Time to market
For IAMA, an international alliance of companies from the aviation industry – founded by Eclipse Technics, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik – we worked together with colleagues from Holisticon to create a platform that allows various stakeholders to access and further use the information provided by IAMA.
The focus was on implementing functions that enable the creation and management of a new standard.
Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance
Define, issue, and monitor an aircraft modification standard and associated knowledge management.
Provide information on certificates for modifications in a complex subject area; assist in the development of a standard; provide the regulations to meet the IAMA standard in an audit-proof manner.
Creation of a distributed, scalable platform covering all aspects of the development of the IAMA standard, enabling a wide range of clients to deploy, query and assign certified solutions to various fleet characteristics
consulting, product design, UX design, UI design, front-end development
Stencil, Web Components, Angular
The primary goal was to standardize the process of creating and approving modifications, modification components and services related to civil aviation, to make it more transparent and value-adding, and thus to optimize it, especially in terms of duration. In order to obtain such approval, documents - such as documentation, instructions, certificates, technical specifications - must be made available to the various certification bodies (FAA, EASA, ICAO, CAA), each for a defined airspace. These documents are called STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) and supplement the existing approval certificates of the manufacturers.
Up to now, there is no standard outside of the aviation regulations for the creation and implementation of a modification, which can lead in particular to disadvantages in the transfer of ownership of aircraft.
Among other things, the alliance was founded to minimize this disadvantage.
In order to meet these technically and organizationally complex requirements, we joined forces with our colleagues at Holisticon to put together an interdisciplinary, agile team that examined the various aspects of the project together with our client during a two-day requirements workshop. During this workshop, it became clear that a web-based platform would be the most suitable tool to meet the functional requirements. In a further workshop, user needs were explicitly examined in order to focus on them in the further product design process.
In the course of the further UX design and UI design development, various responsible persons from IAMA were regularly involved in the process, since there had to be a permanent exchange regarding the specific requirements due to the parallel development of the IAMA standard in the form of a rulebook and the associated interactions.
As an interface between the UX/UI team and the development team, the front-end technology stack was divided into two domains. Thus, in addition to documenting requirements and documenting the business and user-specific concept, we developed all UI design resources in the form of Web Components (or Custom Elements) and made them available in a separate package. These resources were then integrated and used by the frontend team in the various services to implement the required views of the Angular application.
Together with all project participants, we succeeded in creating a distributed, service-oriented platform that enables IAMA to achieve its business goals - even under conditions that have changed significantly as a result of Covid-19 - as well as to offer real added value to the platform's users.
Thus, within a short period of time, the alliance has managed to find several new competitors and establish a significant position within the MRO market.
To this day, the product is subject to constant changes and enhancements, to which we continue to contribute in the form of design considerations and front-end implementation of design components.
Nicole Noack Managing Director, Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance
Chroma Experience gave us great advice and led us to an ideal result in many open and honest discussions. Besides the know-how, I especially appreciate this consulting culture that we experienced with Chroma Experience.
In order to meet the challenges of this project, our prior knowledge from a previous project in the aircraft modification environment was very helpful. This allowed us to draw on a solid basic understanding of this complex market. Understanding the specific requirements was not only an exciting and interesting process due to the close exchange and open cooperation with the responsible parties, but also an extremely pleasant one. All questions were considered intensively and in detail and discussed without reservation. In the process, we and thus the project result were able to benefit from the extraordinary expertise of our contact persons.
By the way, MRO is the abbreviation for Machine Repair and Overhaul.
We iterated over our designs for the service cut, the operating concept, and the design of the user interfaces in regular cycles, incorporating stakeholder feedback. This enabled us to create a basis that had been evaluated in terms of technicality, usability and feasibility to such an extent that it was possible to proceed very purposefully in further development.
We described the results of the technical and user workshops in the form of written documentation - especially for the project team - and used this as a basis for recording use cases in the form of user flows. These were refined in the form of wireframes and finally transformed into an interface design. With simple prototypes we were able to give a comprehensive impression of the product within a short time.
Since we started at a very early stage to understand the user interfaces as a composition of UI components and to keep these in a design component library, we were able to deal with adjustments at short notice and to work in parallel with the design team on the various services.
In its documented form, the resulting component library served as a content interface between the design and front-end development disciplines.
To meet the business and operational requirements, it made sense to use Angular as the frontend application framework.
Angular brings the necessary tooling to implement and deploy reusable UI components - but only in the Angular context. Since we had to use other frontend technologies - e.g. the interfaces of the Keycloak instance are delivered as Plain HTML - we decided against Angular components as the central UI technology and instead used a standards-compliant technology with Web Components (also called Custom Elements). Web Components offer the advantage of being able to be presented in modern browsers without any further dependencies. In addition, we were thus able to make the technical cut between the frontend application and the frontend presentation to ensure that we could implement the specified frontend architecture in a clean and distinct manner.
Nicole Noack Managing Director, Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance
For us, the biggest challenge was that we wanted to lay the foundation for a permanently growing system within the shortest possible time and while still in the start-up phase. In addition to the selection of the technologies themselves, a future-proof user interface that is easy to use and at the same time corresponds to the CI was important.
Another significant advantage of this approach was the possibility to work on the application and the UI components simultaneously and with a larger team. Thus, we produced a first version of each UI component as a functional component that was used directly in the application. Subsequently, we worked on giving each component its own specific look and feel. These new components could be distributed just like adaptations of existing components over the package management - in this case npm.
The result is a project-specific design system that is a relevant and consistent part of the entire process, starting with the UX design process and ending with the front-end implementation. We can react to adaptations and extensions by intervening in a domain- and technology-independent tooling and thus meet current and future requirements without constraints and dependencies while strictly adhering to the content constraints.