For us, every company is different, and every brand has its own roots and heritage that have to be understood and treated carefully. Our work is driven by discovery and human centricity, leading to novel ideas.
Hi, we’re MING Labs. We work with transformation leaders around the globe to help them navigate the changing business landscape and implement relevant digital solutions. Our work combines business design, experience design, and technology — everything vital to help businesses grow and change the way they work.
WHAT WE DO
We partner with companies to help them change their processes and workflows, introducing best design practices to the B2B settings. What you’re getting from MING is a team of, say, five people who’ll work with you day in and day out, and they will bring you somewhere new. Which is perhaps exactly where you’d like to end up.
Outcomes: Customer Journeys, Service Blueprints, Experience Prototypes, Functional Prototypes, Visual Direction / Branding, Design Systems
Whatever the interface, it has to be functional and useful and has to help people do whatever it is that they want to do. At the same time, we want things to slightly stand out and implicitly communicate that they are not only functional: There's also the emotional aspect that we care a great deal about. It’s worth noting that we don’t just draw good-looking mockups and call it a day. We work on the technical implementation, too, and supervise it until the very last moment.
Outcomes: Opportunity Maps, Business Cases, Financial Models, Value Propositions
Business design is about helping you identify relevant opportunities that can lead to important changes (read: a lot of money made or saved). We don’t expect a detailed brief, and we don’t expect everything to be figured out for us upfront. Rather, we’re glad to figure things out together: We’re comfortable with uncertainty and we’re flexible in our approach. When you already have an idea about the direction you’d like to follow, we’ll help you validate it with potential customers and create the business case for it.
Outcomes: Maintainable Source Code, Fully Tested Deployments, Instructions & Documents, Test Scripts / Test Cases
For us, the design part is just half of the job: The development phase is when the project really begins to come together, and there’s hardly anything more exciting than that. We have a strong in-house tech team (architects, DevOps, back-end and front-end devs, QA engineers, project managers, you name it) that closely follows recent tech trends and can set up, run and refine a solid process with up-to-date tools and methodologies like Scrum, code review, continuous integration, continuous deployment and automated testing.
The design agency Uniplan wanted to relaunch their website with a new design, look and feel to communicate the new brand position in the right way. This included not only the design, but also the development and copywriting. Uniplan reached out to us due to a recommendation for website design and development. Our objective was to create a new platform that mirrored Uniplan’s nature of design, creativity and strategy.
WMF created their digital platform CoffeeConnect as an innovative solution to collect, analyze and process smart data on the WMF coffee machines. The machines can be connected and customers can receive information to optimize their sales and technical performance. The digital platform mainly caters to the needs of the target personas of facility managers and food chain managers in charge of monitoring the coffee machines and providing data on consumer behavior. MING Labs got on board to develop the front end of the platform.
The initial problem that GROHE was facing was the fact that their customer support centre was overloaded with requests, which resulted in long waiting times for callers. Our objective was to find a way to reduce the load on customer support and subsequently improve its service.
The air quality in most of China leaves much to be desired, so Mann+Hummel launched OurAir, an indoor air filtration system, and we did some apps for it. Mann+Hummel is a big deal: For over 100 years, it’s been producing filtration systems for air and water, primarily used in cars, and the company firmly established itself as what might be called a World Market Leader in the Automotive Industry. In the light of the quick development of electric mobility — electric cars, electric scooters, electric everything — which marks the beginning of the end of the diesel motor, M+H began to look for new applications of its filtering systems. Soon enough, they created... OurAir, an air filter system for indoor use. Simply put, it's a device that you place in the corner of your room to make the air cleaner. In countries and cities with unreasonably high levels of air pollution, this is something particularly relevant.
In 2014, Jan and Fabian, the founders of a yet untitled company, noted a new trend: people conscious of their diet and eating habits were eating egg whites. A lot of them. The egg white is extremely rich in protein, and, according to some studies, contains protein of the highest quality. The problem is, of course, that you couldn’t buy egg whites anywhere in Germany — so your only option was to buy eggs and throw out all the yolks. Jan and Fabian came up with the idea to sell just the egg whites, and they approached us to work together on the product launch — which included naming, packaging, branding, website, and so on; the whole thing. There were a couple of difficulties at play here. First, the egg white — a translucent liquid — doesn’t look particularly appealing, visually speaking, so we had to come up with a way of showing the product in some other way. Second, the audience wasn’t really familiar with the product, with the idea of buying just the egg whites, so we had some explaining to do before we could convince them to buy this.
ADB wanted to offer something their competition didn’t, and their bet was on becoming a more human, more approachable, less bureaucratic organization. The ADB’s president’s agenda was using new tech to run the business in a more efficient way, involving digital transformation and innovation to improve the processes overall. They acknowledged that the process of getting a loan is a very slow one, involving a lot of complicated paperwork, and that they needed to do better. The starting point for this project was McKinsey’s 100-page "Asia Development Report”, which acts as a summary of development progress in Asia. ADB realized that it’s too academic, too long, that nobody really reads it and that they need to do better. The audience that ADB needed to reach is a very special one: namely, government officials all across Asia. To reach them, ADB decided to move to storytelling: away from reports, to the actual stories behind the development, covering the projects’ impact on people’s lives, showing who the people behind various projects are. A related idea was to establish a community around sustainable development projects — solar farms, low-carb tech, and so on.
Mapbox is a provider of custom online maps which can be embedded in websites and applications. Naturally, the primary audience of this kind of service is developers, as they are the ones who end up using it most extensively while building a website or an app in question — and developers need detailed, extensive, up-to-date documentation to be able to work with the external platform. What this means for Mapbox, effectively, is that they need to create and maintain a huge collection of knowledge — documentation for various programming languages and for various platforms — and have both a way of displaying it in a convenient way for the reader, as well as a good way to edit and publish stuff (a content management system, roughly speaking). A set of extra challenges on this project included: - Technical legacy of many tools and frameworks used on the original American .com site - Working with stakeholders across multiple business units and regions with conflicting priorities - Identifying a structure and visual identity that matches the needs of the Chinese audience while still conforming to the existing global brand We mapped out the project and got to work.
XL Axiata wanted to understand their distribution network — to get data, to get insights, to understand precisely what’s going on with their SIM card sales, and how to adjust their offers to better suit the needs of the customer in the real-world. Among other things, XL Axiata sells SIM cards throughout Indonesia, a wonderful country in Southeast Asia with a population of 264 million people living. What’s particularly interesting is the number of islands: between 16,056 and 17,508, depending on your sources. Apparently, counting islands is not as straightforward as one would think. You can quickly see that the combination of all geographical features — country size, terrain, etc. — instantly turns the logistics of delivering of your products into a logistical nightmare. XL Axiata operates only about 300 of its own retail stores, and relies on the network of third-party wholesalers, distributors and retailers to sell their SIM cards. The more entities involved, the more convoluted the process becomes; or, to put it simply, it’s challenging! There is next to no visibility, you don’t know who you’re actually selling to, how these SIM cards end up being used and what the most popular plans are.
Lukas Pilat and Robert Kopka were designing a different kind of lamp: a lamp that would make it possible to set up the light in a room just so — color, shape, direction, intensity, etc. With a regular switch, you can’t quite paint with light. You need some kind of interactive medium. Indeed, the idea was that you’d control the lamp with a phone — and it is with this idea they approached us to experiment and find a suitable, unconventional, pleasantly surprising way of doing so. Technology-wise, their idea was to use 200 LEDs in total, some at the top, some at the bottom, that would generate any light in any direction. According to our knowledge, nothing of the kind existed at the time. It was an ambitious, risky and technologically challenging endeavor: As with all innovations, it’s quite impossible to predict up front whether you’ll succeed or not. Same with design.
THE NEEDS: To promote ADB’s expertise and initiatives in sustainable development projects
THE RESULT: A website that runs stories on ADB’s various initiatives and acts as a community hub dedicated to sustainability projects in Asia
WHAT WE DID: Discovery, research, UX/UI design, web development
20+ digital transformation projects in the chemical industry, from internal innovation topics
to new digital business models, as well as quick prototyping and validation engagements.
from 2015 to 2018
ReachNow (DriveNow sister concept) prototyping for the US and China markets, including
China adaptations and launch website. ConnectedRide App UX design for BMW motorcycles.
from 2014 to 2018
Exploration of new business models in China. Automotive aftermarket eCatalogue
implementation. Industrial IoT and Smart Manufacturing Prototyping and UX.
Market research, user research, prototyping and validation for launching a digital business
model into the Chinese market, which has previously successfully been built for Europe.
from 2016 to 2017
Concept creation for Disney IP-branded Android themes, including Art Direction, Interaction
Concept, UX Design and User Testing.
Concept development and UX design for smaller-form print devices in different categories.
Support of the ING venture lab, through prototyping, user testing, UX design and
implementation for start-ups incubated in their corporate venture program.
from 2015 to 2016
Concept development, prototyping, user testing and implementation of various travel-
related innovation concepts for Lufthansa.
THE NEEDS: To create the digital companion for a range of indoor air quality devices
THE RESULT: We developed a mobile app for visualizing the air quality and a web app for managing hundreds of these filters in one building
WHAT WE DID: Mobile app, desktop app, design, development
Research, UX Design and User Testing for multiple applications around Panasonic’s smart
home and IoT portfolio, for the Chinese market.
from 2015 to 2018
THE NEEDS: Urban planners of Singapore wanted a better understanding of city dynamics. They'd already got a huge dataset — now they needed a good way of working with it
THE RESULT: We created a set of interactive dashboards that provide real-time access to data insights, making data usable and helping urban planners understand what really goes on
WHAT WE DID: Research, field research, UX/UI design, data visualization, web development
Customer value co-creation project, aimed at designing the ideal customer journey for Visa
products in the customer’s application.
THE NEEDS: Distribution network transparency — come up with a clever way to understand what happens with tens of thousands of SIM cards that are sold
THE RESULT: We built a mobile app for retailers and wholesalers that helped gather a lot of missing data
WHAT WE DID: Mobile app, design, development
Research, process design and consulting around employee onboarding.
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