The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) has been voted the Best Airport in North America for five of the past six years. By 2016, IND knew they needed a website experience to match.
Beyond simply updating a stale website, IND had three key goals in mind:
Develop a responsive website where users could quickly find what they needed on any device.
Create a clean and inviting aesthetic to mirror the award-winning design of the IND facilities.
Adhere to the American Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for accessible design. These state that all electronic information must be accessible to people with disabilities.
As with any new website, we knew achieving IND’s goals would take careful research, planning and strategizing at the front-end. Our first step was to better understand IND’s digital audience and website functionality. We did this through an in-depth analytics analysis, in-person stakeholder interviews, a comprehensive content audit and usability testing.
By the end of our research phase, we had identified which pages were an integral part of the website and were most visited by users. We then used this information to recommend a streamlined navigation that prioritized visitors’ most common needs. This allowed the new website to foster a more natural user path and overall better experience users were looking for.
"As a native of Colorado, I wanted to capture a modern, sleek design that matched the look and feel of the airport’s architecture along with its ease of access. Every time I visit the airport in Indy, that sleek architecture really stands out to me."
Once we had determined the most important content visitors searched for and, from there, a navigation that streamlined the user journey, we turned to conceiving a smart and welcoming aesthetic to echo the experience visitors receive at the Indianapolis International Airport facilities.
The UX design of the new website is guided by three principles.
A core facet of successful UX design is making it as easy as possible for site visitors to find important content. For the airport’s site, this meant making flight and parking information immediately accessible.
When a visitor lands on the homepage, two prominent boxes display the option to quickly access real-time flight and parking information. This includes flight statuses and delays, number of available parking spaces, parking costs and the forecast.
Prior to the website redesign, users were met with over-complicated, burdensome menus that buried important pages and duplicated others.
The primary navigation of the new website features a streamlined menu of the airport’s most visited pages: “Flight Information,” “Parking,” “Transportation & Rentals,” “Maps & Directions” and “Services & Amenities.”
An added secondary, utility menu in the footer enables users to access less prominent pages at any point during their visit without without weighing down the main navigation.
A content audit revealed duplicate, empty and redundant pages, which we removed or consolidated to further streamline the user journey.
From the beginning, we knew the website would need to strike a balance between modern design and detailed content, which we accomplished by using multiple layouts and navigations.
For example, the homepage offers immediate access to quick info on flight status and parking, while multiple menus and interior pages provide easy access other areas via quick links and callouts.
Additionally, desktop and mobile layouts are tailored to offer the best experience for viewers on different devices. No matter where a visitor is coming from, they are easily guided toward quick, high-trafficked information, while retaining access to more detailed resources.
An important requirement for the website was ensuring that it adhered to the guidelines laid out by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), which protect access to information for people with disabilities. The guidelines ensure that people who use screen readers or other tools to consume digital content are able to find information they need online.
Throughout the development phase of the website, our team worked closely with the Indianapolis Airport Authority to make certain that those guidelines were met. We held regular check-ins and conducted additional testing to ensure that the website presented content and functioned in a way that facilitated a convenient and helpful experience for anyone who might be interacting with it.
"I liked the idea of having a Denver designer and developer on the project because we are the ones who are out of state and experiencing Indy for the first time. My biggest challenge as a developer was to decide how we would continuously update the parking and flight status modules—they're constantly changing from one second to the next, so we decided on a 60-second interval for automated updates."