“Effectively, by digitising customer experiences through smart phone technology, Virgin has been able to eliminate common travelling pain-points to provide an integrated, automated, travelling experience.”
– Rob Sharp, Group Executive, Virgin Australia Airlines

The Challenge

With more and more travellers using their smartphones to book travel, check-in to flights, and access boarding passes, Virgin Australia was in need of a more all-encompassing solution for its mobile travel experiences.

Virgin Australia approached Transpire to undertake a total redesign and development of its native iOS and Android apps to give guests an intuitive, seamless, and user-friendly experience across every touchpoint.

Solution

Transpire’s approach to creating a completely new app was more than just an exercise in technology development and deployment; It required human-centred design that not only identified all of the user’s wants, needs, preferences, and pain points, but also addressed them in a logical, coherent, and compelling way.

Assembling a large group of real Virgin Australia guests, Transpire conducted research and testing that encompassed both leisure and business travellers to ensure we had a deep understanding of the needs and challenges of users. From planning and paying for trips to the time leading up to their departure date, the day of travel, and coming back again, every single touchpoint was considered to construct an effortless, stress-free experience for all users.

From there, Transpire could establish a roadmap of functionality and features to implement, starting with the ability to book a flight, check-in, and access boarding passes. Feedback from internal stakeholders and external users then dictated what should take priority for future releases, such as viewing Velocity points and a transaction history.

The look and feel of the app also needed to be consistent with Virgin Australia’s branding. Initially, this meant building the app with custom components, which don’t always behave as expected and can lead to problems when it comes to OS upgrades. For this reason, Transpire championed the use of native elements wherever possible to improve performance, mitigate risk, and enhance the user’s experience.

Accessibility played a huge part in the design and development of the app as well. Along with adhering to best design practice, user testing rounds were also conducted to ensure every function and feature of the app was universally accessible.

During a trip to California for WWDC 2018, Transpire Head of Development Daniel Streader specifically met with Apple engineers to receive feedback and recommendations about the app’s accessibility.

On the technical side of things, Transpire built a stable, crash-free platform using the latest Kotlin RxJava framework for Android. This versatile, cross-platform programming language has put both Transpire and Virgin Australia ahead of the game in terms of app development.

Impact

200,000
monthly active users

Virgin Australia has 200,000 active mobile users across both iOS and Android.

750,000
boarding passes scanned

Since April 2018, three quarters of a million boarding passes have been scanned from the Virgin Australia app.

137%
increase

Our version of Virgin Australia’s app enjoyed a ratings increase on the App Store of 137% in less than six months.

Great app that’s easy to use and fast when I’m racing to the plane. Keep the updates coming Virgin!
– iOS user review on App Store.