Febelco partnered with us to redefine their customer zone backed by profound UX Research.


Redefining Febelco's Customer Zone through UX Research

Febelco is the leading wholesaler-distributor of pharmaceutical products in Belgium, boasting a market share of 43% and an impressive turnover of €1.5 billion. The cooperative-based company is entirely owned by its customers, independent Belgian pharmacists, and features prominently in the top 100 Belgian companies.

Results of this partnership

User centricity is key for Febelco. They put their money where their mouth is and requested our help to conduct thorough user research to be able to offer a top-notch user experience in their customer platform. 

Platform redesign, including new information architecture and optimized functionalities tailored to users' needs

Design of additional features for the new engagement program

Development of long-term initiatives based on real customer input


Platform redesign, including new information architecture and optimized functionalities tailored to users' needs


Design of additional features for the new engagement program


Development of long-term initiatives based on real customer input

The challenge

Febelco wanted to launch their new engagement program and identified their customer platform as a key communication channel for this rollout. They were looking for a comprehensive redesign of the customer zone to maintain their customer-centric approach.

So, the challenge was not only to incorporate the engagement program but also to optimize the platform’s information architecture, wording, and functionality, with a focus on user-centric solutions.

Given the importance of customer involvement in user-centric solutions, we planned to regularly gather insights from pharmacists throughout the project.

We, as a digital partner, always look at the long-term with our clients. For Febelco, we challenged ourselves to incorporate future features as well as more strategic initiatives that could be used for buy-in from stakeholders within the company.

The Reference came at the perfect time. Their expertise significantly enhanced our customer portal, creating a professional environment for our pharmacists. In a remarkably short time, they grasped our complex business processes, ensuring a smooth project progression. Their open way of working and solution-oriented approach have elevated the whole project to a higher level.

Sabine De Hauwere, MarCom Manager at Febelco

The solution

We put together a team of design, research, UX and strategic experts to tackle this challenge.  

Engaging with customers through third-party conversations provides our client with invaluable insights into the daily challenges and opportunities customers encounter when interacting with their company.

Therefore, our project approach seamlessly integrated customer insights with business strategy at several key stages. This significantly reduced the error margin, ensuring that we developed a solution that was both useful and user-friendly, rather than one that would be underutilized or cause frustration.

We invited pharmacists to join a customer journey workshop with the project team, consisting of both people from The Reference and Febelco. Later, we conducted usability testing on the new designs to thoroughly review the features, wordings, and information architecture. The team also involved the pharmacists to gather feedback on the changes, demonstrating the unity of our team throughout the project.

This collaborative input, combined with the internal alignment of stakeholders was the recipe for success.

How we made this work

1. Kick-off

We started the project with a kick-off meeting with the project team, resulting in a project framework with a definition of success, goals, guiding principles, and potential pitfalls.

2. Customer Journey Workshop

A customer journey workshop was organized involving pharmacists, customer service representatives, and members from marketing, sales, and IT teams.

3. UX

Using our expertise in UX, customer feedback, and insights from the workshops, we developed a new information architecture and wireframes.

4. KPI Workshop

Because it was important for Febelco to seize data capturing opportunities, we organized a dedicated workshop to identify Key Performance Indicators, culminating in a tagging guide.

5. Usability testing

Based on three different scenarios, we did some usability testing with six pharmacists providing valuable feedback.

6. Final designs

The final stage of the project was the creation of the final designs, incorporating all insights and feedback gathered throughout the process.

Through this approach, we were able to identify opportunities for improvement in processes, functionalities, wording, and even non-digital opportunities. Conducting customer journey workshops, we combined inside-out knowledge and strategies with outside-in feedback.

This project underscores the importance of customer input in decision-making and the value of a comprehensive, customer-centric approach to design and development.

Our team passionately crafted designs that were both visually attractive and user-friendly, aiming to meet Febelco's complex business processes and customer requirements. This project highlights the significance of customer input and UX research in driving meaningful innovation.

Eline Jansegers, Account Manager at The Reference

The services that made this happen

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