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EMS Visual Editing Experience

Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) is the world's most recognized process intelligence, task mining, and business execution tool. As enterprise software, Celonis EMS provides a wide range of data processing tools and apps for thousands of logos all around the world. 

The project is about to evolve the code interfaces into familiar visual interfaces, and thanks to that reducing the entry barrier and increasing the adoption rates for the core product, the Celonis Studio.

Problem Definition



Achieve a Celonis Studio adoption rate

Project Start: 32%


total logos which uses Celonis Studio

Project Start: 67


Daily Active Users of Celonis Studio

Project Start: 1203


Imagine playing a computer game, while seeing only the code flowing on the screen...

Celonis Studio is where data analysts spend time and build Apps for the Business Users to understand the business processes and execute necessary actions. For the past 3 years since Studio has been launched, these interfaces were YAML-only, where analysts and engineers build the visual interfaces for their business users. This was the beginning, and we dived deep into this together with Product Managers and Researchers from different squads.

total interviews

Qualitative Surveys

Quantitative Questionnaires

Design Team Workshops

Leadership Team Workshop

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Why do I need to learn YAML to be able to use Celonis Studio?

Customer / Business Analyst

I'm not able to convert my team into Celonis Studio because they don't want to learn code interface.

Customer / Sr. Data Engineer

Why I am not able to edit a chart or a graph visually? Coding it is very oldschool.

Customer /Business Consultant

To be able to see what I am building before publishing, I need to use external tools which visualize my code.

Internal / Data Engineer

Even for the smallest change in a clients view, I need to utilize a team member since the client is not able to execute it

Internal / Supply Chain PM

I am happy with YAML since I am a native user, but I know many users fear using Studio. 

Internal / Data Analyst


Reduce the entry barrier to convert more users, while transforming the app-building experience into visual interfaces

We conducted workshops with internal stakeholders and presented the research outcomes. Especially for an engineering-driven company such as Celonis, internalizing this user-centric goal was crucial. We successfully evangelized the Product and Engineering organization and created a task force team of 46 stakeholders to work on this goal for the next 5 months, while communicating the vision and the north-star from the Marketing Organisation to the Product Executives.

UX Analysis

Knowledge Models

The entry point of the Studio, where data models and source systems such as SAP & Oracle and SQL Workbench are turned into modular knowledge blocks such as KPI's, Filters, Actions; to be used in "Views"

  • Massive learning curve

  • Very high time demand

  • Lack of self-discovery 

  • On-page leading

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Where data gets visual. All the custom components are there to visualize the data in the most meaningful way, and afterward, get executed by the managers and leads. 

Visually representing the data is the core value of Celonis EMS since all the execution gaps and process inefficiencies are discovered through it.

  • "Visualizing" components while coding them.

  • Very high time demand

  • No preview option

  • Recall based patterns

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Published Views

Business users are consuming the data, generated by the source system and Studio users:  the Data Analysts. 

At this stage, identifying the interface issues and the current user journey in between all these steps became also a part of the project.


First Impression, Clarity, and Product Architecture.

Code interfaces have a high learning barrier, where patterns and actions are executed through recall, rather than recognition. To be able to reduce the entry barrier, the interfaces had to be understandable on-place where the user feels empowered and gets an accomplishment feeling.

Heatmap Studies

As part of the Interface analyses, we've run VisualEyes® Heatmap studies with representative user groups to Celonis Studio. 

High-Level issues were:

  • Typography is not well-balanced which results in missing visual focus. 

  • Not enough whitespace - everything feels packed.

Screenshot 2021-12-12 at 19.04.03.png

Information Architecture

  • Content Structure makes it really hard to scan the content and identify issues

  • Main Navigation is really hard to understand, especially for business users, as they are not familiar with anything else in this bar

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Cognitive Load due to recall, rather than recognition. 

Code interfaces have a high learning barrier, where patterns and actions are executed through recall, rather than recognition. To be able to reduce the entry barrier, the interfaces had to be understandable on-place where the user feels empowered and gets an accomplishment feeling.

New Solution


A familiar experience, to democratize the usability and integrate data.

The new interface helps new users access, browse, and insert data with ease thanks to familiar patterns and well-known enterprise usability solutions.

Recognition through color coding

Knowledge Model objects have been branded and color-coded. This helps users to remember many different object types easier while connecting visual and auditorial recognition.

Previewing data


Preview helps you understand what you create. Where this feature is crucial on visual elements, it is also a good experience perk while working with data.

KPI Preview Block.jpg
Record Preview.jpg


Data Visualization while interacting and previewing at the same time.

Component Editors help understand and virtually interact with data, as in familiar tools which the users use besides Celonis in their day-to-day workload. Familiar interactions make the new features easier to adopt.

Grid-based layout

Adjusting the layouts, adding/removing components, and configuring orientations are as familiar as CSS-Grids. 

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Interacting with data modules

Drag & drop helps users to easily configure tables, charts, diagrams, and KPI bars with ease.

Recognition patterns

Tooltips help users to remember the highly complex and technical configurations during the creation process. This increases the pace since moving between helpdesk and articles is reduced to a minimum.

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Recap / What's Next?

  1. Design Language Evolution

  2. Improved Data Visualization

  3. Consistent Iconset


Increase in adoption, lower churn rate, and more smiling faces.

Visual Editing Experience project is published on October 1st, 2021. After finalizing the project's first stage at a record speed, we pushed the changes into productive customer spaces. 

As of mid-December, the actual numbers in adoption rates, returning users, new users, daily active users, and successfully created object numbers increased drastically. Through getting in touch with the customers directly and collecting feedback about their experiences, we've learned that users started to onboard themselves, became less dependent on Celonis Academy (where onboarding happens in long training). 

Also according to the information which we collected from Product Managers and Engineering Leads, the actual numbers on feature requests, bug tickets, and client implementation requests started to decrease since customers became more self-reliant. Let's have a look at some numbers...


Achieve a Celonis Studio adoption rate

OKR to achieve: 70%


total logos which uses Celonis Studio

OKR to achieve: 200


Daily Active Users of Celonis Studio

OKR to achieve: 5000


actual stickiness rate

Project Start: 14%


Monthly retention rate (30 days)

Project Start: 39%


actual star-rating* of Knowledge Models.

Project Start: N/A

Actual Metrics from Studio and Business Views as of Mid-December

* according to internal app survey data.


Celonis EMS 2.0 - Let's continue improving!

After improving the entire experience of App-Creation, our current focus is to improve our design system, information architecture, interface designs, and navigation. 

Below you will find very early stage design mock-ups and click dummies.

Screenshot 2021-12-12 at 23.33.12.png

Current Status

  • By replacing the old application font with the Inter we did the first step in achieving a consistent typeface across the applications.  Today we have a mix of different types of icons, styles, and levels of complexity that do not work well in our Application Design. 



  • One single set of icons that is consistent with our typography and visual design and can be used anywhere via CDN

Current Situation

  • Current UI feels overloaded, cluttered, and lacks visual brilliance. 



  • Create a more appealing visual design language that still represents the celonis brand but prioritizes the usability of the application over pure aesthetics. 

  • Work on dedicated patterns to focus on important elements in the UI, highlight pressing issues, and give clear guidance on next-best actions. 

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Current situation

  • Quite a lot of charts in our applications are combined bar and line charts with multiple axes. Those charts are not only hard to understand but also visually not engaging when all over the place position.



  • Create data visualizations that not only display data but also have an intuitive way to understand the impact of the data whenever possible. 

Current Situation

  • Today it is really hard for the user to understand the different modes and applications.



  • Visually separate the business and the creator experience by creating e a dedicated creator look and feel like a specialist tool rather than just being an “edit mode”.

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Thank you! :)

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