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Munich innovation award

Digitization of the munich cementeries

On July 19, 2022, we were honored to receive the Munich Innovation Award from Mayor Katrin Habenschaden at the Munich Urban Colab. We convinced the jury with our concept for the digitalization of Munich's cemeteries and subsequently developed our idea in collaboration with the city. Read all about our journey and results.
a picture of lorenz giving the innovation award winning speech


The Munich Municipal Cemeteries manage 29 cemeteries with approximately 260,000 graves and about 11,000 burials per year. This makes a total of over 100,000 customer contacts per year. In addition, there are contacts with service providers, craftsmen and clergy. With the development of a cemetery app, Munich Municipal Cemeteries would like to raise the relationship with customers and visitors to the cemeteries to a new dimension of experience. Through digital visualization and networking of existing data, decision-making processes, e.g. when buying a grave, are to be simplified and development processes, such as new mobility concepts for cyclists or mobility-impaired people, are to be initiated. (Excerpt from the press release of the city of Munich)


The Cemeteries Munich app provides a central information platform for the diverse visitors to the cemeteries. Innovative augmented reality navigation enables efficient and precise location of graves and facilitates the search for available grave sites as part of individual funeral arrangements. A cemetery is not only a place of mourning, but also a meeting place. Geolocation-based audio tours allow visitors to discover cemeteries in a new way.



The process of purchasing a grave site was identified as the most potential use case and implemented in a human-centered design process. In a first step, grave sellers were interviewed, followed by a joint simulation of the grave sales conversation process. Finally, the customers' needs for grave purchases were identified and their decision criteria prioritized:

  1. Price
  2. Proximity to the entrance
  3. Location and surroundings
  4. Grave type and form of burial
  5. Restrictions on grave markers and foundations
  6. Shade, fountains and benches nearby

In addition, possible contexts of use were defined for the grave purchase. Currently, the grave purchase is carried out purely in analog form on site in a sales meeting with the grave salesperson. In the future, the cemetery app will be used to support this personal sales process in advance, but never to replace it entirely. The application is intended to give interested parties the opportunity to make a preliminary selection.

In the matrix of possible contexts of use (use of the application on the smartphone on site at the cemetery grounds, or preliminary information at home), a home desktop application was first identified as the most likely use case for the use case, and development was aligned accordingly.



This interaction prototype was used - in line with an iterative and human-centered development process - to collect feedback from potential users and incorporate it into further development. The users were asked to choose a grave with the help of the prototype and to express their thoughts continuously (Thinking Aloud user study). In addition to feedback on aesthetics, this also allowed existing difficulties and misunderstandings in the interaction design to be identified. Based on these results, the final design prototype of this co-creation phase was created.


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