Customer portal framing for a specialty material producer

Creating a prototype of a customer portal from scratch in 2 months

2 months - 2020
Role : Lead UX designer Client: undisclosed
client's Portal


The client is a leader in specialty materials (monomeres, polymers, coatings), They are creating a new website and would like to create a portal for its customers. In this regard, they did a survey to identify their clients painpoints and needs. Now they have an idea of what the features could be but would like to make a prototype and test it among users to see what feature could lead to the most value for their customers and business.

Problem statement

At the beginning of 2020, the client defined a long term ambition : To become a 100% Specialty Materials leader and pure player focused on innovation and sustainable materials solutions, As part of this ambition, the client wants to accelerate their Customer Services digitalization which was close to zero and develop a customer portal.

They had an idea of which probleme they were facing thanks to client's support and their client's main frustrations coming from the sales department. The idea was to find the best way to answer those frustrations with a customer portal.

Clients needed to get all the information about their orders, know the shipping date and find specific information without calling. They wanted to be able to get this information anytime.

Project goals

The purpose of the portal is to provide their customers with a secure, easy, and 24/7 access to information and services that are relevant to them. The portal objectives are to improve customer awareness, engagement and retention while catching-up with competitors on e-commerce and accelerate organic growth on Specialty Materials.

"Thank you for this proto adapted in record time. I think it clearly helped to get the majority of the business guys to say yes, the MVP has business value for us. Thank you also for the good preparation of these workshops which achieved the objectives set."
Testimonial from the client


  • Stakeholders interview (8people)
  • User interviews (20)
  • Personas (3)
  • Jobs to be done
  • User journey and service blueprint
  • User tests (2x10)
  • Information architecture
  • Empathy map and idea napkin
  • Mental model
  • fast prototyping and iteration (4 days)
  • Storymapping
The service blueprint made after the user interviews and a workshop with stakeholders.

Key focus areas

  • Refine personas' needs and prioritize the personas.
  • Test the features with the users and prioritize the features.
  • With the business priority and technical complexity, define the MVP, MMP and DP.

Core customer needs

  • Access the right product, its information
  • Talk to experts to make sure the customer makes the right decision.
  • Get easy access to the technical documents and download them.
  • Get information about an order status, get alerted in case of delay.
A glimpse of the product vision board we built.

"Maybe you could plan a specific space for regulatory documents. With a list of pre-requisites for each product. It is so difficult to track. Sometimes it takes me more than 6 months to get documents. I have more than 50 emails... It is a nightmare. A space dedicated to regulatory aspects could be good. In the project room. Could be a folder within “files”. It is part of the product homologation."
A user explains his everyday struggles.

Findings statement

Following the customers interviews, we validated 3 personas with 2 main ones. We made a product blueprint with this knowledge in collaboration with the stakeholders. We made a business model canvas following 3 main ideas to have a better view of some possible change management inside the company in order to design a better customer experience. This analysis created a great foundation to move into feature prioritization and building the MVP.


  • working under tight deadlines: 50+ interviews in 7 days, 4 days to prototype and only half a day to synthesize
  • design for multicultural people: 15 countries on two continents.
  • Learning how to say a positive no to the client because of tight deadlines

How the project affected users and business?

During the user tests, we asked if they were interested by the portal, what were the key features for them and if it was a problem for them if we didn't develop the portal.

Among the 3 personas, 2 said this portal had to be developed because it was solving some of their core problems, it would help them work faster and be more efficient. Now, they wouldn't need to ask someone to get an information. Also, for the R&D people, even if the innovation board was secondary, it would help them create project and validate material faster, which is one of the key needs in relation with the company.

the company would be able to use less resources to help customers, since a lot of the information would be now available online. Some solutions we proposed would bring better engagement and retention of the customer.

back to all projects