The safety of aviation is not only the purpose of airspace control. It starts on the ground – or more precisely: at the airport terminal building and the apron. Fraport AG, the airport managing group of Frankfurt Airport, uses design thinking methods and tools to improve security issues as well as the service at Frankfurt Airport.
Frankfurt Airport is one of the world’s most important air transportation hubs. It is the first in Germany in terms of its passenger volume, third in Europe and 11th in the world. Till Eichenauer works in the department for SAP systems at Fraport where he implements Mobile Solutions using SAP Fiori. Apart from his daily tasks, Till also works towards the ambitious goal of implementing UX design and design thinking at the company. As part of this initiative, his team started to work with storytelling early this year and made use of “Scenes”, a storyboarding method and tool developed by the SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center.
We had the pleasure to interview Till Eichenauer on how this tool was used and perceived at Fraport.
Why did you come up with the idea of using “Scenes”?
Till Eichenauer: Our goal was to facilitate the security regulations. We did several design thinking workshops focusing on this issue, each concentrating on one of the different stages of design thinking. For instance, we did three workshops just on prototyping where we used „Scenes“ to model the current process.
What exactly did you want to change about the security regulations?
Till Eichenauer: We wanted to improve our security procedures for our VIP-Service customers and staff. The VIP service offers exclusive services to our customers such a fast and discrete security check or the direct transfer to the airplane.
There are three different scenarios to get access to the airside security area (“critical parts”): either someone has an airport ID card (staff badge), a boarding pass or a supervised-pass („Mitnahme-Ausweis“). In compliance with federal security regulations the usage of a supervised-pass needs to be documented. However, this procedure is still paper-based and therefore inconvenient. We were looking for an IT solution that makes it smoother and easier for our VIP service managers handling the formalities while ensuring that the guest gets to the airside security area as conveniently as possible. This is not the main function of the VIP stewards but it demands a lot of flexibility and time. Therefore, the solution we are working on aims to bring relief with less administrational effort.
Who is a conceivable guest that could possibly get a supervised-pass?
Till Eichenauer: There are different possible scenarios. One option is that for instance a head of state comes for an official visit, most commonly including a delegacy from the embassy or the consulate. Other than the head of state, those delegates are often unlicensed and need a supervised-pass. Another option for a possible guest that needs a supervised-pass is a delivery man or craftsman that needs to enter the apron onetime only.
Why did you think „Scenes“ would help you to improve the supervised-pass service?
Till Eichenauer: When I came across „Scenes“ online I was curious to find out if such a storytelling tool might facilitate our workshops. We printed and cut the templates and conducted a test drive in my department. This experience was extremely satisfying and led us to proceed with „Scenes“ in future workshops. Now we use it as often as possible, simply because the results are terrifically vivid.
How did „Scenes“ contributed to the workshop procedure?
Till Eichenauer: While depicting and modelling our current process we recognized the greatest advantage of „Scenes”: within two or three hours you can visualise the entire process and ensure that all participants have the same understanding of the current process. What I’m trying to say is that the participants not only comprehend the flow of the process but also take an active part in it. „Scenes“ encourages the participants to immerse themselves into the challenge at hand and to change perspectives, especially in conjunction with the Personas*. In sum „Scenes“ helps to increase empathy for the user.
How was „Scenes“ perceived by the workshop participants?
Till Eichenauer: It is interesting to see the change: While some people tend to be sceptical regarding „Scenes“ in the beginning, they usually change their mind in the course of using “Scenes”. Often it is perceived as a „kindergarten tool kit“ until the users experience the potential and benefits of „Scenes“. In the end, everyone is enthusiastic about the tool.
Curious about “Scenes”?
*Personas are fictional characters which arose from the user research. A Persona is a pooling of all the important findings from the interviews with users.