Having a strong love for flying, I studied Aviation and Human Factors in college. I had the most amazing opportunity to bring design, human factors, and aviation together as a Pilot Trainer at Trans World Airlines. Every year, airlines must call pilots in from the line to attend several weeks of recurring training. Doing so costs the airline money and removes pilots from flights. How might we approach this problem?
The answer was Computer Based Training for pilot crews. We built our own recording studio and used Authorware, Flash, and SQL Server to design the cockpit interfaces, create all the courses, and testing materials. It was completely uncharted territory. We were translating the pilot’s 3D, everyday world of knobs and switches into something digital. The result was TWA’s first FAA-approved CBT course, used by every pilot in the airline, over 600 hours of training… and several thousand CDs!
TWA was eventually bought by American Airlines and I decided to do something new. I started my own design agency which grew to over 50 clients in 6 months. I continued to create online training, helping companies such as Fire Research Corp train firefighters on their fire engine equipment. St. Louis has a strong financial market and opportunities opened for me to create a usability lab for a financial investment group. These contacts led to something new… with a FinTech startup.