saved users time and effort by creating a self-service ecosystem where the data can be retrieved with a minimal amount of clicks.

No more navigating to different sections and clicking around for ages!

Michal
Audit and user research screens

Designing data

The brief from the TAA team was to show as much data as possible all in one go, an approach which contrasted with our usual preference for white space and room to breathe.

Opposing opinions aside, the only correct route is the one that the user chooses. For this reason we created multiple prototypes of interfaces to test how the data tables should be displayed, which actually proved that the client’s direction was preferred by users. 

By testing, we were able to show objectively what was most suitable for the user and not let personal preference get in the way. 

Vass

UI library

It was essential that we brought the visual design up-to-date, putting it on a par with the sorts of products that users mentioned they use daily. In order to do this, we crafted a detailed, extensive online design system centered around interaction and behaviour that would power all screens of the tool across all devices.

The design system also makes future additions easy to add in, as all required elements already exist in the toolkit.

This design system allowed for all current screens to be easily put together using a meticulous set of design patterns.

Bo

See the Pen TAA loading spinner by burntcustard (@burntcustard) on CodePen.dark

Front-end dev

We coded an extensive front-end templating system, ready for direct integration with the TAA system by their internal back-end development team. Our front-end frameworks are completely modular and give engineers a quick and easy way to create screens across all areas of their application.

The Airline Analyst 2.0 is now live and gaining praise for its improved performance and functionality. 🙌