THE DESIGN BRIEF
In close relationship with Gulfstream Aerospace, our team was presented the opportunity to develop a new immersive experience for the Gulfstream aircraft personalization process. The team redesigned Gulfstream's existing iPad applications to create a more robust sales and design tool for both the Gulfstream designer and the client.
By considering Gulfstream's need, as well as the needs of their client, our team reimagined the challenge itself. The main goal of the project then extended beyond the deliverable application and became to design the personalization experience as a whole. The team focused on 3 primary dimensions of the experience: personalization, immersion, and communication.
Producing an expandable tablet based application was the primary goal of the Gulfstream project. Designing with desktop and tablet platforms in mind, the team created a framework for Gulfstream that could be repurposed to accommodate an array of modes for varying sale circumstances. Furthermore, by designing an immersive and visual experience, the app is accompanied by an unparalleled design process that is seamless and enjoyable.
Interviews & Site Visit
Located in Savannah, GA, Gulfstream Aerospace was conveniently located to visit for Gulfstream staff interviews and primary research gathering. Our team visited Gulfstream Aerospace and met with numerous staff who routinely interface with clientele. Our main interest was in the Gulfstream Designers, who are responsible for assisting in the personalization and design process of each personal Gulfstream Aircraft. After creating a refined list of interview questions, our team met with Gulfstream Designers to ask specific questions on the design process, their design/business needs, and many characteristics, requirements and wishes of the Gulfstream client.
CARS, YACHTS, PLANES
After gathering primary research, secondary research was underway. A comprehensive analysis of digital luxury good personalization tools was examined. Many luxury good markets, such as designer watches, aircrafts, yachts and luxury cars possess some digital customization tools, yet very few offer a intricate, immersive and thorough customization processes. Many of these luxury good vendors ask their clients to come to on-site design shops to customize their luxury items. The luxury car, yacht, and aircraft markets were particularly analyzed. Ferrari seemed to have the most comprehensive and refined digital design process, yet most of the luxury good customization tools simply lacked the intricacy, thoroughness, and immersion that you would expect from a luxury goods vendor.
After gathering primary and secondary research, we had a strong sense of who we were designing for, and what the needs and requirements of the customization tool would be to better serve the target user. Our two primary users of the Gulfstream design tool would be the Gulfstream client, the aircraft buyer themselves, and the Gulfstream Interior Designer. We gathered demographic data and information on the average aircraft buyer and Gulfstream client. This information is portrayed in the persona below. Through our interview with the Gulfstream Designers, we also recognized the needs of the Interior Designer. As the main channel of support to the client during the aircraft design process, the Interior Designers capabilities and requirements were paramount to the success of Aircraft Design tool. The Designer information is portrayed in the second persona below.
THE GULFSTREAM CLIENT: THE ELITE
THE GULFSTREAM DESIGNER
After recognizing that the elements of personalization, communication and immersion were going to be the totems of the design process, features lists, interface designs, and system blueprinting began. First, concept sketching, rough wireframing and interface layouts occured before moving through iterative design refinement. A variety of sketches and wireframing are showcased below.
INTERFACE CONCEPT SKETCHING
THE LOUPE INTERFACE
Gulfstream offers an immense amount of choices to design within an aircraft interior. The biggest challenge was giving the user access to all these choices without filling the screen with the limitless swatch and material options. The final solution was the Loupe Interface. A simple wheel-based UI that allows for countless design choices. The Loupe consists of three stages: The completely collapsed + icon and an inner and outer ring.
In the first fully collapsed stage of the Loupe UI, the user can drag around the Loupe Pebble within the aircraft environment to select which object they wish to personalize. Pressing and holding the Loupe Pebble over a designable item would expand the interface to accommodate for the first ring of options, where the user can select what component of that item they want to customize. Lastly, once the user chooses an element of customization, swatch options appear to choose from. If the user does not see any swatch items they are satisfied with, they can press the + button to add unique colors or images to create their own swatch from. Once satisfied, the user presses the X button in the center of the Loupe to collapse the interface and continue with the design process.
User storyboarding was conducted to create a deeper understanding of the Gulfstream-client interaction, order of operations for the Aircraft Design Tool, the potential scenarios the tool may be used for, and also to concept for a features video. Illustrated below is the scenario of the typical aircraft personalization process that the Gulfstream Designer and client would undergo facilitated with our Aircraft Design Tool.
VIRTUAL REALITY IMPLEMENTATION
Because immersion was a key factor in the design process, our team found virtual reality to be an ideal solution to place the client within their aircraft design to confirm design choices before the aircraft was build. Using Unreal 4 to build an aircraft interior environment, our team used Oculus Rift to create an immersive aircraft exploration experience. An alternative VR solution was also concepted utilizing Google cardboard as the more available and affordable aircraft immersion tool.
Client selection screen
client messaging screen
The loupe interface
To envision the future potentials and capabilities of the aircraft design process, our team brainstormed on conceptual ideas that would further push the design elements of immersion, communication and personalization. While we were proud and excited to implement virtual reality into our design process, we wondered about the future implementation of holograms. We envisioned breathtaking holographic models that truly encompassed the client within the aircraft, as realtime updates changed within the cabin as they personalized their aircraft. Joining in the design process is the Gulfstream Interior Designer, who through holographic video conferencing can aid and assist in crafting a truly personalized aircraft design.