More UX – with 394 hp


User-friendly IT is an important part of the Daimler work environment and the mission of the UXLab: The team provides advice on the user-oriented design of digital tools. The new UXLab Truck offers the perfect infrastructure for this – and got under way successfully through agile teamwork.

Do users reach their goal with an app, software, or an IT system? And if so, how? Questions which take center stage when it comes to the topic User Experience – UX for short. These are also examined by the UXLab. Since 2016, the team of experts, under the flag of the Daimler initiative “The Empowered Employee”, has been supporting IT projects to develop tools with optimal user experiences. Because the more employees like working with digital tools, the better they can fulfill their tasks. UX therefore contributes directly to the success of the company.

Closer to the user

And how do IT developers find out which tools are needed and highly rated? By including users in the creation of the products – from software development to optimization of existing solutions. This requires space, technology, and UX experts. All this has been offered since March 2018 by the UXLab Truck in a yet unique mobile format.

Daimler employees are no longer required to travel to UX tests – the lab comes to the users! Thus the idea of the UXLab team, which was jointly put into effect by project manager Matthias Schulz and procurement colleague Philipp Lhotta. They brought Schuler Fahrzeugbau GmbH on board as a technical partner. The body manufacturer impressed with its experience and first-class references, in Daimler projects as well. Schuler was already producing mobile working environments for Formula One teams and the promotion truck of the innovation platform Lab1886. In cooperation with the UXLab the specialist company delivered the concept for the UXLab Truck. Instead of the previously planned van with trailer they decided to convert a truck. With unmistakable advantages: more space, more performance, more efficiency. Thus, the Mercedes-Benz Antos was chosen as the basic vehicle.

With the UXLab Truck we have opened up a whole new world – not just for IT developments, but also for dynamic teamwork.

Matthias Schulz, UX Researcher & Usability Engineer

Reaching the goal with agility and flexibility

The mobile UX test lab is unique, having been designed and equipped in customized, precision work. Just as unique was the dynamic nature of the project work. Within the space of one year the parties involved met regularly, harmonized requirements and ideas, and fine-tuned the solution continuously. In contrast to situations involving fixed planning requirements, Specialist Unit, Procurement and Supplier were able to deliver the best result in a free flow of work.

Procurement was committed to realizing the UXLab Truck with an optimum price/performance ratio. From the outset Philipp Lhotta, buyer in International Procurement Services (IPS), was involved in a consulting capacity. The buying expert for vehicle bodies also took into account the special considerations of the UXLab Truck: for example with the payment concept geared towards project milestones or the direct ordering of the Mercedes-Benz Antos at the Wörth plant. The supplier Schuler Trucks was able to use the freed-up budget to equip the truck with the ideal media technology.

Being on site, understanding, and advising: this is how we developed the concept for the UXLab Truck together. Our best practice for the future!

Philipp Lhotta, Procurement Vehicle Bodies

Fast forward UXLab Truck!

The time finally came in March 2018 when the mobile test lab was presented at the Daimler site in Stuttgart-Möhringen. IT developers, managers, and employees were able to get to know at first hand truck, technology, and UX experts. With great success! The enthusiasm and interest now provide even more impetus when the UXLab team is going out on tour. It can set out not only for plants in Germany but also for neighboring locations like Kecskemét.

Further link
Daimler UXLab

Apr 06, 2018
Birgit Hennefarth, Steffen Frys (Photos)