Research, segmentation and user portraits for Erhvervsstyrelsen

Erhvervsstyrelsen is a Danish authority working to create value and growth for Danish companies. They are not afraid to let go of old ways of thinking and grab on to new ways of doing things – even when it comes to getting to know their users before designing a new digital platform. They came to us because they needed deep insights into their users. 



The Purpose

Erhvervsstyrelsen contacted us because they’re looking into developing a new digital platform to promote Danish business life – a platform that can support and help companies with issues related to how to start, operate and grow. They wanted a study focusing on segmentation and quality assurance of the target group for the platform. We chose to design several user portraits – a form of personas – that could describe the different types of business owners who would benefit from a future digital platform.

The Approach

We always put our users first and know how critical it is to get to understand them and their challenges. Because of that, it came to us naturally to carry out in-depth user research for Erhvervsstyrelsen. We conducted multiple interviews with the user group. We did 34 in-depth interviews, three focus group interviews and, to add a cherry on top, a quantitative questionnaire survey with 2000 responses.


We know the importance of user research. However, the expectations and needs of the users have to be taken into account and shared. We did a number of workshops with consultants from Danish business to validate the insights from the interviews. In addition, we hosted co-creation workshops with the same consultants to start the idea generation for the new digital platform.

User portraits

In the process of getting to know your current and future users right, it's not always enough to know who they are. It may be necessary to dive deeper; what types of business owners are we looking at? What motivates them? What emotions, thoughts, and barriers do they possess when starting a new business? We formed six different user portraits that enable Erhvervsstyrelsen to put itself in the users' place and prioritize features, tasks, and designs for the new digital platform.


"With this type of research project and analysis of the users' needs, it is important that insights and findings can be taken on and used in the daily work with design and development of digital solutions – and that employees across departments can benefit from the insights. Which is why we formed several user portraits, which are a simple visual tool that can help interdisciplinary teams understand the users."

Nanna Gelineck
Senior Insights Consultant, Adapt

The Solution

We had a clear goal; in collaboration with Erhvervsstyrelsen, we wanted to get to know the different types of entrepreneurs and business owners. We have come up with six different user profiles, each portraying a segment with different needs, feelings, barriers, and goals. The portraits focus on the tasks that the various users need to solve and the business-related issues they want help with. The user portraits will benefit Erhvervsstyrelsen in the design and development of their new digital platform, and ensure that they develop the features that create the most value for the users.


Nanna Gelineck
Senior Insights Consultant