Product / UX designer and researcher


Porting a desktop-based business process automation software, which grew over 20 years, to the web. The user experience has to be improved, so that more users want to use the new user interface instead of the old one.

Solution / Overview

New guidelines had and still have to be created, in order to make the system consistent and easy to work with for designers with different skill levels. User experience methods are included in the design and engineering process. Designers receive specific training on UX methods and are encouraged to use them in their daily business.

Process and Methods

Depending on the specific problem at hand, different UX methods are used.

Contextual Inquiry

The objectives are to get to know the user, seeing how they use our current system, what their requirements are, discover how their working environment is set up, implement personas and sharing the knowledge gathered with colleagues. This is achieved by visiting customers, watching typical work activities and recording data via notes, audio and video files if it is allowed – do not forget the NDA. During the observation, questions are asked to help understand what the person is doing and why.

Survey and Interview

Customer insight surveys are sent out to get to know the user's personality, working environment and skill levels. Based on the data gathered personas are implemented. Surveys and interviews are used throughout usability tests and contextual inquiries to understand the actions of the user and to make it easier to analyse the result afterwards.


Personas are used and generated to build up empathy, narrow the focus, develop a common understanding, share research results and facilitate the decision making process. Data is gathered through user insight surveys, interviews, contextual inquiries and customer journey maps. This data is analysed, a personas template is generated and specific personas are implemented.

Customer Journey Map

The objectives are understanding the experience flow of the users, addressing requirements and critical points which have to be improved / considered. Around eight participants from different departments are grouped into teams of four. The teams identify stages of the customer journey and analysed goals, thoughts, actions, touch points, pain points and needs for each stage. This is done by putting sticky notes on the journey map and describing the thoughts behind them. At the end participants rate the pain points which are determined so that the most critical ones can be tackled first.

Design Studio

This is a collaborative method to generate a solid design idea and a common understanding of the problem space in a short period of time. Up to five people from different departments meet in a prepared setup and bring in different views and ideas. The moderator and initiator of the design studio frames the problem. For this purpose problem statement, personas and scenarios are defined beforehand. After the problem definition the participants get ten minutes to sketch six ideas without talking. They are encouraged to try out unconventional concepts allowing novel and innovative ideas to flourish. Then the participants present their ideas to their colleagues who provide feedback and constructive criticism. In the next iteration each person creates one concept on their own, which could also be based on a peer’s idea, and presents it after ten minutes. In the last step, the participants produce a final design, which takes into account all suggestions.


Wireframes help to evaluate general layouts and flows and are used for reviews with other designers and developers. They can also assist by pointing out open questions, highlighting things which have to be thought of or seeing if a suggestion is technically feasible.


Mockups are generated for final specifications which are implemented by the development teams and for design guidelines.

Prototyping and Usability Testing

Prototypes on specific topics are built to see if they fit the needs of the users and are easy and intuitive to interact with. They are tested with real customers or in-house with colleagues - with and without previous product experience. Usability tests are conducted for rough concepts (e.g. low fidelity prototypes, wireframes) and current implementations. To ensure usability, test tasks are defined and designed, online surveys are created and the test software is prepared to capture video and audio recordings for later analysis. Based on the results of the usability tests, prototypes are refined for iterations, new guidelines are written or current implementations are reworked.

Tools and Technology Summary

  • Desk Research to look up existing design patterns and design methods
  • Contextual Inquiry to get to know the user and their environment and to implement personas
  • Survey and Interview are used throughout usability tests, contextual inquiry and to get to know the user
  • Persona to build up empathy, develop a common understanding and facilitate the decision making process
  • Customer Journey Map to understand the experience flow of the users and to address requirements and critical points
  • Design Studio to collaboratively generate a solid design idea and a common understanding
  • Wireframe to evaluate and review flows and layouts
  • Mockup for specifications and communication with development
  • Prototyping and Usability Testing to assess the usability of prototypes, concepts and current implementations
  • Paper and Pen to generate ideas and concepts and for workshops
  • SurveyMonkey for questionnaires
  • Usability Studio to capture audio and video recordings throughout usability tests
  • Adobe Photoshop and Sketch for mockups and designs
  • Balsamiq for wireframes
  • Axure for prototypes
  • Confluence and Jira to make my work transparent, for specifications and to document, review and design discussions
  • Microsoft Office for presentations, calculations and documents