The “Customer Focus & Design” team at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles consists of user experience specialists who develop innovative digital services, both for business and for individual customers.
Caroline Schalwat is head of Customer Focus & Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover. Her team works on digital services for customers and can draw on user experience design specialists from different nations, continents, sectors and professional backgrounds.
User experience is a key element of digitalisation and determines users’ everyday lives. That’s because it aims to make products and services understandable and intuitive for users via simple, well coordinated processes and interfaces. “Our team equips Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ customers with digital services and products,” explains Caroline. “To do this, we create modern design concepts as well as tools for interaction and intuitive interfaces, as is the case for We Connect Fleet, which is currently our main product.”
We Connect Fleet
We Connect Fleet is Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ fleet management system. This simple digital solution is a way to efficiently manage small to medium-sized fleets, thereby making commercial customers’ day-to-day work easier.
Fleet managers can access important data quickly and easily in the system while drivers can use the Connect Fleet app to report damage or keep a digital logbook. “For example, fleet managers get an alert when tyres in the vehicle have worn out or should be changed,” says Caroline.
California on Tour
The team is also working on the California on Tour app. This mobile online service allows Volkswagen California owners to quickly and easily find a suitable camping and parking site or gas station along their route.
“We work in the middle of the city centre, and Volkswagen’s infrastructure offers us many opportunities that start-ups don’t normally have. For example, we can always use the latest software,” explains Caroline. “At the same time, we have the freedoms of a start-up, which makes creative work and interaction possible.” In particular, collaborative working and direct communication is important for UX designers.
Despite coming from a different background, in human resources, Caroline Schalwat was able to rapidly expand her expertise. “In the beginning, I first had to become familiar with the language of UX designers and learn to see what details make a successful design. I can now judge this very well and discuss it with my colleagues,” she says.
After studying sociology and business administration, Caroline wrote her doctorate in cooperation with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. She then worked as a personnel officer in charge of European sales and as an assistant to the board member responsible for human resources. In 2018, she decided to take a different path: “Working at Volkswagen means being flexible and managing an area outside of your own specialism, so I saw this as a great challenge for me.”
Source: Volkswagen AG