UX Design Lead for the Customer Journey
Franziska's job takes her to unusual places from time to time: for example, right into an operating room, into a greenhouse, or onto a vegetable farm. There, she observes how agronomists make use of ZEISS technology to measure nutritional values in plants, how they use GPS devices to apply fertilizer to precise areas, and how the data is transferred from the field to the computer. This research is immensely important to find out where things are not working and what ZEISS solutions farmers would like to see to help them with their work. "I work really closely with ZEISS customers and the end users of our solutions. After all, we develop products that cater precisely to their needs," Franziska emphasizes.
As UX Design Lead at ZEISS Digital Partners (ZDP), Franziska is committed to ensuring that ZEISS develops user-friendly products. She is responsible for the user experience design of existing and newly developed products and services. Together with her colleagues from the User Research, Design, and Business and Tech departments, Franziska and her team work on digital solutions in a range of different ZEISS areas – from B2B solutions such as the nutrient measuring device for agriculture to B2C solutions such as the division website for ZEISS Ophthalmic Optics. "We design user-friendly and holistic solutions for software and hardware and complete business ecosystems."
Between man and machine
User interfaces, customer journeys, and end-to-end solutions for different ZEISS products – this is Franziska's everyday life as UX Design Lead.
"We get the information we need for our work by studying user behavior and holding discussions with ZEISS internal experts and stakeholders. We then design and visualize our concepts based on this," says Franziska. Interactive prototypes are also created in this process, which are in turn tested with potential users. "This allows us to uncover potential problems in the concept early on and intervene directly before a line of code has been written." The focus is always on customer needs and the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of the ideas. Franziska therefore takes the perspective of the users into account when developing individual products.
We see products and systems not just as high-tech systems, but primarily from the perspective of the people who interact with them every day.
See, learn, act
ZEISS Digital Partners is a fast-growing ZEISS division with over 850 employees today – three times as many as two years ago. The team develops future-oriented business models, enterprise-wide cloud solutions, and designs for mobile and desktop applications at several locations. Franziska herself works in the Design and Business Innovation department. There, the main focus is on developing new business solutions and driving the UX roadmaps of the various divisions.
What does Franziska enjoy most about being a UX designer? "That I'm always learning about new, highly complex topics in order to forge ahead with our projects." Franziska's knowledge from her mechanical engineering studies, her understanding of user experience from her design studies and, above all, her many years of project experience in a wide range of industries – from automotive and consumer electronics to medical technology – all help her to achieve this.
And what's next? As a professional mentor, Franziska wants to pass on her design knowledge to young, talented UX designers and also further expand the exchange of knowledge between departments at ZEISS. "Our work is key to developing user-friendly products. My goal, and that of my colleagues, is to continue to raise awareness of this."