Project Overview

01 Summary

During my time with United Airlines, I collaborated with various stakeholders and external parties to bring numerous important enhancements to the Reservation Details experience within our iOS and Android mobile apps.

02 The Challenges
  1. Content hierarchy needed significant improvement to better prioritize customer self service for their travel journey
  2. Lack of consistency with design patterns and messaging were contributing to cognitive overload
  3. To achieve desired functionality for some features, additional software tools and third parties were needed
03 Users & Audience

All United Airline's customers! During the 2023 year-end holiday travel period alone 8.3 Million people were expected to fly with United Airlines.

04 Role(s)

Sr. UX Designer

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Case Study

The Process

Collaborating closely with our Product Owner's and Business Analysts, I worked to redesign the Manage Reservation experience in the app to improve key metrics, address customer feedback, and add delightful functionality. We coordinated with our Test & Learn team to test 5 variants live within the app to demonstrate statistically significant improvements.

01 Empathize

Analytics & Customer Feedback


Feedback from customers and data from our analytics team indicated that United Airlines customers were struggling to complete important self-service actions, notably changing their seats. In addition, over time multiple teams within United had added new sections and features to the manage reservation page without considering the overall hierarchy and customer experience. As a result key CTA's had been pushed down the page, and design patterns were confusing and inconsistent.

Old designs

Competitor & Peer Review


In addition to reviewing data and feedback from customers, I also conducted competitor and peer review of similar reservation management experiences and looked for design patterns across popular apps and on sites like Mobbin.

Competitor & Peer Review

02 Define

Goals, Design Patterns, & Feature Definition


It was important at this stage that we aligned closely with our Product Stakeholders on goal definition for the project. We identified the following:

  • Bring important trip actions higher on the page
  • Consolidate information and reduce cognitive load to make it easier for our customers to find important info and self service
  • Make the experience more consistent by reducing the number of design styles on page by using existing styles from elsewhere in the app
  • Consider future functionality and actions we are exploring for the app
Design Patterns

One design pattern that we wanted to explore was the "tile" buttons that we had incorporated on the "My United" screen. We also saw similar patterns in use in our peer and competitor review.

My United Tiles

I also wanted to experiment with a drawer concept, which we saw in numerous peer and competitor experiences. We had also implemented this in a few places within the United Airlines app like our "Shop By Map" feature and our boarding pass page.

Shop By Map Drawer
Future Functionality

While identifying opportunities to improve the current design, I was also tasked with factoring in future functionality from our Product Roadmap. Notably, we were working with our Contextual Content Engine (CCE) team to implement destination imagery to this experience. We also were looking into giving our customers the ability to rename their trips for another layer of personalization.

Destination Imagery & Rename Trips

We were also in collaboration with Meta to bring a dynamic new way to share an upcoming trip with your friends and family via Instagram and Facebook Stories.

Meta Partnership

03 Ideate & Design

UI Design


With the project scope and goals now defined, I underwent multiple rounds of design ideation, exploration, and iterations. During this time I regularly received feedback from our internal UX team, our Atmos Team (Design System), as well as product and development stakeholders.

Design explorations

As we progressed through the project, some design patterns began to emerge as favorites and the variants we wanted to test started to solidify.


04 Prototype/Development

Test & Learn Development


Working with our Test & Learn team we identified a control and 5 variants for testing. I worked closely with their development team by uploading high-fidelity UI iOS designs into Zeplin, and establishing logic rules and associated designs for various edge cases such as international destinations and contextual updates throughout the travel journey.

Sample of Variants



In addition to the high fidelity designs I created comprehensive semantic order documentation and partnered closely with our accessibility experts for screen reader instructions.

Semantic Order

05 Test



We ensured that clear eligibility rules and success criteria were established prior to rolling out the Test & Learn experiment. A percentage of iOS customers received one of the five total variants live within the United Mobile app. This experiment continued until statistical significance was established for our primary and secondary criteria.

Test & Learn Plan


Variant 2 was the winner! I've outlined the modifications below that this variant introduced, which led to significant improvements to the self service metrics listed above. This variation has also led to an increase in revenue for the "Change seats" flow given its increased prominence on the page. This version of the Manage Reservation experience is now officially live in the United Airlines app for both iOS and Android users.

Winning Variant

Top 5 Things I Learned

Due to the significant volume of traffic to the Reservation Details page and its subsequent flows, this was an extremely important project for my professional development. Here are some of the top things I learned during the project:

  1. Test Assumptions: By partnering with the Test & Learn team, we took an extremely data-focused approach to improving this experience, testing numerous variants and design patterns live within the app to determine statistical significance. While we had preferred designs it was important to test our assumptions with customers.
  2. Pivot when needed: The functionality we hoped to achieve to allow customers to share their trip in an engaging way with friends and family had a lot of iterations and required us to pivot away from one partner to ultimately work with Meta.
  3. Think ahead: Given that there were numerous improvements we wanted to implement over time it was important to factor in future functionality and actions as I designed.
  4. Consider edge cases: It was important to consider edge cases as we designed, for example the character length for travel destinations, how that would impact the design, and potential solutions.
  5. Advocate for accessibility: Ensuring that we followed accessibility best practices was vital and I created comprehensive semantic order documentation for our development team to assist with focus order and customer screen readers.

"Exploration is curiosity put into action" - Don Walsh
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