Concepting from insights
Talking to users gave me an idea of people's usual behavior when in the airport, and what they expect when they arrive at the gate area. The next phase for me was to take this data and extrapolate the most important details in order to create design concepts.
There were four areas that reoccurred in the research: some people wanted a workspace, others wanted isolation, some wanted to sit with their group, and families wanted space where it was OK for their kids to play. Based on these four main categories, I went to work to create floorplans that would accommodate space for each desired activity.
One aspect appeared for all of these groups: the difficulty they encountered when having to deal with carryon bags. Many individuals timed their visits to concessions and the restrooms based on having to move all their bags and belongings from one place to another. It'd be a lot easier and more enjoyable for travelers if they could leave their stuff behind and were free to wander the terminal at their leisure. This would also increase spending at concessions, a positive for the airport. With this in mind, my system needed to include some kind of locker or storage setup where people were comfortable leaving their bags while waiting for their flight.
My "hunch" in creating the floorplans was to mix the four areas highlighted above. As stated in my last post, most users typically chose their seat furthest from other people in the gate area. With this in mind, I wanted to spread the activities across the gate so it was likely you'd find the kind of workstation that worked best for you, without feeling like you'd be crowded in with others. For example, some airports group all work areas together and separate them from the lounge area. However, once the work area starts to fill up, some users are uncomfortable sitting right next to someone when there are options in the lounge area, and will choose to sit in the lounge despite wanting to work on a laptop.
Two example floorplans and sketches are shown below, with the four areas indicated above.