”MJØLNER INFORMATICS IS A SHINING STAR IN THE DANISH IT-SKY.” Bo Sejer Frandsen, Director, it-forum
4th Quarter 2016
REAL DIGITAL VALUE COMES FROM A USER-CENTERED PERSPECTIVE We are slowly approaching Christmas, and it’s hard to
The value was undeniable. You can read more about our
believe that 2016 is already coming to an end.
work with Grundfos in this issue of UPDATE.
For Mjølner, it has been a staggeringly positive year. The projects and awards we have been part of, make me proud
Furthermore, you can read about our take on the extent
to be part of the Mjølner story that just continues to add
of UX activities. A small give away: UX activities are not
limited to UI. Overall, we cannot get round the additional focus we have had on UX activities this year. We see it as
This year, Great Place to Work awarded us as the 34th best
the most essential aspect when talking digital innovation,
workplace in Europe. Also, it-forum awarded us with their
annual IT Award. For that, we feel humble and grateful. I am excited to see what the New Year is going to bring 2016 was also the year where we exceptionally beat the
for Mjølner and the entire industry. Wish you a safe and
drum for the great user experience. Our UX activities have
been exciting and important, and we have been confirmed in our mantra that digital value comes from a user-
centered perspective. Our clients now agree with us on this. Grundfos is a case worth mentioning. The company wanted our help in terms of their French customer support site, and through our Hackathon, we helped them improve the customer experience on the site.
Brian Gottorp Jeppesen, CEO
Cover Photo: Courtesy of it-forum
MAJOR BOUNCE RATE DROP FOR GRUNDFOS SUMMARY Grundfos needed Mjølner’s User Experience (UX) skills to
website. Grundfos wanted to make their customers more
solve issues with their French support site. A high bounce
self-sufficient, to make a great support-site, and to be
rate, a busy phone line, and a lacking support site were
able to help appropriately and with quality over the phone.
the main pains before our UX Consultant and Designer went through a Hackathon workshop with them in Lyon,
FACILITATING A CREATIVE FRAMEWORK
Mjølner facilitated a Hackathon with the following steps: 1. Baseline – who uses the systems? What kind of
Providing a user-centered approach to defining and
problems do they have?
designing an overall embracing concept, Mjølner delivered
2. Inspiration session – how to make great systems and
facilitation, design-thinking, and inspiration to Grundfos’
how to work user-centered. Mindset adjustment tuned to
team. Eventually, the outcome was a support site bounce
design thinking and to placing the user in the center
rate drop from 79% to 45%, and two more hackathons in
3. Ideation session – sketching the concrete ideas
Germany and England.
4. Realization – wireframing, graphic design, “plug it in”
At Grundfos in Lyon, France, the issue was this: the
After the team had discovered 1. What the specific
support webpage was not working as intended. Customers
issues were, and 2. How we potentially could solve these
were unable to serve themselves, and the phone number
issues, we started sketching a customer journey from the
that the page provided, was busy from recurrent simple
occurrence of an initial problem to the solution.
requests that could be anticipated by a user-friendly
The Hackathon is the perfect quick way to initiate a big move in the right direction and with something concrete. Florian De Joannes, Operations Director, Grundfos, France
From here, our senior UX Consultant created wireframes, and our Graphic Designer started designing. Meanwhile, the Grundfos team fine-tuned what was going to make the cut. In just two intense days, we created breeding ground for the solution to the problem, kick-started the project, and created an artifact as the basis for the final launched product. The next month followed finishing touches and graphics before the site was ready for launch. After the launch of the new support site, the bounce rate of the site dropped from 79 % to 45 %. The optimized and user-centered site met the goals of the Hackathon: the users were now able to help themselves via a clear and user-friendly site. Visit mjolner.dk/cases to read the full casestory on Grundfos.
MJØLNER WINS IT-AWARD 2016 It-forum awarded Mjølner with the IT-Award 2016 at the
company has always been an active player in the industry,
annual it-forum conference this fall. Other nominees
as well as in educational and research debates.
were Qiagen, Cadpeople, and It-vest.
Mjølner is characterized by a management style that is motivating and inspiring which shows through Mjølner’s
The requirements to be nominated, let alone win, were
continuous ranking in the top of employee satisfaction
surveys. Mjølner is, therefore, a role model for others because of
• the company has put its clear mark on IT development in the region
• the company is characterized by a management style that is motivating and inspiring
the positive footprint it leaves on the industry. Mjølner was established in 1988, and has through the long haul had an extraordinary importance for the itdevelopment in the Midtjylland region.”
• the company is a role model for others because of the positive footprint it leaves on the industry
The press was quick to pick up on the story. Lokalavisen Aarhus published the article: “Fine IT-Award For Aarhus-
The board of it-forum decided on Mjølner as the winner
Based Company With Giant Growth”, writing that Mjølner
is “a shining star in the Danish IT-sky”.
”Mjølner has left its clear mark on the development of IT
Furthermore, Århus Stiftstidende wrote a piece, “Honored
in the region because it has become a large commercial
for Their Work: Aarhus-Based IT-Comet Shares Profit
company, originating from research. Mjølner has created
With Employess”, also mentioning our annual tradition of
many highly specialized jobs, and at the same time, the
sharing the profit with our co-workers.
Mjølner Informatics is a shining star in the Danish IT-sky. Bo Sejer Frandsen, Director, it-forum
Pictured: Mjølner CEO Brian Gottorp Jeppesen Courtesy of it-forum
UX IS IMPORTANT AND NOT SIMPLY INTERFACE DESIGN User Experience (UX) is a craft that too often is overlooked,
Furthermore, a study mentioned in Forrester Research’s
understimated, or deprioritized.
report ”Rich Internet Applications Errors To Avoid”, shows
But that is a serious mistake. UX is as important as
that 70% of projects fail due to lack of user acceptance.
technical development and aesthetics of a digital product. With the development process in mind, a UX Consultant WHAT IS USER EXPERIENCE EXACTLY?
can take a product or a process that doesn’t work and turn
Imagine you download an app because it looks so darn
it into something excellent for the user and the business.
good – you want to look at it and use it. Kudos to the
If only the aesthetic part is in focus, or if features and not
Digital Designer of the app. But once you open the app
user needs are a priority, extreme certainty of what the
and try it, you find it too complicated and uninviting for
customers want is a must.
your liking. Shame on the UX designer behind the app. Get
Why do companies miss this important step in their
it? The app is working just fine (otherwise, shame on the
innovation projects? Maybe because UX is a somewhat
software developer behind it),
broad and all-embracing term that needs explanation for
but the UX fails to deliver a user-friendly navigation.
professionals not accustomed to the tech world’s jargon. Check out the list on the opposite page, to learn what
Nevertheless, many industrial companies make the fatal
activities UX consultants are involved in (not exhaustive).
mistake of deprioritizing UX activities, when they initiate a new digital product or process.
And heck yes! Those are many concepts mushed into one
Bain & Company’s report ”Closing the Delivery Gap”
simple term. However, this is not a reason to consider
concludes that 80% of 362 company participants felt they
it pure fluff, or to categorize it as something only large
delivered superior experiences to their customers, but only
corporate groups can afford. The real question is this:
8% of their customers agreed with this.
what company can afford not to invest in UX?
A report from Forrester Research, ”Customer Experience Index Ranking and Watermark Consulting”, indicates that $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return.
UX ACTIVITIES CAN INVOLVE ALL THE FOLLOWING: • User advocacy • Product testing and validation before,
How is that? The hidden value of UX is the following:
• • • • •
Less support calls and improved learning curves Increased customer satisfaction Improved overall revenue and conversion boost Reduces the risk of building the wrong thing Reduced development time
At Mjølner, sometimes the expertise of both our UX Consultants and our Digital Designers is required (e.g. at our Hackathons), but for different jobs throughout the process. The UX consultant ensures the good user experience through research and appliance of best practices, and the digital designer ensures a great looking product aligned with our client’s corporate visual identity.
during, and after development
• • • • • • •
Interviewing and observations Creating and maintaining personas Requirement specifications Lo- to Hi-fi prototyping Creation of user stories Design guides creation Ensure consistency across products and platforms
• Build trust and relationships to your core user segment
• Interaction design • Presenting and speaking • Bridging gaps between users, the business, and development
You have to secure the right foundation before initiating a major and expensive digitalization process. You should start small, develop in iterations, and validate your progress continuously. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE? Contact our Senior UX Consultant Kasper Mathias Svendsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Workshop facilitation • Incorporate usability practices • Taxonomy creation and understanding
• Product design • Gathering and organizing data • Approach to and production of marketing material
CONTROL & FAST RESPONSE WITH TOUCHGFX Otometrics is a world-leading provider of hearing and
With the new MADSEN Zodiac, Otometrics wanted to
balance instrumentation and software in over
bring more control, confidence, and efficiency to ear
85 countries. Otometrics provides computer-based
testing. In order to accomplish this, MADSEN Zodiac
audiological, otoneurologic, and vestibular
required a fast responding color display that
instrumentation and sound rooms to hearing and balance
received input from physical one-function buttons.
care professionals worldwide. As the instrument was going to be used by hearing care In the development of a control panel for a new ear
professionals worldwide, the display had to support
testing solution, the new MADSEN Zodiac, Otometrics
multiple languages along with graphics that were easy to
chose TouchGFX for GUI development.
understand and navigate.
generating printout reports for the integrated printer.
Otometrics became interested TouchGFX and started their
The new MADSEN Zodiac was released in April 2016. The
evaluation to assess whether it would be the right fit for
technology beats that of other competitors and has
received great reviews by the market.
CONVINCED BY A PROOF-OF-CONCEPT
WANT TO USE TOUCHGFX IN YOUR PRODUCTS?
As TouchGFX offers easy customization, Otometrics were
Learn more about our sister company Draupner Graphics’
able to develop a GUI that matched their brand and
licenses and pricings or contact us for more information:
requirements for easy use, including the need for
Thanks to TouchGFX with its use of C++, clear structure, and easy customization of look and feel, the total amount of hours realized on the GUI part is surprisingly less than budgeted. Peter Ilsøe, Firmware Developer, Otometrics
THE RARE YET NECESSARY CLOSE COLLABORATION BETWEEN DESIGNERS AND DEVELOPERS Earlier this year, Intercom published the blogpost “There’s
At Mjølner Informatics and Draupner Graphics, the idea of
no hand off in product design”. The article describes
product design teams consisting of designers, UX’ers, and
the cooperation between designers and developers
developers is a cornerstone in our work procedures.
and encourages a work method where designers and
Our consultancy of designers, UX consultants, and
developers communicate during the design process when
software developers is accustomed to teamwork.
creating a new product. Our most common work process starts with a workshop A general problem in product development teams is that
between the client and our team, consisting of a designer,
the design process separates from the implementation
a UX consultant, and a software developer. Our UX
process. Nevertheless, the design has to enable the
consultant and designer brainstorm and collect ideas,
technical breakthrough to come forward. Engineering
visions, and wishes in close collaboration with the client,
usually influences design decisions; or so they should.
while our developer continuously makes sure that the ideas and sketches are implementable.
Embrace the opportunity to design alongside (developers) as they build, – Brendan Fagan states in the article.
The greatest gain from working in these mixed skill teams is that our UX consultants do not design something that is infeasible. Furthermore, the process is much quicker
This way, the product development, including the design,
because there is continuous adaptation. Design and
can reach new heights and prevent trouble-shooting at
development go hand in hand. We anticipate potential
issues and save our client time and money.
By working in teams and run workshops, we are able to
Consultants sat down with the Cashmaster team for a
eliminate misunderstandings at an early stage. There is
start-up, status, and delivery meeting. The design work
great value in verifying not only the design perspective,
itself was done at our own headquarter, in close coalition
but also the development implementation early on.
with the developers of the TouchGFX software tool – to make sure user interface and software could easily go
Here’s an example: We helped cash management solutions
hand in hand. This is just one example out of many.
manufacturer Cashmaster deliver a more engaging user experience on their cash-counting product. At the same
Although this collaboration is natural for us, it is a rare
time, the software behind it, TouchGFX, is also our
scene on a global scale. Oftentimes, you talk to either a
invention, created by our developers.
house of designers or a house of developers.
Cashmaster combined their TouchGFX license with our UI
With Mjølner and Draupner, all the different roles gather
Prototype-package. The content of the package is a two-
in one place, making it much easier and feasible for you
week workshop, feedback, and iteration by our design
as a client.
experts. In this case, one of our designers and one of our UX
Read the full article at mjolner.dk/blog.
DO YOU WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR UNIQUE COMBINATION OF SKILLS? Contact us and learn more on how wecan bring value to your business: www.mjolner.dk www.touchGFX.com
Thank you for following us this year! We send our best wishes for Happy Holidays and a joyful New Year.
MJØLNER HACKATHON: MAJOR BOUNCE RATE DROP FOR GRUNDFOS MJØLNER WINS IT-AWARD 2016 UX IS IMPORTANT AND NOT SIMPLY INTERFACE DESIGN OTOMETRICS: CONTROL & FAST RESPONSE WITH TOUCHGFX THE RARE YET NECESSARY COLLABORATION BETWEEN DESIGNERS & DEVELOPERS HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A JOYFUL NEW YEAR FROM MJØLNER!
Mjølner Informatics A/S
Finlandsgade 10, DK-8200 Aarhus N
+45 70 27 43 43