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Designing a Forest of Possibilities
Our contributions

The valuable collaboration of two digital pioneer teams of AFRY X - inUse and Smart Forestry.

Since early 2022, inUse and Smart Forestry business units - both part of AFRY X - have collaborated to develop Smart Forestry products’ user experience. The newest launch of our improved products is a software called Planner, which has been implemented on the AFRY Smart Forestry software platform. Planner is a SaaS (software as a service) solution for creating custom forest development scenarios. It helps customers compare alternative forest management strategies, make forest asset valuations and plan actual forest management operations for different strategic and tactic objectives.

Klara Genberg from AFRY’s extended brand inUse and Juho Penttilä from the Smart Forestry Business unit gave us a view on the collaboration of these two groups of professionals with different kinds of digital expertise and how they have been doing valuable teamwork to bring Smart Forestry products to the next level.

Seeds of the prosperous collaboration

- In early 2022, we identified an increasing need from users of our Smart Forestry platform for bigger UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) changes for more efficient system usage. As we didn’t have a professional designer on the team, Kajsa Westberg from inUse joined the project in June 2022. The collaboration was also necessary because, after the platform launch, we were now starting to bring more of our software family to the same UI and needed a unified user experience, Juho explains.

Working with Kajsa showed benefits quickly, and in September, Klara and Karin Lövsund joined the project to continue the work Kajsa had started.

Klara, a UX Designer from inUse, says that the main thing with Smart Forestry Planner was aligning the design with the improvements they had made earlier in other parts of the system.

- Making the views look and feel like they are the same system is the most important, Klara says. She highlights that the key thing to consider when creating UI is always to take user needs into account.

- Testing the new Planner design early also helped us gain important insights quickly, letting us know what updates should be implemented downstream.

User testing fertilises the user experience

Juho works with the development of Planner and didn’t have any earlier experience in the design process.

- The introduction of inUse experts to the team has brought a lot of new things to the table, including the introduction of systematic user tests with actual users using prototypes and the development environment. These user tests have since turned into one of our key differentiators and competitive advantage in the market, Juho emphasises.

- We want to ensure that the product AFRY’s developing is intuitive and meets users' needs. We aim to provide a UI that guides the user, makes their work easier, and makes them feel like they are in control, Klara adds.