Morten Winther

Seamless log-in & user administration

Improving digital interactions in the Danish public sector.


  • Client

    Danish Agency of Digitisation

  • Year

    2016 – 2017

  • My role

    Team lead · UX designer

Denmark is one of the most digitized countries in the world with a highly advanced and complex IT infrastructure. Most interactions between the public sector and Danish citizens and businesses rest on digital touchpoints and systems. However, the IT systems behind these interactions are fragmented and governed in individual silos. Improvements are needed to achieve truly seamless and coherent user experiences.

The challenge & outcome

Based on user insights, the existing IT infrastructure, and business goals, the purpose was to conceptualize how the user experience can be improved in the next generations of the Danish IT infrastructure. Through iterative processes, the concepts were refined, technologically validated, and user tested. The outcome was UX strategies as well as essential criteria and high-level concepts for the next generation of the infrastructure components.

My role

I was the lead on four projects from October 2016 to July 2017 for the Danish Agency for Digitisation and Danish Business Authority. I was responsible for planning the processes and their activities from user interviews to stakeholder involvement. I was also in charge of the concept development, prototyping, and user evaluation. Furthermore, I did the management presentations and wrote the final reports.

"Morten is the best UXer I have ever met, and I have met quite a few. Like the best of his colleagues, his commitment to the needs of the users is unfailing, but what makes Morten stand out, is the quality of his suggestions. His solutions are a perfect mix of creativity and a sense of what is realistic, in terms of cost and what is technically possible."

Carsten Ingerslev, Head of department, Danish Business Authority

Main activities in the project

  • Continuous user involvement, research, and testing.
  • Empathy-driven narratives about user pains.
  • Cross-disciplinary co-creation workshops (business, IT, legal).
  • Iterative concept development, wireframing and prototyping.
  • Management presentations and decision proposals.
Three of the major infrastructure systems. The systems are governed by different actors, regulated by various rules, and developed by multiple suppliers.

Citizens and business users are humans too!

Real people as inspiration

Designing for all Danish citizens and businesses can be an overwhelming task. To cope with this, we worked with a few target groups that in different ways represented both the traditional user as well as extreme users. Rather than trying to understand everyone, we used these few groups to uncover essential user aspects.

Infusing empathy in hardcore system development

Especially when working with systems for businesses, there is a risk of "forgetting" the human behind the companies. Besides looking at various business segments, I continuously insisted on considering the users as humans. Even though they are employees in a professional business, they are still people with real frustrations and confusion. For instance, it is important to understand that it can be socially challenging for a secretary to interrupt the CEO of a company for a signature on something that feels unimportant. Insisting on an empathic understanding of the users helped us to understand better how to improve the flows and interactions for actual users.

Narratives to promote users

My strategy for continuously reminding the project participants about the users was to introduce specific stories from the user research. For instance, in the presentation of the user insights, I told the story about "Lisa" (fake name) who is the primary administrator for one of Denmark's largest businesses. By introducing Lisa and her specific problems early on, I was able to refer to her throughout the process. This was particularly helpful in discussions that drifted too far from user perspectives.

Technologically viable concepts to challenge technology!

Getting familiar with the infrastructure

To me, it was essential to understand the current infrastructure and its limitations. The better I understood the underlying systems, the more I was able to successfully challenge both IT and business decisions. I am certain that the primary reason why my participation in the projects was successful was due to my ability to quickly absorb the essential knowledge and utilize it in concept development as well as in discussions.

Speaking system language

It was important to me that my work was not "yet another UI concept" but was more deeply integrated into the underlying IT systems. In other words, I wanted to make sure that the work was technologically viable. I spend a lot of time validating concepts with IT architects. As a result, some of the deliverables were created as technical charts to communicate UX principles in a developer appropriate language.
Different sketches, prototypes and flow charts that I used to communicate with project stakeholders.

The Danish Agency of Digitisation is now finishing the tenders for the next generation of the infrastructure components. Within a few years, I hope to see most of the principles and concepts integrated in the new solutions.

Read more about the tenders here