Maximiliane Wagner


IA Conference 2014 - Second day and conclusion

As reported here, the first day of the 8th IA Conference in Berlin already offered many suggestions and information for information architects, concept developers, UX designers, usability specialists, product managers and the like. The second day was no less impressive.

The ZDF App Universe

Of particular interest to me was the presentation by Thorsten Jonas on the revision of ZDF heute and the ZDF Mediathek App, as many of our customers come from the TV sector. The aim was to improve the usability of the two apps while at the same time standardizing them.

Thorsten Jonas explained that many tough decisions had to be made, but that these ultimately led to better performance and thus a better user experience. So they decided to go for a native implementation, iOS5 was excluded and only the landscape view was created for Tablet. The creation of an experience lifecycle for the ZDF heute app helped determine when which content is of interest to the user. The important content identified in this way was made available in the app particularly quickly.

The branding of the apps was not neglected either. For example, when ZDF heute starts up, the user encounters apps which he also knows from the beginning of the TV shows, and the Mainzelmännchen have also found their place here and there. The result is impressive. Although no new functions were integrated when the apps were revised, the rating in the App Store rose from 2 to 4.5 stars. It would be hard to find a better proof of the relevance of usability and performance. The presentation to the lecture can be viewed in detail here.

Users, silos, KPIs and moments of truth

In this presentation, Niels Anhalt and Tanja Scherm introduced the method of Customer Journey Mapping. The process for creating a Pixum photo calendar served as an example.
The method requires some preparation. Before the actual workshop, one of the already existing personas had to be selected for which the journey map was then created. The Journey Map contains all the steps that this personas goes through during the creation of the photo calendar. The printed screens were hung along a wall several meters long.

Now the actual workshop could start, moderated by Niels Anhalt. Participants included representatives for customer service, marketing, CRM, UX, IT and the management. In a total of eight hours, the workshop participants identified actions, thoughts, emotions, KPIs and moments of truth. These were supplemented with post-its in different colors on the wall along the screens.

On the basis of this, problems could be uncovered that had previously gone undetected through operational blindness. The workshop resulted in ten ideas on how to better meet the needs of the user. And since all the key decision-makers had already taken part in the workshop, the optimizations could be implemented directly afterwards. Only a few months later, based on the changes, an increase in turnover of about 30% was achieved. The presentation is also available for this presentation.

My conclusion

The IA conference and workshop offered three days of input, discussions and exchange of experiences. I especially liked the range of topics and the fact that you could choose between two parallel presentations, the one that was more interesting for you personally.

I took a lot of ideas and suggestions with me and got information about UX methods that I would like to try out for myself. However, I must also say that I found seven or eight lectures a day quite exhausting and my head was spinning in the evening. Personally, I would have preferred fewer and longer lectures. In the mostly 20-minute presentations, the topics could often only be touched on and not explained in detail. Nevertheless, I found the IA Conference very stimulating and I am already looking forward to a second visit.

Maximiliane Wagner

UX Concepter & Usability Engineer


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