The Horror Of Airplanes’ LCD Monitors.


DISCLAIMER: This is my first post on Mockupd, so expect all kinds of grammar and spelling crimes, as well as structure disasters.

Speaking of disasters; you have probably travelled somewhere on a plane, and you have probably had more than one problem during the journey. From seats, to food, to crying babies and mean hosts. Those are normal problems.

Let me tell you about “disasters” that happen on a plane. And while many of you might think a disaster is a crash, well, what I’m about to expose is referred to as “User Interface Disaster”.

Ladies and gentleman, I’m talking about this rectangular disaster in front of your seat, that plays old movies, bad songs, and silly (ridiculously silly) games.


Lately I’ve been traveling a lot from Beirut to San Francisco (Which is almost 16 hours on plane), so I had to spend so much time in front of those screens trying to understand them and analyze the reason they’re that bad. I couldn’t find one.

To be quick and straight to the point, there is no technical barrier that forces those screen from having nice UI, and it actually is harder to build such an ugly design than building a decent one. It just makes no sense that systems such as LCD Monitors on planes that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, cannot afford the design of a 0.99$ app on the iPhone AppStore.

So while I was on my plane back to Lebanon, I tried to design the screen I had in front of me, and this was the best I could illustrate:



Few minutes later, I decided to re-design it, and imagine if I was the designer in charge of designing it in under 10 minutes! And here’s what I came up with:

view 1


view 2


I’m personally not that good of a designer! I just have photoshop, and a taste of what looks good, and what hurts my eyes when looking at it!

So basically what I did here is that I removed all the useless boxes that divided the screen into useless parts taking a huge amount of space, and replaced it with simple elements that will do the job in showing the right information in the right context. I also added this blurry background of a scene in the movie to give the experience a more personalized taste where the user could actually sense some sort of ambiance when browsing through the movies/music/etc…

And as for navigation, I think that a burger menu could do the job instead of taking you back to the main menu that is almost 10 clicks away!

I did this thing out of frustration, and I came up with an idea for a company that targets airlines to fix their designs and provide better quality visuals for their travelers. So if you’re a designer, and know a bunch of other designers, I’d suggest you find an airline with a bad LCD UI, create a full mockup of a potential fix, reach out, and maybe get your first client, and so on and so forth towards other airlines (It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s still a valid Idea).


Well that was my first quick post, hope it wasn’t full of disasters language-wise.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be adding more ideas soon.