Bosch eBike Systems

Bosch is the market leader in the field of eBike drive systems. With the takeover of COBI in 2017, Bosch expanded its portfolio in the area of digitally networked bicycles and e-bikes. In 2018 Bosch and COBI started expanding the team to quickly advance their vision of connected biking.

21TORR GmbH/ Bosch eBike Systems
My Role
UX Architect

What a ride!

Due to NDA I can not tell much about my work at Bosch eBike Systems. But I can tell as much as it was quite a ride!
I started working at eBike in November 2018 together with many other designers and developers forming a whole new ecosystem to create the smart biking experience of the future. The atmosphere was vibrant and it was so exciting to go on this journey together with all these ambitious people!

Declaring war on eBike theft

Together with an iOS developer, we were assigned to support the Anti-Theft-Team tackling all issues concerning bike theft.
We did a lot of research and benchmarking in the industry and outside the industry to brainstorm innovative ideas. Together with members of various other teams, we conducted several ideation workshops to gain insights from as many perspectives as possible and broaden our pool of ideas.

The outcome of our work was a first prototype we did several usability testings with. Apart from working on overall Anti-Theft topics, we were assigned to improve the “Premium Feature Lock” that has been launched for the model year 2020 (autumn 2019).

Main challenges (and how to tackle them)

The main challenge was to understand and work with the technically demanding interdependencies of eBike engine, embedded display and smartphone. At the same time, this was the most appealing aspect to me, too as I love dealing with complex systems.
By taking the time to understand as much as possible by myself and then approaching the relevant engineers with explicit questions helped me to grasp the system quickly.

Another challenge was having a lot of big meetings with many different people from all kind of backgrounds (e.g. engineering, customer services, marketing, security etc.). The different professional backgrounds with their different vocabularies oftentimes led to misunderstandings.
For me as a visually thinking person, the solution was obvious: I started to prepare some quick sketches of all system components, users and other devices and hung them on the whiteboard. This made sure that it was clear to everyone about which components, connections or constraints we were talking.

Working in this nascent ecosystem was both very exciting and challenging. Structures, roles, tools and processes were just about to be defined wich sometimes led to almost startup-like chaos. At the same time it was very interesting to observe and sometimes be part of this shaping process.

Lessons learned

During my time at Bosch eBike what I learned most was working on a subject that had a huge amount of interdependencies and a lot of stakeholders involved. I learned to explain certain approaches or decisions to people from different backgrounds and different priorities (always holding up the UX flag!).