Summing up the Visma UX Marathon 2015

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the preparations for the Visma UX Marathon 2015. And now, as we are catching our breaths and summing up, we are ready to share the highlights of this year’s UX bonanza at Visma.IMG0008

Characteristics of the Visma UX Marathon

  • This year, all participants in the UX Marathon focused their efforts on improving the user experience and design of the MyVisma Portal, from Visma Services.
  • 15 participants spent a total of 350 hours during three full days, working through the user centered design process for the MyVisma portal.
  • In this year’s Marathon, the teams consisted of UX professionals from the different units within Visma, as well as colleagues from other fields, such as Business Analysts and Product Owners. The mix of roles and titles created a pragmatic approach to the design challenges, as well as a generous and communicative atmosphere.
  • Nearly 10 different nationalities were represented.
  • Four Marathon teams with unique design challenges, presented their insights, concepts and evaluated prototypes to the Product Owner and other stakeholders during the final hour of the UX Marathon.


Main takeaways from the Visma UX Marathon 2015

  • Inviting real end users to the Marathon, and engaging them in focus group discussions, interviews and observations, co-creation sessions and user testing is fun and valuable for everyone involved! A UX Marathon must include real users, doing real tasks in relevant contexts!
  • Including colleagues from other, but related fields within Visma in the Marathon teams is beneficial in several ways. It helps to open up the UX community to others, showing in practice what UX is all about. Also, it gives the UX community the opportunity to hear and learn about concerns, viewpoints, methods and techniques used in other fields. In addition, it helps to expand the individual network within Visma for every single participant in the Marathon. Everyone had at least one new befriended colleague when the Marathon ended.
  • Having a present and committed group of stakeholders is extremely valuable. The design challenges can be carefully selected and presented in their proper context, providing the teams with the right conditions to do great design work. The stakeholder presence during the Marathon also allows for quick questions and feedback sessions, and even co-creation opportunities.
  • The findings from the Marathon are documented in films, text protocols, sketches, wireframes and prototypes, giving the coming work of improving MyVisma a huge head start.

Said about the Visma UX Marathon 2015

When asked What did you appreciate the most with the UX Marathon? the participants answered:

“The ability to share knowledge and experiences while still feeling like we’re adding value to an existing product.”

“It was very stimulating to dive into a completely unknown domain and product and try to understand it and question it from an outside perspective.”IMG3061

“- I felt “at home” with people who became upset over a button in the elevator, placed in the wrong way or another one who saw a not user friendly label on the coffee machine – finally people who understand me :-)”

When asked about how the results from the UX Marathon correspond to the initial expectations, the Product Owner of MyVisma, Kenneth Mattson says:



“I’m very happy with the outcome. The creativity of the ideas, and proposed solutions, to our problems in MyVisma exceeded my already high expectations going into this project.”


The Corporate UX team within Visma, with a goal to grow, support and cultivate the UX environment within Visma as a whole, sums up the value that the UX Marathon brings in four key points:

Fredrik Fernberg, Corporate UX Manager at Visma, says that during one event we have:


  1. UX-professionals working their trade and perfecting their skills but also getting challenged in leading a team, spreading their knowledge and communicating results in an understandable way both within and outside the team.
  2. Participants that traditionally work with product development but with no or little training in UX try out the main steps of a user centered design process. They work together with UX-designers on a real project, in this case the MyVisma-project, identifying weaknesses by user observation and interviews, analysing opportunities for improvement, making suggestion and also testing the ideas and hypothesis on real end users.
  3. A real stakeholder with high expectations acquiring a better understanding of UX and the UCD-process at the same time as he/she gets real UX-insights and values related to his/her own project.
  4. Grateful users that get the attention they so desperately need. Many times the users spontaneously thank us for listening to them during the Marathon and invite us to come back.  

We have a well established and quite mature UX-environment but this event takes it further in the cultivation process at the same time as we increase knowledge sharing and get a boundary breaking event for everyone involved. People meeting between divisions, units and different levels of the organisation together with a great mix of competences and backgrounds.