Fostering a Design Culture by Co-creating a New Service Management Experience​

Since its 2001 inception as a ticketing software, OTRS has become a staple in the open source help desk space – to this day projects like Wikipedia use the open version of OTRS to manage incoming email requests. A powerful business solution, OTRS is used in a wide range of industries, markets and contexts, from managing business processes and customer service for consumer brands to security issues in such critical infrastructures as air-traffic control and the energy sector.


Over a period of two years, we accompanied and supported the OTRS AG in reimagining their products’ future and updating its user experience to meet the requirements of a modern professional business tool. The collaboration between OTRS and ma ma initiated a transformation towards design and user-centric values as the guiding principles for the company and its products.



  • Joscha Ilge
  • Business Process Management
  • Design Strategy
  • Decision Making

Gaining an understanding

We kicked off our collaboration by conducting thorough user research and visiting long-term customers. By tapping into the accumulated knowledge of OTRS employees, we came to understand the complex nature of the application and its many uses.



Through our initial user research, it became evident that the advantage the OTRS application builds on is its capabilities to be customized and to model business processes – something any enterprise and corporation demands to manage complexity and create revenue.

User-centered thinking

By proposing a unified experience model, we introduced the notion of customer experience in contrast to user experience and assigned both perspectives to their dedicated company departments – marketing, product management and development.

We fostered the awareness of a user-centered company culture and product strategy by offering different mindsets, models and methods engaging all departments.

"We have been able to understand and learn, not only for the moment but also for future changes and development. A great experience and absolutely worth it!"​
Sabine Riedel
Board Member Global Marketing and Global Human Relations

Tools for decision-making​

To nourish the newly gained perspective of user experience, we co-created a wealth of relevant artifacts such as customer journeys, personas and competitor landscapes – all valuable decision-making tools for marketing, the product team, and the entire OTRS C-level.

The Foundation of design​

To establish user experience as an everyday way of doing things at OTRS, we encouraged everyone in the company to experience the potential of user-centered design and user experience first-hand.


We initiated light house projects in which we co-designed with representatives from all departments. The team learned by doing, gaining knowledge and sharing their experience with colleagues. It was our ambition to spread the understanding of user-centered design throughout the entire company, letting the ideas and discussions about user experience and design take root.


Eventually the experience OTRS gained from the collaboration initiated a transformation toward embracing and incorporating user experience and design as part of its identity.

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Want to know more?

ma ma Interactive System Design
Gutzkowstrasse 7 HH
60594 Frankfurt am Main

+49 (0)69 7930 6622

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“We think in generalities, but we live in detail.” —Alfred North Whitehead