M2mobi - Schiphol App
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Schiphol App

Schiphol Amsterdam Airport
Concept, Design, Development, Maintenance
Android, Backend, iOS, Mobile Web, Windows Phone

The briefing

Every day thousands of people travel from Amsterdam Airport Amsterdam to the most beautiful destinations in the world. Flying can be a stressful undertaking, no matter how beautiful the destination might be. The journey from/to the airport, queues at the check-in desks, security, a last minute gate change; it can be stressful even to the best-prepared traveller. Schiphol, an innovative and service-oriented airport, recognised at an early stage the potential of mobile phones as a means to communicate information to passengers. In 2010 they set up the Mobile Support trajectory. Its goal: supporting travellers and other visitors of the airport with customised services with the aid of mobile applications. In order not to exclude anyone, the airport chose to develop apps for both iPhone and Android, as well as a mobile website. Blackberry and Windows Phone apps were soon to follow.

schiphol inline image test

The challenge

An airport such as Schiphol has to accommodate many different types op visitors. Arriving and departing passengers, or passengers transferring to other flights. People who drop off or pick up passengers, but also taxi drivers and plane spotters; they all require different information. The challenge for us with this assignment was to provide the best service possible for all these users. How do we make sure that the correct and most relevant information reaches the right users at the right time?

The solution

To provide the best service to the end user, the user interface was designed in such a manner that the traveller knows when he needs to board en what the walking time and distance is from his current location. This way, he knows exactly how much time he has left to shop or relax. The design of the interface links the digital and the real world by emulating the Wayfinding system style developed by Dutch designer Paul Mijksenaar.

As one of the first airports Schiphol makes use of indoor wayfinding. Through 2000 beacons a localization with an accuracy of 5 meter is made possible. This was a challenge because of the complex building and the thick concrete walls. The indoor wayfinding makes it passengers more easily to find their way to their gate by navigation route on the map.

The user needs to be kept up to date of critical flight information. We do not expect users to check their phones every five minutes to make sure their flight information has not changed. This is why we use push notifications for gate changes, for instance.

Even though our collaboration with Schiphol initially consisted of a classical software engineering waterfall approach, after the release of 01 we instantly realised that the development of the apps did not end there. Together with Schiphol, we entered into a trajectory of continuous development and testing, both technically and in the field of usability.

img schiphol inline image desktop

The results

The re-designs and continued development ensure that the app has the correct focus and that it is up-to-date and according to contemporary design standards. Furthermore, the app still comes equipped with useful features such as the option to reserve a parking place directly from the app, indoor wayfinding, and for privium members it is even possible to connect their iOS device to an Apple Watch.

Not just the interface, but also our collaboration with Schiphol has evolved over the years. We transitioned from a classical waterfall approach to Agile Scrum and our team is present at Schiphol several days a week. This ensures we can respond to changes more rapidly and thanks to the short lines of communication everyone is kept abreast of any situation better and more quickly. All this strengthens our good collaboration with Schiphol. In addition to the Schiphol Mobile Travel Support App, we have developed a number of spin-off apps. We have, for instance, developed an app for Chinese travellers and there are tools for Schiphol employees.

  • the app was downloaded over 2 million times
  • the app is used by 19.000 people every day
  • 5.493.098 push notifications were sent over the past year
  • the app has been awarded three times as best airport app

December 2016 Schiphol has launched a new app with an internal team.

Check it here

More information?

Stefan Smit
Stefan Smit