19. 11. 2019

World Usability Day

As every year, our colleagues visited the World Usability Day in 2019. This time we went to the beautiful city of Leipzig, where IT Sonix took over the organization. In addition to generous hospitality and a solid setup, the staff was always friendly and helpful. In short: Leipzig, gladly again! 😊

This year’s global motto was “Designing for the Future we want”. This theme was discussed by the speakers from very different angles. Here is a short excerpt of the presentations from our colleagues’ point of view.

The presentations

The most interesting presentation from our point of view was given by Richard Bretschneider on the topic: “When artificial intelligence replaces Picasso.” He explained the algorithms behind artificial intelligence for image recognition. In the opposite direction, this technology can be used to generate new images from presets. In this way landscapes and faces are created, which are deceptively real, though created by code.

Soon stock photos could become obsolete if the desired image can be easily calculated. Also use cases in image post-processing for holiday photos or your own profile picture are conceivable. Technology offers exciting new approaches here, and we should use this potential for tomorrow’s solutions.

In the presentation “Agile UX - What needs to be done to ensure it goes wrong – or how it can succeed.” by Dr. Michael Minge was about the obstacles small and medium-sized enterprises often overlook when implementing agile principles in the company. From too rigid budget for UX topics, to lack of space for errors and iteration, the lecture listed 10 typical problem areas, which we also encounter frequently in our projects. With sensible countermeasures, a way was shown how this can be counteracted. For this purpose, the “Kompetenzzentrum Usability” also offers helpful accompanying materials, which will certainly also help our next customers to live agility.

Tobias Limbach gave a lecture on usability and risk management. He has shown that usability not only facilitates ease of use. In certain products, such as in the medical sector, operating errors and their consequences determine life or death. Therefore, tasks must be meticulously analyzed and tweaked in a risk-reducing manner. Usability saves lives!

In his lecture “Society Centered Design – from I to We”, André Gehrmann pointed out the social responsibility in the design of new products. What happens when 2 billion people use my product? Is the goal to help the user or to make him addicted? What happens if my digital service is portrayed as a person in the real world? Questions he recommends asking when we design solutions in the future.

There was also the presentation by Alarith Uhde on the redesign of a shift plan system involving the employees and their needs. A lecture by Daniel Bartel on the difference between profit-driven Unicorn startups and sustainably oriented Zebra startups, as well as the lecture by Sandy Lam and Beatrice Behnisch on virtual design sprints, when the team is distributed globally and there is no time for user research.

Overall, the visit of the World Usability Day, as in previous years, was a great gain for our colleagues, as each visit provides new perspectives on methods, technologies and new fields of application for our profession.

The WUD page offers a practical retrospective, which provides the presentation slides for download.

by Peter Weller und Sebastian Rauer


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