The era of the platform economy has arrived. Companies are faced with how to build up disruptive digital services with disruptive business models and how to establish a digital ecosystem. Traditional UCD methods focus on the conception of particular services. However, most of these are isolated solutions of single companies. Building services for the digital transformation era requires additional methods in order to come up with end-to-end consumer experiences and sustainable business models across the boundaries of single companies for the benefit of consumers. In this course, the participants will learn the "Tangible Ecosystem Design“ method (TED), which supports the conception of digital ecosystems through the use of tangible elements.


Human-centered computing → User-centered design


Conceiving digital ecosystems is a hard challenge for people working in software system development. On the one hand, the complexity of such digital ecosystems is higher than that of traditional software systems. On the other hand, digital services have the potential of delivering an end-to-end service experience and, thus, of potentially being adopted by more consumers than isolated solutions.

In this course, people interested in the development of digital services will:

  • Understand the challenges in building such digital ecosystems, going beyond the traditional service design
  • Learn new methods and tools for conceiving and analyzing digital services and their supporting business models
  • Experience different tools and techniques for modeling digital ecosystems
  • Dig deeper into the design of disruptive digital services and coherent business models of digital ecosystems


This course is designed for:

  • People involved in creating new digital services in the era of the digital transformation
  • People working with innovation methods in user experience design and research
  • User Experience Designers, Service Designers, Digital Designers, Digital Business Managers, Innovation Managers, and Design Thinking Adopters 


The course consists of four 80-minute blocks:

Part 1 - Introduction:

  • Presentation of the main concepts: Digital Service, Digital Transformation, and Platform Economy
  • Presentationof the main challenges in the conception of digital ecosystems

Part 2 – Digital Service Modeling:

  • Modeling the end-to-end consumer experience within the digital service
  • Modeling the background activities of the digital services and the non-technical pre-requisites for supporting the interaction of the end consumer within the service

Part 3 – Business Flow Modeling:

  • Identification of all companies and partners in the execution of the service
  • Identification and modeling of goods flows, data flows, money flows, and contract agreements

Part 4 – Platform Motivation and Added Value

  • Identification of the partners' advantages of participating in the digital ecosystem
  • Identification of the benefits exchanged between the partners


The course will be very hands-on. The participants will be grouped into teams (max. 7 people per team) and will experience every single tool and technique used in the method by modeling an existing, known digital service (see Figure 1).


Claudia Nass is an industrial and graphic designer. Since 2001, she has been engaged in User Experience (UX) research and design, especially in the conception and design of software systems. Since 2006, her focus has been on the development and testing of various UX methods and their implementation in research and consulting projects for numerous industrial clients from different domains at Fraunhofer IESE. There she works in the fields of innovation, UX design and research, as well as interaction design. Since 2017, she has been a lecturer for two courses within the bachelor's program "IT Analyst" at the University of Kaiserslautern: Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering.

Dr.-Ing. Marcus Trapp studied computer science at the University of Kaiserslautern, with a minor in economics. He currently heads the User Experience and Requirements Engineering (UXR) department at Fraunhofer IESE. There he leads industrial and public projects in the field of user interface design for various user groups, the revision of existing user interfaces, as well as the evaluation of user interfaces in various areas. He advises companies in the areas of User Experience for business applications, creativity & innovation workshops, requirements engineering, interaction design, and user interface prototyping.