Thought Leadership

How to design delightful services that users love?

Ville Tukiainen Sep 9, 2021

Last month the Sievo user satisfaction score (NPS) reached an all-time high of 47 (on a scale of -100 to 100). For reference, the B2B software industry average is 30 (Retently, 2021), whereas consumer services industry (e.g. online entertainment) average is 47. While the user satisfaction score does fluctuate from month to month, Sievo has been able to improve user satisfaction steadily since we started measuring it 5 years ago.  

We are often asked how we can have so happy users when working in such a complex domain as procurement analytics. I want to give you a glimpse into how we design services at Sievo with the user at the center. 


1. Understand the user needs 

It’s not enough to give the users what they are asking for, you need to understand why they are asking for it to be able to design a great user experience. We spend a lot of time engaging with our users to understand what business needs are driving their actions and the use of Sievo features. Answering these questions helps us make decisions that support users’ ways of working. We also understand that each user type has different needs; a senior chief procurement officer has very different needs and competencies compared to a young category analyst. Sievo must cater for both at the same time.  


2. Build a service users can trust

The most important factor in making a happy user is that they need to be able to trust the service. In Sievo's case, we have learned that the focus needs to be on data quality and speed of the service. This is not an easy task to master, as we are talking about huge amounts of complex data that is transformed into an easy-to-understand format. We want to let our users know where the numbers they are looking at are coming from, and enable them to fix any errors they spot on the fly.  Allowing users to easily fix errors is very important as source data is rarely perfect. 


3. Don’t let technology drive

Being an engineering heavy company we take pride in our modern tech stack. However, we never let technology dictate how a service should work. Every service design task starts with a real use case in mind. The appropriate technology is chosen only when we know how the feature should work from a users point of view. 


4. Make it simple

When talking about design, usability and the user interface (UI) are the first things that come to people's mind. While us designers thrive on creating beautiful buttons (we really do 😀), design is mostly about creating the feel of familiarity. It's about creating services that look and work the way users expect them to do. We aim to design services that can be used from the get-go, even by users who are not that seasoned with procurement analytics. 


5. Verify your assumptions 

Work is never done when you publish a new feature. We verify that the feature is loved by conducting user engagement and telemetry. Thereafter, we do the necessary tweaking of the services as needed. Focusing on any critical comments has proven to be fruitful. Understanding the reasoning behind the comments might reveal design flaws or previously unidentified user needs. The main thing is to talk to users as frequently as possible and understand their concerns and what makes them excited. 


6. Talk to users at every step of the development

We have baked user engagement into our design and development process. This means that we include the users' voice and verify our plans at every step of the way. The best tool for this is rapid prototyping which allows us to design and review a service concept without writing any piece of code. Using prototypes we can verify all our assumptions and finetune the design before we even start developing it, making the process faster and cheaper, with a better end result. 


7. Focus on the first-time experience 

We take extra care in focusing on user onboarding. Unlike many of our competitors, we provide a combination of human-lead guidance and in-app onboarding features. This ensures we address both change management (so that users understand what is expected from them), and usage (so that they know how to find insights in Sievo and make self-service reporting float their boat). 


What's next?

We are extremely grateful to have users who feel passionate about procurement analytics and want to be pioneers in their field by working together with Sievo to create lovable services. We have a bunch of great features coming out this year, so keep your eyes open and the feedback coming. We thrive on it ❤️  

Have a look at our SievoFriends 21 recordings to hear from our great customers and get a sneak peek into what we are working on. 



Ville Tukiainen is the Head of Service Desing at Sievo with a passion for turning end user’s needs into services they love. With an AD background and decade of experience in software service design strategy, his ambitions vary from creating pixel perfect user interfaces to driving company-wide cultural change. In this blog Ville shares his thoughts on what consists of a delightful UX. 


Header picture by: @artbyhybrid (

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