Wärtsilä case study


Designing an online customer portal.

  • 250 user stories written
  • 10 major user journeys defined
  • New customer portal prototype delivered in initial 2-week sprint


Project Summary.

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The client.

Wärtsiläis a global leader  in  innovative  technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. The company provides sustainable technology and services to help customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. 

With over 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries, in 2021 Wärtsilä’s  net sales totalled €4.8bn. 

Wärtsilä Online is the company’s online portal, making it easy to find product and service-specific information and documentation, procure spare parts, track deliveries, plan and oversee service and maintenance activities and much more. It is a secure and reliable platform for collaborating with Wärtsilä quickly, directly and transparently.

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With 2000-4000 users per of the portal per month, Wärtsilä Online allows customers access to services at anytime, anywhere and with any device, making their work more efficient and productive while reducing manual steps.

With activity on the portal continuing to increase, Wärtsilä sought external expertise to design a new concept for the portal to improve its user experience and visual aesthetic.

In response, Nordcloud offered a 2-week design sprint for creating a prototype for the portal, and following its success, helped deliver the live customer portal. 

We have seen a clear increase in user activity. This is not just due to organic growth or a shift from traditional services to online. We can tell that customers are relying more on online.


General Manager of Online Development; Wärtsilä

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Design Priorities.

Visual presence & UX

Design the visual presence and user experience of the new portal, using a design system and component library to drive development.

Updated features

Help Wärtsilä to plan new features for the portal, and re-think existing ones with concept layouts, prototypes and organisation-wide demo sessions.

Sprint speed

Deliver the new concept and prototype for the renewed Wärtsilä Online portal within a 2-week sprint.

Prototype Design Sprint.

Nordcloud designers delivered a 10-day design sprint with Wärtsilä to address snags with the existing portal and deliver the new concept. Wärtsilä attendees were experts in their specific areas of business, with key insights to help shape the design and use of the new prototype.

Refreshed user experience

The design criteria for the prototype was to make it easy to use, mobile-friendly, contain all previous features plus some additions and a refreshed and vibrant visual design.

Journey mapping

Nordcloud designers conducted interviews, mapped out user journeys and iterated several concepts before presenting the prototype to the customer on day 10 of the sprint.

Mobile design

For the final prototype, the team decided to make the solution mobile-only. This move proved a key factor in Wärtsilä progressing with the prototype for the live version of the portal.

Full Portal Design.

After successful prototype delivery, Wärtsilä chose Nordcloud to work as part of the team that would design and deliver the full renewed portal.

Business sync

In curating the full version, the Nordcloud designers wanted to understand the business from top to bottom. This required spending time with those who used the portal regularly as an essential part of their jobs.

Site visits & interviews

The team visited customer sites and worked closely with Wärtsilä employees across the business to find ways of improving the user experience.

Identifying the different user profiles and use cases helped structure the new design to meet the varying needs of different users. The team did 25 customer site visits, conducting over 50 interviews.

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After 23 2-week sprints, 10 major user journeys defined and 250 user stories written, the new portal was piloted with 40 selected customers.

  • End-to-end business success

Internal buy-in was a key success factor. Embedded in Wärtsilä HQ, the Nordcloud team enjoyed excellent collaboration and knowledge sharing, with organic participation from many areas of the business.

  • Fresh design

The refreshed design boasts a clean, modern and vibrant look and feel, with new features and precise user journeys. It uses existing Wärtsilä brand guidelines, icons and the shared UI component library. 

  • Continuous design journey

The Nordcloud design team remain in partnership with Wärtsilä, enabling a continuous iteration and optimisation process with the team.

The new platform runs on Amazon Web Services, is accessible 24/7 and is available on any type of device. 

The old system only worked on desktop, so it was very limited. With the new system, we have a bunch of new services and it is super-fast. 

From the customer experience point of view, it’s been a great leap forward. They absolutely like this and we are getting a lot of good feedback. 

Of course, we have internal channels to generate ideas and we make changes based on the business needs, but the majority of the ideas for upgrades to the platform come from customers. We are collecting feedback all the time. 


General Manager of Online Development; Wärtsilä

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