New Fuel Order Experience for Lufthansa Pilots
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Currently around 5000 pilots at Lufthansa are using a Windows App suite for several flight related activities and information. Part of this application suite is the eFF (electronic Flight Folder) section. Within this they are able to enter the amount of extra fuel they want to take on their next flight. The section offers several insights and data points to make an informed and data-based decision. eFF is necessary to order, but not to make a decision for the fuel order.
The planning of the tank filling is a complex and important step within the flight preparation process of the pilots. On the one hand, the pilots are mainly responsible for the passengers’ safety. On the other hand, the pilots should be sustainable and efficient with their fuel order. This creates a fine line between guaranteed safety and an economic and also environmentally friendly planning.
Although eFF has certain tools to help pilots make better fuel decisions there is still potential of a more user-centric solution.
After interviews with more than 25 pilots, the creation of more than 20 concepts and the design of 4 prototypes, Valtech was able to visualize a new experience for the fuel ordering process.
The final prototype offers a clear user interface that has been adapted to the pilot’s natural way of calculating fuel and thus enables more intuitive and simple handling. Furthermore, the presentation of data is unified and simplified. An easier access to important data like operational flight plan (OFP), weather data, weather charts, notice to airmen (NOTAM), technical log book (TLB), and monitor and efficiency gap analyzer (OMEGA) supports the pilot in the decision-making process. Besides the improved UX will support a parallel goal: increase the user acceptance of the eFF surface.
One of the biggest tasks was to raise the pilots’ acceptance of the new workflow. Therefore, Lufthansa and Valtech set up a user centric project approach including several interviews with pilots to ensure the future acceptance of the proposed solution. Valtech tried to understand the pilot’s needs and viewing the process through “pilot’s eyes” to anticipate their expectations.
After the research phase, Valtech created concepts, designs and prototypes for a possible future implementation. Valtech’s digital expertise and Lufthansa’s industry knowledge were combined in order to create a user-friendly approach. The pilots were able to test the interface and give their feedback, which was directly incorporated into our prototypes.
The 'Fuel ordering app for pilots' app won the Concept Award 2019 at the UX Design Awards. The original press release can be found here.