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Swarovski Beyond the stone

Creating new revenue streams for Swarovski through
user-centered platform design

We’ve been working with Swarovski to develop a new software solution, the “Swarovski Design Database”. By using machine learning to generate recommendations from a database, we are able to structure and optimize design processes throughout the industry, helping to improve efficiency. In addition, intellectual property can be sustainably secured through blockchain integration.

  • Background

    Under the banner “Beyond the Stone”—in reference to Swarovski’s world-famous crystals—the company is on a mission to find digital revenue streams outside its regular business segments.

    After some initial research, the Swarovski team realized that many jewelry manufacturers were experiencing the exact same problems: the design process was too unstructured, and the majority of jewelry designs were created by hand and stored manually. As only a fraction of all finished drafts actually make it into production, many designs were simply disappearing into drawers, resulting in a lot of lost potential.

    By creating a tool that digitalizes and structures the entire design process, jewelry designers worldwide can make the design process more efficient and increase profitability.

  • Challenge

    It’s a long journey from the initial idea for a piece of jewelry to the finished design. The creative process involves many different people and the designs go through numerous iterations before they are ready to be implemented in production.

    It’s not surprising then that a considerable amount of design information is wasted during this process, costing jewelry designers both time and money.

    The “Swarovski Design Database” aims to collect this lost information, organize it in a smart way, and make it easily available. This would not only increase the efficiency of the entire design process but also raise the overall quality of designs.

  • 27

    60 minutes conducted and evaluated online with potential users and decision makers

  • 6

    Product Roles
    Head of Design, Senior Designer, CEO, Sales, Product Manager, Designer

  • 10

    Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, the UAE, and Vietnam

  • 1

    Design Tool
    Swarovski Database Design Tool, for Design Teams and Business Owners

Swarovski Design Database moodboard.

In the course of two design sprints, we were able to both identify the challenge and outline a solution. This structured the project, while still leaving room for creativity. The concept for the solution was validated through a series of user interviews before being implemented as a wireframe, which won over potential users in initial tests.

The wireframe was then enhanced, and the resulting UI design was tested as a click dummy during an extensive prototyping phase. Potential users around the world were asked to evaluate the software in terms of usefulness and value. The user study also helped us to refine the feature requirements and create an action plan for further development. We validated the many varied user personas using the scenario testing method. A thorough conjoint analysis helped us to determine the business value and potential revenue of the software, and establish the MVP.


Our final tested concept proves that intelligent user-centered software design can be used to combine creative processes with structured workflows, helping to improve efficiency in the jewelry design industry.

The conjoint analysis and subsequent customer interviews suggest that the “Swarovski Design Database” has enormous business potential. There is clearly a global need for a software-as-a-service product to increase profitability in the jewelry design sector. Developing the right solution has opened up a brand new revenue stream for the famous Tirolean company.

Methods we used

  • Design Sprint

  • Market Analysis

  • Outcome-Driven Innovation

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • Requirements Mapping

  • Service Blueprint

  • User Journey Mapping

  • UX Research

"The mixture of active listening and contributed expertise was 'customer coaching' for me. The way Empatic understood my wishes was perfect."
Robert Trauner, VP Product Management, Swarovski Gemstones Division