Sabre Labs

( Corporate Innovation Lab )

Hotel meeting space app built at 2014 Launch Hackathon

Hotel meeting space app built at 2014 Launch Hackathon

Why It Rocked:

We provided thought leadership to our company and industry by exploring the intersection of emerging technology and travel. We made the future real for our colleagues and customers by building live code Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and Prototypes.

My Roles:

Director of Sabre Labs – Worked to maximize the strengths of my team through servant leadership and vision casting

Senior Principal, Emerging Technology Research – Rebooted the thought leadership practice through publishing and public speaking.

Principal User Experience Designer – Designed experiences using technologies, including Blockchain, Indoor Location, and Chatbots.

Key Experiences:

  • Managing and leading designers, developers, and other staff in a fast-paced cross-functional team environment

  • Early-stage product innovation using Lean Startup and Design Thinking methodologies

  • Thought leadership, marketing, pr, and public speaking to drive a shift in marketplace perception

  • UX research methods from discovery to usability testing

Other highlights include passing off message-based prototypes and learnings to pilot (press release ❐), publishing 3 major thought leadership reports (2017 report ❐), being interviewed for Reuters (story ❐), speaking around the world to Sabre’s customers, co-creating the first Sabre global hackathon, and more...

I’ve often thought about how fortunate I’ve been to have had Philip’s guidance so early in my career. From him, I learned the art of utilizing frameworks and storytelling. Philip is observant, deliberate, and thoughtful. He fosters an open, accepting environment where individuals thrive.
— Eun 'Jinny' Seo, UX Designer

Timeframe: 2012-2018
Skills: Design, People Management, Technology Research, Writing, Presenting, Product Prototyping, Lean Startup Methods, UX Research, Voice & Message-Based UI Design, Design Thinking
Tools and Tech: Adobe Creative Cloud, iOS/Xcode, Android/Studio, HTML, CSS/LESS, JavaScript, JSON, GitHub, Alexa Skills Kit, Axure, Balsamiq

Note: Because Sabre Labs is an innovation group, much of the work is still considered strategic and cannot be shown in public.

Spotlight: TravEL Trivia app

( Game for iOS )


In June of 2013, Apple announced new iPhone capabilities to allow iPhones to create a network between each other via Bluetooth. As the beta iOS releases came out, the Sabre Labs team looked for ways to test the technology, and possibly release something to the public. That’s when we came up with the idea to create a multiplayer game that you don’t need WIFI or cell connectivity to play – something you can play in “airplane mode” with friends or family. 

We had a team of 3 developers to create the game. I served as the designer on the project from start to finish. I worked with the team, leading brainstorms and conducting research on naming.


Finding the flow state

I followed my typical process of sketching flow by hand, then for this project I mapped the flow in Axure RP.

In game creation, motion design, and time-based interactivity the cadence is really important. To test cadence I created a prototype in Flash (the quickest prototyping tool I had in 2013). We tweaked the game flow and timing for the countdown mechanics in Flash, then carried our learnings to iOS.


Creating the Comps

Once we had agreed on the flow and cadence as a team, I worked on the graphics. Through several iterations we landed on a fun design that reflected the intention of the app – playing trivia at 30,000 feet.


Scoring and Content

I created the scoring systems for the game by mapping out the possibilities in Excel. Some of the complexity built into the game was in the time-based scoring multiplier. We rewarded you for answering questions quickly.

As a team we found various bits of travel trivia, which we turned into the core game content. In game design you typically go through a play testing phase, which we did for this project as well.


Final Tweaks and Publishing

As we wrapped up the programming, I designed the logo and wrote the marketing copy. I had recently put another app in the iOS app store personally, so I led the charge on the publishing process as well. We published the final product in the iOS App Store in August of 2013.


That’s how we created and published a travel trivia game on iOS!

other work

Below you’ll find diverse collection of other projects and endeavors from my time in Sabre Labs.