LATAM Airlines



My third project while working at Globant for LATAM Airlines was the Ancillary Market. For context, LATAM had implemented a new sales model in May 2017 that consisted in offering branded fares for the domestic market as a low cost model that gave customers the possibility to personalize their trip adding ancillary purchases. I was assigned to the project a few months after the new sales model was implemented. By then, the ancillary market platform (internally called Ancillary Market) had been in production for a few months.


The situation as I took on the project had several issues. Due to time constraints, the ancillary market platform had to be put in production the day of the implementation of the new sales model. Though the team was able to make the deadline, it was not built the way they would have preferred due to the fact that they would have needed more time. I spent the first few months of the project working alongside the development team to improve bugs and technical debts that were not able to be solved before the deadline. As this went on, in parallel we began preparing for a new inception to build a more robuts application that would be able to support all the future ancillaries LATAM would be launching to market.

Mobile and Desktop screenshot of the old Ancillary Market:



Phase I: Discovery

As the current platform was functional for the 2 ancillaries being sold at that time, the team knew that as soon as new ancillaries would be incorporated into the business, the platform would not be enough to meet the company’s and the user’s demand. The teams working for the new sales model were restructured and the new platform would be built with API’s. We had a little over a month to work on a discovery for a two week long inception that would include 5 teams in total for the new ancillary market platform.

✓ On field observations & user interviews at the airport

We began by collecting qualitative data from our users with on field observations and user interviews at the 3 main airports for LATAM in Chile and Brazil. Our goal was to fully understand the whole journey of our users regarding the new sales model and to identify their needs and paint points they may suffer during the day of their flight. The insights we would collect would be to minimize the negative impact that the online platform may cause on the airport and other channels.

During the observations we perceived the stress and anxiety our passengers experience the hours before their flight for different reasons. We also gathered many insights of the main problems they have during the self check-in and bag tag, baggage drop off, boarding gate, etc. We realized how little information we provide on our site and how difficult it is to access that information.

The observations and interviews allowed us to discover the importance of designing a complete experience not only focusing on our digital product, but the whole ecosystem it lives in.

✓ Competitive Landscape & Industry Trends

We carried out a first benchmark with the objective of identifying trends and good design practice in e-commerce sites that did not include airlines with criteria that where proper of online shopping carts, sales strategies, and good checkout and payment experiences. The second benchmark was fully focused on airlines with the distinction between low cost and non-low-cost airlines to identify differences in their sales and marketing strategies for ancillaries throughout the digital journey.

The process consisted first on defining the objective of both benchmarks, defining the players that where to be analyzed based on business competition criteria and good UX practices, setting up the evaluation scale and data to be recollected, following with the execution and the analysis of the data. The highlights where presented to stakeholders and development teams in the inception as an introduction that also served as inspiration.


✓ Google Analytics

In order to study more in-depth user behavior, we began by defining a measurement strategy in Google Analytics to obtain quantitative data. The KPI’s defined to be measured with GA where conversion rate and time on task.


✓ Hotjar

As a complement to Google Analytics, we used Hotjar to analyze movement and clicks through recordings and heat maps. Although this sample is much less representative, we obtained valuable qualitative data that allowed us to learn from the mistakes and difficulties the platform had at the moment.


✓ AB testing

Another research we realized to study more in-depth user behavior was through AB Tests with the platform that was in production. An example of one AB test we realized was a multivariable test to promote a discount when purchasing prior to the hours before the flight so we could reduce impact at the airport.


✓ User feedback insights

Last but not least, we obtained user feedback through Usabilla and Twitter, and listened to calls from the Contact Center to understand their main pain points either on the site, at the airport, or onboard. We also closely monitored CSAT through Usabilla achieving an increase in 137% customer satisfaction in a period of 6 months.


Phase II: Definition

Once having valuable data recollected from the discovery phase, we moved on to the definition phase to prepare for the inception. The steps we realized in this phase are the following:

✓ Customer Use Cases

In order to get to know our users’ needs, we had to think of all the cases that a user would need to buy an ancillary on our platform. From all the research and interactions we had with the users in the discovery phase, we extracted different contexts and segment, described their thoughts, feelings and what their necessities where. In order to know which use case was more common, we were backed by data aided from our PO.


✓ Customer Empathy Maps

We did a few empathy activities with the team before de inception to fully understand who we were designing for. From the observations and interviews at the airport we were able to extract their thought and feelings, what they see, hear, speak, do, their frustrations and attitude in public, etc. These activities were key to think about the customer, and not our own experiences when travelling.



✓ Customer Journey Map

The next step was to prepare the journey maps based on the different use cases, so we could have a functionality brainstorming activity with the team based on the customer’s journey. We began by defining the phases of the journey (pre-travel, going to the airport, at the airport, onboard, at destination, post travel, etc.) all based on the observations we made from the discovery phase. We then defined the objective the customer has in each phase followed with the activities and touchpoints they realize in each phase. These activities were omnichannel, not only digital touchpoints. We also described the mood and pain points they had in each phase after observing at the airport the highs and lows they suffer during their whole travel experience. The last row of the journey map that was about the opportunities were left blank so we could brainstorm with the development team what improvements could be made coming from our digital product based on each phase of the customer journey.


 ✓ Micro hypothesis Backlog

Once we had our opportunities from the journey map activity, we were able to list them out in micro hypothesis and put together a backlog along with our PO to prioritize based on the impact they would have on the KPIs. "We believe… (assumption around customer need), if we build… (solution), then it will change…. (customer behavior/feeling/ or business action), which will result in… (KPI impact), we will know if we are right if… (evidence/data)."


✓ Flow Diagrams and Wireframes

Our final activity before the inception was to have a flow diagrams to be able to show to our stakeholders the ideal experience in a conceptual level. We also tested guerilla a few wireframes with users to take these insight to the inception as well.


End of phase II: Inception – The New LATAM Store

To conclude our definition phase and before continuing with the delivery phase, we were ready to have our first inception with the teams that would be working on the API’s for the new Ancillary Market. We would later on have a second inception with the team that would be working on the front end of the new platform to focus more on the redesign of the Ancillary Market.



Overall, I am very happy with the results working for the Ancillary Market in LATAM. Leading the discovery and definition process, having to prepare 2 inceptions and help moderate and facilitate de UX activities as well as pre-inception workshops, helped me learn a lot more about user research and to feel more comfortable facilitating these types of activities with development teams and presenting user research to stakeholders. Although I did not get to participate in the final designs for the new LATAM Store, I am very happy with how the first two phases of the project worked out and how I was able to set a base for the new designs to come. I can’t wait to see how it turns out in production.

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