Etihad Airways

UX, UI, Brand & Identity Design

Project Overview

On average, over 8 million people travel on an airplane every year. While in transit, a majority of the passengers use the in-flight-entertainment system, especially if it's a long distance flight. However, most of today's in-flight entertainment systems are still stuck in the ‘90s.

My Role

My responsibilities for this project was to rethink and redesign an in-flight entertainment system along with rebranding the airlines identity, enhancing the brand and value with a digital user experience. As the sole UI/UX Designer, I was responsible for determining the overall design direction of the project such as wireframing, creating style guides, ui mockups and prototyping.

Company Overview

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has in just eight years established itself as the world’s leading airline. “Etihad” is the Arabic word for “union”.

Set up by Royal (Amiri) Decree in July 2003, Etihad commenced commercial operations in November, 2003, and has gone on to become the fastest growing airline in the history of commercial aviation.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the airline’s hub. Etihad’s fleet of 66 aircraft operates more than 1000 flighs per week, serving an international network of 84 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Etihad Airways also owns nearly 30 percent of airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest carrier and 40 percent of Air Seychelles.

The airline seeks to reflect the best of Arabian hospitality – cultured, considerate, warm and generous – as well as enhance the prestige of Abu Dhabi as a centre of hospitality between East and West.

Etihad Airways has received a range of awards that reflect its position as the leading premium airline brand in the world, including ‘World’s Leading Airline’ at the World Travel Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

View PDF Case Study


• User Research
• Customer Experience
• E-Commerce
• Branding and Identity
• Interaction Design
• Wireframing
• Prototyping
• UI Design
• UX Design
• Visual Direction
• Copy Writing


• Adobe Photoshop CC
• Adobe Illustrator CC
• Balsamiq Mockups
• Invision App

Experience Goals

• Optimize user experience for battery life and cabin environment.

• Utilize benefits of user experience, while minimizing limitations of the OS for guests.

• Provide for easy access to movies, television series, games, magazines, music, duty free shopping and in-flight connection experiences (in-flight WiFi).

• The experience needed to be customizable to support future airline brands.


Create a unique mobile experience by including all of the in-flight entertainment system and service features from the seat-back application.

Consider new features that will align with business goals and appeal to current and new users.

1st Problem

"Etihad passengers need a quick, convenient solution to duty free shopping."

Root Cause: Lack of time, so our solution will focus on efficiency and convenience.

2nd Problem

• “Etihad passengers need an easy, solution to communicate and connect with to other passengers while onboard.”

Root Cause: Feature not available on current in-flight entertainment system.


Redesign the existing in-flight entertainment system with additional key features that will enhance the passenger travel experience increasing user engagement.


I brainstormed and added new features that I felt aligned with both the user goals, our persona, and the business goals of Etihad Airlines.

• In-Air Duty Free Shopping
Browse and purchase through a vast selection of fragrances, liquor, wine, cosmetics, cigarettes, luxury goods and jewelry while in-air.

• Online Chatting
Creating a chat room to connect with other family members, friends and other passengers with similar travel needs, such as sharing a taxi at the destination or recommendations of restaurants, sites and attractions.

• Lavatory Status
Be able to the check the status on the lavatory if its occupied or vacant through the lavatory status feature without getting out of your seat.

• Order Food
Order and enjoy snacks, drinks and other premium foods.

• In-Air Library
Turn the pages to explore a vast collection of online books and magazines while in-air.


We created two personas that reflected Etihad Airways customer base.

User Journey

We created two personas that reflected Etihad Airways customer base.