Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the world’s fastest-growing airline, with over 170 destinations. They came to Instrument with an aspiration to offer the best airline app in the world — one that handled this magnitude of flights, up-leveled their user experience, and evolved the digital application of their brand. Our goal was to create a true “travel companion,” whose elegance matched their on-board luxury experience.

The Ask

Reimagining the future of Qatar 
Airways by transforming their fastest-growing channel.

Defining what matters most

Drawing from our expertise in research and testing, we set out to define the ideal set of features for the app. In-depth interviews of stakeholders from every part of Qatar Airways’ complex business infrastructure provided us with a thorough understanding of the company’s business and innovation opportunities. User surveys gauged the needs of a wide swath of Qatar Airways customers.

Keeping the needs of our global customer base top-of-mind, we conducted multiple rounds of user testing throughout the design process — across seven time zones — to ensure our final feature set would transcend cultural boundaries.

The Approach

Placing our audience at the center of it all with traveler-centric strategy, design, and testing.

Embracing the journey

A traveler’s journey begins long before and extends far beyond the day of the flight, so we set out to ensure every touchpoint of their experience was considered. We created customer journeys that mapped needs, behaviors, and mindsets to app features, outlining how our app could anticipate a traveler’s needs at every point.

With an opportunity to extend the brand’s elegance and ensure the app reflected the premium quality of Qatar Airways’ in-flight experience, we established a new set of experience principles and design tenets to speak directly to travelers — featuring a color palette inspired by sunsets and cabin lighting, aspirational photography from the traveler’s POV, and silky smooth motion transitions.

Testing by trying

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with our designers and strategists, our creative technologists developed a rich, high fidelity iOS prototype to demonstrate new interaction concepts and updated transitions. This ability to test user experience and design decisions in business-critical areas of the app allowed us to iterate rapidly towards the best solutions.

Throughout component creation, our worldwide audience was top of mind. Designing to platform-specific best practices, we scaled our system to work on both iOS and Android in order to ensure parity of experience, while taking advantage of the best of native functionality. Targeting Qatar Airways’ global, largely Arabic-native customer base, we designed for both left-to-right and right-to-left language considerations.

The Impact

Creating the most intuitive airline app in existence with the ability to serve a global audience.

Crossing cultural borders

Partnering with an international airline client fell at a challenging time for travel — right amid a global pandemic. With our teams collaborating halfway around the world, we defined an app that is more intuitive, engaging, and contextually relevant than any other airline app in existence.

Following delivery in 2020, the brand evolution has been so well received that it is currently being applied to transform the Qatar Airways web experience and other marketing channels to serve the unique needs of their global audience.

Our Role


  • UI / UX Design
  • Localized Design Consideration
  • Creative Direction
  • Art Direction
  • Visual Design
  • Motion Design
  • Accessibility


  • Art Direction
  • Motion Design
  • Copywriting
  • Arabic Translation


  • Prototoype Development
  • Technical Consulting & Research
  • Quality Assurance


  • User Testing
  • Information Architecture
  • Content Strategy
  • UX Strategy
  • Feature & Journey Mapping