Translating 100 years of service into a digital future
As Britain’s flag carrier airline was nearing its 100th anniversary, it had a desire to look ahead to the next hundred years.
British Airways reached out to DS with the challenge to stand out in a crowded and competitive market – with new carriers disrupting the industry and long-time providers competing for space.
At the heart of the BA brand is the promise ‘To fly, to serve’. We worked with the BA team to translate 100 years of service to the digital world – transforming the brand’s digital experience across the board, adding value to every customer's journey and ultimately giving people a reason to fly BA.
To get a full picture of the heritage and essence of the brand, we immersed ourselves in the world of BA. We went to the archives, spent our days at Heathrow, did a secret shopper flight, met teams and partners across the whole business and took a museum tour.
We set up the ‘Garden Shed’ (where all great British innovations happen) – a prototype room in our London studio, where, with the BA digital team, we explored the many ways we could translate the BA brand into meaningful experiences across every customer’s journey.
A vision for digital
We collaborated with BA to co-create a digital vision to take them into the future. Underpinned by five principles universal to any experience, the vision connects teams and activity across the business, and inspires a better experience for BA’s customers.
The world of flight
The execution of this vision took the form of a rigorous digital toolkit that informed the redesign of key elements across BA’s digital ecosystem.
At the heart of the toolkit was a new design language "The World of Flight" - a flexible design system with a distinct approach to interaction, motion and navigation inspired by effortless journeys through the sky.
“We looked to create a design language that brought together the lightness of flight with the precision and refinement of BA's aviation heritage.”
Alex Johns, Executive Creative Director, DesignStudio
BA Service Re-imagined
The first step was to overhaul ba.com, working through millions of pages to radically simplify the information architecture. We took inspiration from cabin crew training programmes, and insights from SEO partners and internal teams to ultimately restructure the information architecture around the core needs of BA travellers rather than the business structure.
The content strategy, art direction, experience and structure of core pages were redesigned – from the functional to the inspirational. This resulted in higher value content that customers could find more easily, further amplifying the reasons to fly BA.
Join up the journey
With the vision and toolkit in place, we embarked on a multi-year journey with BA to realise the vision across the most important journeys for their millions of customers.
We overhauled the flight buying experience – introducing a new iPad app with the new design language and sales experience; reworking the core sales flow on BA.com; designing a content strategy and new look and feel for ‘travel ready emails’ that took you from purchase to lift off; changing the Manage my Booking process to create a calmer, more elegant, more BA way to access and control your journey.
Several elements of the thinking and design, from the re-imagined post booking experience to the design language in T5 are creating memorable and meaningful brand moments that amplify and reflect the BA promise across their customer's journeys.
The digital vision and holistic toolkit has given BA the tools and a newfound confidence to move forward with its digital design. The team is equipped with this new set of capabilities that they can continue to utilise in the long term as they look to improve on their digital experience.
“The work with DS has been one of the cornerstones of our digital strategy and customer experience transformation. DS' ability to bring world class design skills and methods, together with their highly collaborative approach that has brought the best out of us as a business and have delivered a phenomenal set of outcomes, including double digital improvement in KPIs in digital channels.”
Jack Smith, Director of Digital, British Airways