Once again we are in a “Corona winter” – and yet for us almost nothing is like last year. Our workload in 2021 has been excellent, and together with you and other customers we have found a completely new way of working. A working mode that doesn’t just work, but is characterized by smart and creative innovations. Many of these innovations have been here to stay.
To name just a few examples: we save a lot of travel costs and CO2 because we run most project workshops remotely by default. We have also completely converted our UX Academy trainings to “remote first”, so that they are in no way less didactic than face-to-face trainings. The home office is now the standard at Centigrade and no longer just the exception. We now also recruit new employees without an increased focus on the applicant’s place of residence.
The switch to 100% home office has not slowed down the expansion of our customer portfolio – it was more the opposite.
We were allowed to create the UX and UI design for the first truly digital electric car this year. Behind this highly innovative project is the startup ELEXIR, with whom we were able to make incredible progress in terms of form and function within just a few months. We can’t wait to present the design results next year and therefore make no secret of our lofty design award ambitions. This year, more than any other, the project stands for creating outstanding digital experiences – with an emphasis on experience.
Next to other exciting projects in the automotive industry, we were also able to further expand the life science sector and have been consulted across various customers in all UX disciplines offered – whether user research, design system development or UX Academy trainings. We are particularly proud of the fact that in the disciplines of requirements engineering, UX conception and agile management, we not only proactively help steer the project directions, but have also been entrusted with the entire full-stack software development. Not only do we use the latest open source and web technologies such as ElasticSearch, GraphQL, Angular or React – we are also increasingly able to use our DevOps and Docker know-how to add value for our customers.
We also succeeded in diversifying this year in a way that is unparalleled: whether medical technology, financial services or cybersecurity projects – the Centigrade team was able to prove in numerous new projects that our UX process building kit Continuous UX is a universally applicable and industry-independent tool. So universal, in fact, that we were even able to tap into the topic of “digital corporate health management” and developed an IoT device along with a stylish smartphone app for the company Walkolution – including gamification and motivational design. In this area, we have also expanded our partnership with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and, in the joint research project IoT Assist, we have also dealt with ethical issues of AI and motivational design, among other things.
As one of the last “goodies”, a large game usability test was added to our order pipeline this year. For us as a gamification-oriented team that promotes playful ease in the process and the end result, it was of course a delight to be able to contribute our expertise in the field of UX research so intensively here. In general, the games market has grown so strongly, partly due to the Corona pandemic, that we have seen a significantly higher volume of requests for serious game development.
In short, in 2021 we were once again able to work at the absolute cutting edge of digital transformation. But despite all the enthusiasm for renewal, one thing has remained wonderfully the same: the urge of many colleagues to work live and in color with colleagues and customers in a shared place in a warm and cordial working atmosphere. Under the motto “Together. Anywhere.” we designed and built the “Armadillo” desk so that we can spend beautiful summer days together in the outdoor office. For the fall and winter, we have turned our office space in Saarbrücken into a true meeting place. In addition to a workshop including a digital wood router, we now have a fully equipped band rehearsal room for making music together, as well as numerous ergonomic workstations, which, thanks to corresponding treadmills, now remarkably also allow screen work while walking. Of course, all of this is subject to the condition that our encounters are compliant with the current Corona regulations at all times.The safety of our employees is a top priority at all times, which is why we have also dispensed with a Christmas party this year.
It almost sounds like a platitude, but we were able to experience it firsthand in 2021: Crises make us all stronger. There is no reason to bury our heads in the sand. Instead, we symbolically put our heads together and warm ourselves on our shared passion for UX and design.
We wish you and your family and colleagues a few peaceful days and a successful new year 2022.