US Navy Pilot Experience

Digitizing the pilot's mission

While on missions, fighter jet pilots use kneeboard cards (KBC). KBCs consist of pieces of paper with flight information clipped to the pilot's leg during flight that they have to take notes on, as well as a large manuals (think the size of phone books) that they have to refer to during flight.


At Big Nerd Ranch, I had the opportunity to design a digital version of KBCs so that pilots would have easier access to crucial data during flight.

Solution

The App

Role

UX Designer, Visual Designer

Details

Big Nerd Ranch Design Team, 8 weeks

Tools used

Sketch, Principle, Illustrator, Pencil & Paper

Problem

How might we create a digital version of kneeboard cards that does not obstruct the pilot's mission during flight

Users

Fighter Jet Pilots

Note: no classified information is presented in this case study. Any images/information used are public knowledge (found via a quick online search) and are placed in wireframes to demonstrate a concept.



All-in-one Location for Missions

Users will be able to view all mission information from one app. This includes: mission data, approach plate information, any documents required, and a scratch pad to take notes on.



Creating New Missions

Users will be able to create new missions within the app. A wizard will take them through the necessary steps and remind them what information is required on a mission.



Manage Missions

Users will be able to not only add new missions but also remove any missions they do not need anymore.

Design

Interaction

Navigating within the app

There were various alternatives for navigation: side navigation, bottom navigation, tab bars, and mini navigation. We decided on the mini navigation so that pilots could quickly switch between tabs.



Bottom Bar


Tab Bar



How to make sure pilots could see the text

Folowing Material Design guidelines for typography, the text would have been way too small for pilots to see. Instead, we enlarged the text by 8sp within the list item to increase visibility while in flight.



Standard Material Design Typography


Enlarged Text



How to show missions

Originally, we wanted to keep a library with cards for the user to select the mission. However, to keep consistency with Material Design, we decided to use the "Accounts" feature for the mini navigation to show the missions.



Library Option


List Option using native "Accounts" list



How to create missions

Creating a mission also had multiple options: using a long form or using a wizard. We ended up deciding on the wizard because it created a more fluid experience as the user steps through each section. Each section has crucial information to the mission and we wanted the user to be able to focus on it to add the correct pieces.



Create mission via wizard


Create mission via long form



Visual Design

Color scheme was inspired by the official US Navy official colors. Variations of the colors were added to allow a smooth cohesiveness for the user.


Icons

To represent the planes, I thought of two approaches. One using images of the planes and another using icons.


Interface Design



Thoughts

This was a challenging project because we were designing for fighter jet pilots that would be using this application while in air. At the same time, we had to keep Material Design Guidelines constantly in our mind. This project helped exercise my ability to problem solve within constraints.