Our #WirVsVirus project: Chatbot UDO

As a proud venture partner of the #WirVsVirus Solution Builder, the implementation program of the Federal Government’s #WirVsVirus hackathon, we use our digital expertise to support teams in developing their ideas and solutions – from prototype to finished product.

Ray Sono

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In particular, our two UI/UX experts Ramona Rapp and Jana Große have actively contributed to implementing a hackathon idea in recent weeks: Chatbot UDO, who guides employers through the process of applying for short-time benefits easily and quickly, and helps them complete the necessary forms for the Federal Employment Agency.

The #WirVsVirus hackathon was over a few months ago – when did you get into the game?

In the weeks after the hackathon, one of the project teams in the #WirVsVirus Solution Builder program built a digital product featuring conversational design. It had to be expanded to include a new UI (User Interface) approach. The team had skills in development, expertise, and marketing. But they were still missing UX (User Experience) and UI expertise – that was our job!

What is the basic idea behind the project?

It’s about UDO, the friendly chatbot, who helps companies fill in the application forms for short time benefits to their workers – step by step.

A total of three forms must be submitted: 101, 107 and 108. When we got involved, number 101 was already live at https://kurzarbeit-einfach.de/. Since UDO was very successful in helping employers with this form, the other two were also to be implemented. In form 108, all employees and their payroll data must be entered into a table every month. Here, UDO’s conversational design abilities quickly reach their limits.

What were your specific tasks?

We supported the team in UX, UI and research questions and found a solution for the complex form 108, which cannot (exclusively) be mapped using a chat format. To solve this problem, we familiarised ourselves with the topic in depth and created a prototype persona and mapped its journey through the entire application process for short-time work benefits. This gave the team an inspiration, which ultimately resulted in a prototype.

Of course, UDO also has to work clearly in conjunction with the other forms, so that the user obtains the relevant information at the exact point of the short-time process where they currently find themselves.

What was the focus of the project?

UDO’s product development had to be significantly accelerated so that companies that are facing the challenge of submitting applications NOW can get help as quickly as possible. There was no time for a detailed research or strategy phase; we went immediately into the operational work.

A certain degree of pragmatism was required for this. Our strategy was to build on existing models and use tools that helped us quickly create collaborative results: Mural as a virtual whiteboard, Figma as a design and prototyping tool, and Slack for daily exchanges with the team.

How has work changed in the Corona crisis?


In home office, you can work very concentratedly and effectively due to the lack of background noise – but a good exchange with your colleagues is a prerequisite for this. For us this worked very well thanks to daily video calls and various tools and methods.

Figma, for example, has proven itself in the field of interactive collaboration. We used it to design the UX/UI concept, present the prototype, and hand over the project to the developers without any complications. In addition, we adapted well-known methods to our remote collaboration. We could map the Design Studio Challenge perfectly with Mural.

Have you learned something from this particular work situation that may be helpful in the future?

Openness to new tools and methods! In the end, I can only work as quickly and easily – and also creatively – as my tool or work method allows me.

We got involved and were all surprised and enthusiastic about the results and what we personally learned – each person individually, but also for us as a team.

Talking about being enthusiastic, is there something you particularly liked?

In any case, work on such a relevant and innovative product with an interdisciplinary team. It never felt like a customer-service partner relationship. We shared a common goal; each of us helped develop UDO as quickly as possible to help people during the crisis.

The atmosphere was very positive, and the team’s gratitude and enthusiasm inspired us.

Is your work with UDO now complete?

The results of the work are currently being implemented and will soon be available at https://kurzarbeit-einfach.de. From time to time, we glance at the current state of affairs, primarily out of curiosity about the final results and in order to support any questions.

We are excited to see how our UX/UI concept feels in real life, and hope that we have made a significant contribution to improving UDO.

What do you hope for UDO in the future?

First, of course, that UDO supports many people to easily apply for short time work benefits for their employees. Furthermore, we hope that UDO will act as a food for thought. UDO shows how fast and easy it is for a few clever heads to tear down bureaucratic walls and set up smart digital products and services that simplify life.

You want to learn more about Ray Sono? Get in touch!

You want to learn more about Ray Sono? Get in touch!

Nancy Forner
Marketing & Communications
Contact us here

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