In the spring of 2012, while at Blockdot, we were invited out to Microsoft to work on an app for American Airlines. We didn’t have the time to create a full American Airlines app in the time allowed so we opted to create a unique app that focused on the metrics and data of all American planes which includes departures from hubs, aircraft type and information, all trips in progress and their percentage to completion, and numerous other “geeky” information.
We attempted to create more interesting visuals and focused on using and creating information design through graphs, progress bars, and maps.
The result, however, was short-lived. The Tower, while fun to work on, is no longer a working app. To me, the app would have benefited from using a more clear UI with less fancy terminal map designs. Also, ideally, we would have created a full app with all of the features and functionality that exist on the iOS products. This would have allowed us to take full advantage of Microsoft’s live tiles concept, and also made a more useful app for travelers. Ultimately, the numbers of users/flyers that use Microsoft mobile products does not support creating a full-fledged American app.
After the launch of The Tower on Windows 8, we started planning in earnest to design and build a full AA app for the windows 8 tablet.
We looked into maintaining UI from the AA DSL wherever possible as well as inventing new UI components specifically for this new platform.
Unfortunately this never got off the ground as the windows audience was very small and shrinking. It didn’t make sense to devote resources to such a small audience segment.