The graphical user interface (GUI) of an inflight entertainment system is a tricky beast. Over the course of a flight, that little seatback screen becomes the face of the airline to passengers. A poorly designed interface could impact a passenger’s overall satisfaction with the entire experience.
On a recent Delta 737 flight, I remarked how the GUI buried important features three layers deep in menus. The live TV feature required far too many clicks in a text-heavy system for most people to find. Little did I know that Delta already had a new solution ready to go.
It's great that @Delta has live TV on many planes, but it's so buried in a bad GUI. Most passengers miss it. #PaxEx pic.twitter.com/dZXiqCmxgv
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) April 28, 2016
For its new Airbus A321, which was on display at Delta’s recent media day, the carrier loaded a brand new GUI on its Panasonic IFE system. While it’s not revolutionary, the GUI is carefully redesigned to bring important content to the highest levels for ease of access, and represents a radical upgrade from the prior solution.
The new GUI ensures an experience that feels “more like interacting with an iPhone,” according to Joe Kiely, Delta’s managing director – product and customer experience in a statement. And indeed this author can report that a more eye-catching home screen greets passengers as they find their seats, and the higher resolution interface makes it much easier to find content. Overall, it’s a big improvement from the bland and confusing GUI Delta had been using for years.
Delta says the new GUI is now on board its Airbus A321 aircraft “and has started rolling out on the A330 fleet.
“Rollout will continue in late May and into June on Delta’s A319 as well as Boeing 737-900 and 757-300 fleets, with all fleets expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2017.” See RGN’s video review of the new GUI below.