Agile
Product
Improvement

B2B | Product Development | Agile | UX Consulting | UX Design

Client

USU

USU offers software and service solutions in the area of IT & Customer Service Management. They aim to enable smarter services, simpler workflows, better collaboration.

Our Contributions

01/
Strategic consulting on product development

02/
Concept Screens

03/
Product Accessibility

04/
Design Screens

Intro

The USU Software AG has gained substantial importance as a provider for software solutions and services within corporate environments since its foundation in 1977.

Many offerings such as Aspera, Katana, and Valuemation became indispensable tools for many international operating cooperation.

However, rising competition, occurring and evolving technologies, thus resulting expectations by users, call for a constant improvement of the digital offerings. A core team of USU’s internal development department identified the urgency and decided to take action.

Mermaid Studios got hired as an external partner to accelerate the new product stream by establishing ideal and applicable solutions while raising internal awareness for a new way of developing digital products.

Developing Software ≠ Developing Solutions

Dashboard Item Specification

The Challenge

USU GmbH is a subsidiary of Software AG and develops Valuemation, a highly functional but not particularly intuitive software solution. Rethinking the existing product meant distilling and transferring features into a new design and holistically analyzing dependencies within the entire ecosystem of products.

This approach required the close collaboration of all contributing trades. Therefore, we decided to kick off the process with the analysis and testing of the existing product: Valuemation. Gathered insights were translated into new concepts and prototypes to establish dense loops of iteration and testing.

While strengthening and validating our approach, we gradually introduced new stakeholders to the team and the working process. While growing in size, we continuously adjusted work processes to transition to an agile developing process.

Goals

01/
Create UX concepts for Valuemation basic use cases

02/
Unify USU Software experience

03/
Update product experience to current standard

Understanding the Context

Our initial task was identifying action points and opportunities to set up a reasonable and efficient timeline. The initial UX analysis provided us with valuable working hypotheses that enabled the first user testing.Throughout the interviews, we were able to validate the majority of our hypotheses while gathering additional insights on the software usage.

- the experience does not live up to other software used on a daily basis
- software is highly functional but unintuitive interface impairs usability and willingness to explore functionalities
- users tend to lose track of the status and responsibilities of individual tickets

The last point was one of the key learnings. The ticket creation is one of the core functionalities of Valuemation. Most of the users were able to walk through the use case seamlessly. However, we figured that functionalities which were not understood got ignored right away. Also, users requested functionalities which were already integrated but hard to access. Users demand obvious controllability when needed but subtle enough to ignore it and we jointly created concepts & designs to solve the existing problems.

New Concept

Outcomes

Eventually, we not only improved the User Experience of Valuemation but managed to plant the seed for an agile product development. The ever-growing design system and developed use cases enable the team to expand the experience to individual software solutions across the whole product portfolio.

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