Gogo Business Aviation


Hardware Diagnostics at 35,000 Feet

Often, when bad words are muttered on airplanes, it has something to do with the WiFi connection. As we all know, in this age of ubiquitous WiFi connectivity, what once was considered miraculous is now a market expectation. But the truth is, enabling WiFi inside of an aircraft, as it speeds along at 35,000 feet above the ground, is remarkably complicated. When it stops working, the first step in fixing the connection is to diagnose the problem. And that’s where Spire comes in.

Designing for Engineers and Flight Attendants

Gogo, a leader in in-flight connectivity, enlisted our help in designing an app to enable flight crews to troubleshoot WiFi connectivity issues on business aircraft. Embarking on a user-centered design approach, we observed, interviewed, and surveyed flight crews and technicians, as well as Gogo engineers, to establish the most critical features and build a user story catalog.  

Domain Expertise

In determining how best to express these features, our design team conducted extensive in-person interviews and observations to craft a solution. Designs were iterated and validated through InVision prototype testing with key personas. Through our research, it became clear that the lexicon used by the Gogo team was not well understood by users. Even though technicians had experience operating complex systems, they had little knowledge (or time) to learn something new. Additionally, the design language needed to be consistent with aviation patterns, but couldn’t compete with an already robust aircraft dashboard. Our goal was to allow users to get their answer in under five seconds. Our Quality Assurance and mobile developer worked onsite for four months to develop and test the app alongside the Gogo Business Aviation delivery team.

Making the Connection

Success in the initial engagement resulted in Spire winning a key follow-on project, to design a companion application for ground crews. We’re thrilled to support Gogo’s mission to advance aviation, by connecting every aircraft with the most trusted communications services on and above the planet.

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