MediaLAB Amsterdam is now the Digital Society School! You are viewing an archive of MediaLAB projects. Content on this website may be outdated, and is without guarantee.

Baggage Reclaim

How to change behavior and experience around the baggage reclaim belt of Schiphol Airport




Fast forward, play, pause: Iterate

Where are we now? What are the facts we want to drive our concept on and how can we use them so? This was the beginning of the past few weeks. Our goal was to come up with a concept and make something! We started focussing on the core problem and the initial goal of the project which we stated was: Crowding around the belt.

First to design a concept fitting the assigners requirements and make sure we don’t loose sight on important factors, we have made a first draft on design principles acting as a checklist to confront our concepts. After the draft was reviewed by the assigners who had some insights from their point of view we came to a ‘final’ version.


After that we went into fast forward concepting mode, a day long we brainstormed about possible solutions to decrease crowding around the belt and enhance passengers experience. We have used dot voting to eventually compose one concept and for a persona with the persona grid that connects to the concept.


“The concept goal is to help the foreign passengers to step out of the belt surroundings and helps to relieve the worries concerning their bag with an entertaining and valuable waiting experience (planning their next steps, looking forward a positive experience). By anticipating their future journey, they don’t only focus only the baggage belt anymore.”

We do this by guiding the passenger through different touch-points, which will be explained in the concept scenario. The different touchpoints have a different aim to guide the passenger.

Touchpoint 1; Attract attention (Notify the passenger of the service)
Touchpoint 2; Video (Inform the passenger about the service)
Touchpoint 3; iBeacon (Guiding the passenger to the different parts of the service – the pinpoints)
Touchpoint 4; Pinpoints (Provide passenger with information about their next steps, to divide their attention)

Paper Prototyping

However, we realised that the passengers won’t step out of the belt if we don’t relieve their bag worries, appearing as the main passengers pain points. By giving them, the assurance that their baggage is on the process and that they would be notificated when its on the belt, it enables them to de-crowd and do valuable things.

After the translate session we started to think of the feedbacks we had. One of the most valuable insight we had was the fact that the concept we came up with missed a lot of check boxes on our design principles, the main one being the fact that the service should link to the main goal of the passenger which is; grabbing their luggage.

Next we started to make a tangible version of the situation. To know where we could place the service / product, which touchpoints to use and not disturb the other services working in the reclaim area.


While being in the process of making the model a concept was soon coming to life. Why not anthromorphise the baggage belt? Being the link between the passenger and their baggage, the belt is a transmitter which can send and receive message to/from the passengers. So the passenger is in touch with the process, feels in control of the process and is notified when the process is almost done. 

For this we made a quick prototype, since the peer pitch came closer. Fast prototyping to make our ideas visible in a fast way.


As a first touchpoint, we took the Schiphol wifi landing page through which a pop up will lead the user to our web app. By scanning or uploading your travel ticket, the belt bot recognises you and will speak to you personally. Also, scanning the tag will enable the bot to track the passenger baggage and give him notification of his bag process. When the baggage is about to arrive in the reclaim, a notification will be send by the ChatBelt. If your baggage is not there, the chatbelt will facilitate the communication between you and the assistance for lost baggages. 20161201_151510

During the review, the concept of turning the belt into a smart chatbot was really appreciated by the assigners. Nevertheless, numbers of technical issues were raised as well as the lack of entertainment in between the notifications. The next step in our concept progress will be to make a clickable prototype taken into account the feedback we have received to make the concept more complete and test it as soon as possible.

“ To design interventions : start small, observe, analyze and iterate ”

The past few weeks, we focused on the passengers automatic behaviour of crowding and how to disrupt it. The first step was to determine the current situation by mapping the passengers movement within the reclaim hall
img_7012 img_7007



Through this observation, few behavioral patterns were underlined. The first is the fact that the passengers try to avoid the bigger crowd when they crowd around the belt. Also they tend to make micro lines as soon as the baggages arrive at the belt. We observed that when a amount of passengers have already received their baggage the remaining part, gets very anxious and start overlapping each others field of comfort.

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-19-24-48To better understand what lead individual to crowd while waiting and what this automatic behaviour triggers as emotions and feelings, we looked for previous researches on the subject. One of the main findings was that every individual has a field of comfort and a field of influence. The field of influence acts like a magnetic field which attracts individual when their field of comfort overlap. If the field of comfort is independent of the field of influence of another, theres no interaction. And if to much field of comfort overlap, it creates uncomfort and anxiety.
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-12-57-55As a result of this literature review, few guidelines were used to conceptualise our design interventions.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-12-45-52 screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-12-46-08 screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-12-45-59




Notably, we observed the limits of the goal we wanted to achieve : decreasing the crowd. Indeed, the reclaim area is a defined space where a variable amount of passengers transit. For those reasons, we can’t decrease the crowd, we can only organise or entertain. As a follow up we did a boundary shifting exercise to come up with different angels for prototyping a solution.

We have used the method by individually search for settings where design interventions where made to adjust the urban or personal setting of a space to enhance the experience.

img_67f84Because we can not test our ideas in the reclaim area, we first started in a smaller environment where we have observed the same situation as in the reclaim area. Which is that people crowd around their main goals, since they have no direct sense of direction. This area is the kitchen of Medialab Amsterdam which is used by different people.


As a first prototype we tried to suggest Medialabers to follow vinyl dots we put on the floor as signage for each main point of interest (coffee machine, sink, locker and plate). When the area was not so busy the experiment went pretty well but as soon as, the space start to be crowded or that another strong point of interest such as a grocery bag is introduced, the dot path wasn’t respected anymore.

Following the dots

To turn this intervention into a more persuasive one, we put lines between the dots to trace a really clear path to the point of interest. We observed that the lines were too small to be considered as a path and were more considered as a corridor.


Through interviews with users, we realised that the past experiences had a big influence on individual behavior and that the intervention should be at the same eye level as the strongest point of interest, for us, the baggage belt. In the next days, we are planning to design new interventions but this time in a real scale setting, the baggage reclaim!

Beforehand, we will also test the concepts themselves with the help of our customizable persona and see if the intervention can have a positive impact on all kind of passengers. This customisable persona is based on our past desk research and validated by our target group.


Verifying our persona with the target group to see if he can finds himself in the persona.


To be continued…

 “Gamification could very well simulate the experience of the baggage reclaim process and stimulate feedback from both the target group and stakeholders.”

Makersprint Presentation

Within this makersprint we created a game for the users of our prototype to let them feel what is is like to be in the shoes of our found target groups. To challenge them to share their empathic emotions and past experiences of going through the baggage reclaim process.

Define Destination
This semester we will be working on the improvement of the baggage reclaim process on Schiphol airport. In this makersprint the goal is to get to know the available equipments and start untangling our assignment. We will be making our first prototype in just a few days.

Methods used

  • Desk Research
  • Brainstorm Session
  • Persona
  • Low Fidelity Prototyping
  • User Testing
  • High Fidelity Prototyping

Makersprint Brainstorm session

Flight around the web
To kick it off, we started with our first team brainstorm session. By writing everything down we could come up with around the Schiphol Baggage reclaim process. After this we discussed what we were missing and filled this up with some desk-research and customer experience reviews found online. As a next step we divided everything into categories, pinpointing the topics we could use in our the makers sprint. To get a clear overview we mapped it all on the window, which gave us the insight that we should focus on the user experience of the baggage reclaim process.

Defining User Problems

After brainstorming, we decided to make a board game basing the rules and game personas on our found research. Classifying their purpose and situating in the placement on the gameboard.  The purpose of the game is to create an opportunity to discuss the experiences in the baggage reclaim area and experience how other passengers feel in each situation.

“The baggage reclaim area is like a desert. A place where no brand new inventions are around. Just simply getting your baggage and get out. It is a challenge to come up with something to make this small but important piece of travelling something to remember. It is the last part of the airport with no one but travelers, it is the last thing that still makes you a little part of the “flight world”.

Crossing Borders
Broading equipment knowledge at the Makerslab. To go into the realisation process of our idea, we had to decide which equipments we’re going to use. To gain as much knowledge of the equipments as possible we made the disision to use multiple equipments each.

First Prototype!

Equipments Used
Laser printer & cutter; Base of Board game & Character Tokens
Foam cutter; Suitcases
Vinyl printer; Board Signing
Conventional printer; Game Cards

Software Used
Adobe Illustrator; Design of Board game & Tokens’
Adobe Indesign; Design of Game Cards

Checking out
At the end of this sprint we concluded we would take this board to the next level in our next sprint. Since it has proven itself to be a worthy method to connect ourselves to the assignment and the target group.

  • Players really enjoyed the game and found the situations written on the card funny and close to what they have experienced.
  • People like an oral explanation better than printed instructions
  • The game was perceived as funny and valuable
  • A great tool to engage meaningful discussions
  • New insight possibilities for future research