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Author: Verver, S.
Mentor: Van Heur, R.J.H.G.
Faculty:Industrial Design Engineering
Department:Design for Interaction
Type:Master thesis
Keywords: Galley Space
Rights: (c) 2011 Verver, S.


This report presents the design research and final design of the Transparency concept. The transparency concept is a solution for the current claustrophobic galley space and reduces the feeling of waiting while boarding the plane. By using a mobile app to order and pay for the drinks during the flight, the cabin crew can serve the passengers quicker and easier.

From the Internet research that has been done can be concluded that the flight experience can be improved by creating an extra service for the passengers. The kindness and quality of the cabin crew are important elements for how the passengers experience their flight.

The questionnaire conclusions show that the current galley space is too claustrophobic during the boarding process, the atmosphere is impersonal, the space is not inviting and the waiting line is too long and boring.

The interviews show that the waiting line develops frustration and anger and the solution for this would be more entertainment. From the literature “The psychology of waiting lines, written by David H. Meister” this result can be substantiated and explained as ‘Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time’.

Creative sessions with designers, non-designers and engineers from Driessen Zodiac Aerospace showed that more transparency in the galley space and more transparency between the passengers and the flight crew would improve the flight experience. The passengers will feel more at ease and the threshold to ask questions or call the cabin crew by their names would be lower then it currently is. According to the results from the creative sessions, it is better to let the galley space be more part of the interior of the rest of the plane.

The literature ‘The psychology of waiting lines by David H. Meister”, “it depends: Moderating the relationship among perceived waiting time, anger and regret by Clay M. Voorhees” and “Enriching by Pieter Desmet” concluded that waiting stands between consumers and the accomplishment of desired goals; therefore, it often creates a sense of frustration. It also shows that the more valuable the service, the longer the costumer will wait for it.

According to the product manager at KLM, creating a more pleasant galley space can possibly also cheer up the cabin crew, which makes their work easier. Currently the cabin crew is responsible for a friendly welcome and a trustful feeling for the passengers so their mood is very important for the passengers flight experience.
The questionnaire with some members of the cabin crew of KLM concluded that some kind of self-service for the passengers would be helpful for the flight crew. Instead of walking around asking what everybody wants to drinks, they can choose what and when they want something to drink themselves.

All these conclusions lead to nine different design direction which delivered 22 ideas and based on these ideas, 3 concepts were worked out: (1) Connect the galley, concept based on an open kitchen principle, (2) the Info Zapper, a device that presents info about the objects you aim it at, and (3) the info space, a galley space that provides information on screens in the galley and on the trolleys.

The concept selection is based on poster feedback sessions, meeting with the client and a requirement checklist. The ‘connect the galley’ concept came out as most suited for this project. A redesigned version of this concept is the ‘Transparency concept’

The ‘Transparency concept’ is new, social, informative, innovative and open. It creates the opportunity for passengers to have conversations with each other while staying in their seats, see the flight crew at work during the flight, order drinks and pay for it with their mobile phones and have the ability to look at the seat area while boarding the plane instead of a solid wall that creates a claustrophobic feeling. The flight crew can work from their ‘open kitchen’, see the orders on the screen in the galley space instead of walking around and ask for it and they don’t have to bring cash because the payments are done digitally.

For Driessen this concept is very interesting because the order screen inside the galley is an add-on for the electric panel that will be redesigned the next few years. Also the transparent wall is an ideal solution for the claustrophobic and isolated atmosphere in the galley space that fits within the production capabilities of Driessen Zodiac Aerospace.

For the airliners, this concept can be interesting because the interaction between the flight crew and the passengers is better then with the current setup. The overall flight experience of the passengers will be perceived as more positive which is good for the airliner’s image.