Delta Airlines

In-Flight Entertainment System Design

Re-design the Delta in-flight entertainment system for an academic project.


Design Researcher, UX/UI Designer


Surveys, Persona, Customer Journey Map, Empathy Map, Wireframes, Flowchart, Competitor Analysis, Use Case Scenarios, Hi-Fi Prototype

Project Timeline

6 Weeks

Design Challenge

How might we redesign an in-flight entertainment system during a pandemic?


IFE systems are not up to date with technology standards even though most of them have the capacity for it. Airlines have had to rethink how passengers travel during the pandemic. Many Individuals do not feel comfortable touching public surfaces and almost all of the IFE systems on plane are touchscreens.


Re-design of the Delta IFE system that allows passengers to connect their devices to use as their own personal remote.


Users want to use their personal device to navigate interface
• Users want to connect their bluetooth headphones to the system
• Afraid to touch IFE system


Project Brief

2020 has been a life altering year for many individuals.
The way people interact in the outside world has changed indefinitely. Many Individuals feel unsafe without face masks, and they do not feel comfortable touching public surfaces.

One area affected significantly from COVID-19 is the airline industry. Globally, we have to rethink the way systems work in order for people to feel safe again.

For this project, I researched and designed an in-flight entertainment system in a COVID-19 era.


Observational & Primary Research

I was surprised that Delta’s current IFE system had a small amount of icon use. They had no seat controls on the interface, however they were above the seat. I was unable to reach the seat controls above me without loosening my seat belt and standing up a little to turn the air off or turn a light on.

They have a side navigation bar on the left side and a spotlight home screen showing a carousel of featured movies to watch.

Delta IFE system home screen

User Survey Questions & Results

I conducted in person interviews and sent out a survey which received 25 responses.

  • 90% of people said they would use a remote on their personal device to navigate the interface
  • 50% of people said they would use in-flight tips and tricks for exercises to do in their seat
  • 30% of people said they would maybe use in-flight tips and tricks for exercises to do in their seat
Screenshot of survey data


“Touch screen has been unreliable (some parts of screen not responsive) or not properly cleaned/wiped.”

“I had no idea how to work the entertainment system and was afraid to try. Would definitely feel more comfortable if I knew I can control it using my phone.”

“Connecting the in-flight entertainment system to Bluetooth Headphones”

Empathy Map

Empathy map for my user James Newman who is a music highschool teacher. He has some anxiety about traveling during a pandemic.

Empathy map


Customer Journey Map

Competitor Analysis

I chose to do my competitive analysis on both domestic and international airlines to better understand the pros and cons of each airlines IFE system.


I focused on music, food, and seat controls to dive deeper into their organization.

Use Case Scenarios

  1. James boards the flight and finds his seat. Once he gets organized he puts on his seatbelt. After the plane takes off he views a message from the IFE System that has instructions on how to use it, he decides to scan the QR code and use the remote on his phone. He is able to connect his headphones to the IFE System and he takes a look at the music. He selects the KCRW radio station and stars selected songs that he thinks his students will like. He is able to send the songs directly to his email. 
  2. James boards the flight and realizes he wants a snack. When the flight takes off he connects his phone to the IFE system to use as a remote. He selects food/drinks in the navigation bar and goes into categories, diets, paleo and browses the paleo section. He selects unsalted dried fruit and nut mix and a Bison Bacon Cranberry Epic bar. He is able to pay with Apple Pay and his wait time is less than 3 minutes for his order.  The flight attendant arrives in 2 minutes to deliver his order. 
  3. James is sitting in his airplane seat an hour into his flight. He just woke from a nap and his body is sore. Jame thinks to himself that he doesn't want to wake up the passengers next to him so he decides to play around in the IFE system. He connects his phone to use as a remote and sees on the dashboard a tip for airplane seat friendly exercises. He selects the tip and begins the walkthrough for exercises.

From these three scenarios I chose the first one to design my wireframes and prototype around. I focused on the music section of the interface.

Visual Asset Inventory List


Final UI Screens

After getting feedback from peers and professor Anvari, I decided to reorganize the bottom navigation and add text to each icon indicating what it does. I also moved the bluetooth, wi-fi, and settings to the top left and added the current time and time of arrival to the top of the screen. To break up the bottom navigation I added an announcement bar to display a message from the pilots or flight attendants.

When James Newman selects the KCRW radio station a message will pop up suggesting to connect his bluetooth headphones to the system or plug them in. 

I decided to create a multi-step form that the user can go through to send their favorite songs to themselves or a friend because it was too much information to display all at once. 

View the prototype in Figma


It's important to consider the organization of information. From the feedback given from peers and my professor I learned that I should consider the categories and placement of information for a better user experience.