How my technology obsession formed my design philosophy

One often hears people talk about passion for mobile and technology. For me, it’s more of an obsession teetering on addiction. Who am I kidding? I am officially an addict. I recently took the ‘Smartphone Abuse Test‘ and answered YES to all 15 questions. I have a gravitational pull to my devices and experience some degree of withdrawal if I can’t access them every minute.

The bright side to my addiction is that it has been a formidable driver all my adult life; from my education in Computer Science to my first experience with Internet on-the-go. I love the crazy pace mobile offers. I soak up as much of it as I can, constantly downloading apps and thinking about how an app could be better, or how user flows could be simpler to avoid repetition. The frustration I feel when an app I want to use is not trying to improve my experience drives my passion for making unrivaled products that customers like and return to again and again.

At Egencia®, we are obsessed with building beautiful designs that are innovative, simple to use and most of all solve our customers’ needs. Egencia® TripNavigator app is a fine example.

If you think about it, right from the days of Mom-n-Pop stores to e-retailers, one thing hasn’t changed – all customers want to feel catered to. Whether it is because they remember your name, shipping address, or what you looked for during your last visit. We applied this philosophy to our app and now, no two Egencia® TripNavigator home screens are the same – what you see on your home screen depends on your own personal experience.

I personally benefit greatly from this feature. For example, I travel to our European HQ in Paris several times a year. Because I like to rack up airline miles (who doesn’t?), and because I am a creature of habit, I take the same airline, route and class every time. But I no longer need to enter this information every time I book my Paris trip. With Egencia® TripNavigator, I see all my frequently booked flights and airlines. It’s not about searching, it’s about finding.

I know what I like – so do most travelers. But what about finding what you need on a flight you’ve never taken before? This was a pain-point we addressed by integrating Routehappy’s flight data into our mobile app. How did this come about?

Recently we ran a two-day hackathon project with our software development team to come up innovative solutions that solve for customer issues. The resulting Routehappy connection loads up information on flight amenities to let travelers book the trip that provides just what they need or want. When you are always on the go, phones seem to be constantly low on power – don’t we all hate it when that happens? It’s helpful if we can easily find out if a flight has an outlet at the seat or if Wi-Fi is available. That’s what the Routehappy integration does. This concierge-like feature for flight shopping and for trip details is an unexpected delight for business travelers as it provides a service previously only available in the consumer market.

So what’s next? Companies tend to focus only on what the future of a particular industry may be, or try to jump on the latest technology bandwagon. In my opinion, this is not a successful long-term strategy. A more important question than what will change in the future is what will not change, especially when it comes to customer needs. I obsess over technology and design, and what I’ve learned is that design should be in service to what will always remain relevant to consumers from the days of ‘mom and pop’ operations to today’s digital services. This could be lower prices, access to all content all the time, or that special, personalized service. As long as we keep that in mind, we will continue to push the envelope for meeting the needs of business travel!