AEIR* is a Dayton, Ohio-based regional airline carrier with more than 3,900 employees and 800 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations. As a growing company with continuous employment needs they needed a website that would serve as a best-in-class recruiting tool — and an eye-catching advertisement for the unique aspects of their company culture.
*Name changed for the purpose of this case study.
As a frontend design apprentice at Sparkbox, I was tasked with designing a flexible layout system for a homepage and several career-focused landing pages. Each landing page needed to:
- Highlight AEIR’s exceptional video testimonials
- Deliver key information about job descriptions and qualifications
- Creatively convey the airline’s personality
To accomplish that in a manner benefitting the airline’s needs and the needs of their audience, Sparkbox provided me with reference material that included in-depth experience strategy documentation, brand guidelines, and low-fidelity wireframes.
One of the most exciting aspects of this project was that I was given a high degree of freedom to redefine the look and feel of AEIR’s digital presence, including the company’s core brand colors and typography.
To do so effectively, I knew it was crucial to understand the narrative the airline wanted to convey about themselves to perspective hires.
This brand vocabulary list was invaluable to the process:
- Stable and Growing
- Professional, But Not Stuffy
I was particularly inspired by the last two items on the list. Approachable and delightful are both admirable traits for individuals in public-facing roles (such as Flight Attendants), and felt like key terms to try to convey visually.
So I used a moodboard to explore how photography of real-life AEIR employees could convey that sense of friendliness, and be complemented by a modernist, buttoned-up sort of sensibility — another crucial aspect of the airline’s brand.
Early Visual Explorations
Once I’d established a solid visual direction, it was time translate it to AEIR’s career landing pages.
An element collage helped me quickly iterate ideas for reusable content modules at a very high level of fidelity — and get feedback — without having to design an entire landing page, or even spend too much time exploring the wrong ideas.
Not every single one of these ideas made the cut. In initial discussions, the styled video element didn’t feel quite inline with a modernist aesthetic. And at a glance, it was also somewhat similar in appearance to an embedded YouTube video — which wouldn’t necessarily communicate the impression that videos are a must-watch aspect of AEIR’s website.
By hearing this feedback so early on, I had plenty of time to strategize a better approach — one in which exaggerated geometric shapes (inspired by the wing-like pins that adorn AEIR uniforms) were used to drive attention to the videos.
I also had time to consider how that style might enhance other modules, and influence the overall visual language of the website.
Another key interactive element included a crew base selector, intended to help potential hires understand the local flavor and diverse cultural capital of each city AEIR maintains a crew base in: