Kat de Haan
Junior User Experience Researcher and Designer
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Whistler Blackcomb Fraud Detection System

Whistler Blackcomb Fraud Detection System



To implement a pilot fraud detection system for a world renown ski resort, using wearable devices and Vandrico’s proprietary software to organize and direction information.


The system initially in place at the ski resort required customers to scan an RFID tag at the base station, where their picture would be retrieved and displayed to a lift validator on a tablet. However, holding the tablet for so long was cumbersome and having security information appear on a tablet meant customers could view it.

The proposed solution was to intercept the protocol and have the pictures be sent to a wearable device. The lift validator would receive the information in a hands free way, most likely on a head mounted display such as the Recon Jet or the Recon Snow.


  • High and low fidelity prototypes of software and interfaces capable of running on both heads-up displays and smart watches.

  • High fidelity prototype of a digital command centre, enabling resort managers to coordinate security and personnel from a central location.

  • Comprehensive UX research and design materials to inform prototyping process.


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A high fidelity prototype of the fraud detection system, demonstrated on-site during a tech summit, using wearable technology.

My Role

  • Journey mapping the lift-boarding process using wearable solution to ensure the validity of all lift tickets.  

  • Creating a clear and easy-to-read format for the Recon Jet goggle heads-up display.

  • On-site user testing of prototypes.

  • Qualitative and quantitative research, including stakeholder interviews, A/B testing, and ethnographic insights.

  • Data analysis and presentation for internal circulation.

  • Creation of marketing and promotional materials, including graphics and copy.

Process Elements


  • Card sorting

  • Sketching

  • Wire framing

  • Ideation sessions


  • Service journey mapping

  • Personas

  • Site visits

  • Stakeholder interviews


  • Technical proof of concept


  • User testing

Key Methods

Service Journey Mapping


Given the cutting edge nature of the technology the client was hoping to implement, it was important to have a clear and shared understanding of how these technological changes would influence the service system. A service journey map enabled us to identify our assumptions, and inform our interactions with stakeholders.

Card Sorting

In the complex informational environment that lift-ticket validators operated, it was important to assess what kinds of information would be most useful to present in the relatively small space of the wearable devices’ screens. Card sorting amongst our research and development team, drawing on the information we had gained from the interviews and our experience of the site visits, allowed us to identify which kinds of information should be presented and in what order.

Site Visits

While desk research was initially employed to understand how lift ticket validation typically worked in ski resorts, site visits were an integral element of the design process. During these visits we were able to experience the complex sensorial environment that the validation process took place in, including the high noise levels, close proximity to guests, the added complication of getting gear through the turnstiles, and the bright natural light that made screens harder to read.


Stakeholders testing prototypes!

Stakeholders testing prototypes!

The solution delivered– a high fidelity prototype demonstrated to potential ski-resort investors and employees alike at a tech summit– established the viability of wearable technology and Vandrico’s proprietary server in managing ticket validation information more effectively, and with more ergonomic ease.

Take Aways

Agile can mean the next steps aren’t always clear, but research insights can be implemented continually:

Vandrico’s commitment to working in an agile manner meant that the prototyping process was in no way linear, which at times could be daunting, but allowed for better insights to be gathered as information became available (coordinating with the various stakeholders wasn’t always easy), and that this information could be implemented into the prototype design as it was being developed.

Participant research is a must for wearable solutions:

Without the experience of visiting the site and experiencing the process of lift ticket validation from the point of view of both the customer and the ticket validators, valuable insights such as the environmental factors of the noise and bright sunlight would been difficult to anticipate. For wearable technology solutions, placing oneself in the system being designed and experiencing the interfaces as stakeholders might are essential to the design process.