Anja Stork


Successful World Usability Day in Munich

On November 12th, information architects, concept developers, UX designers, usability specialists and product managers met worldwide on the occasion of World Usability Day, which has been initiated by the international UXPA every year since 2005. After having given a lecture myself at the WUD in Bonn last year, I was a member of the organizing team for the event in Munich this year.

The central theme this year was "Innovation". In Munich we took this opportunity to give Munich companies the chance to present their ideas and innovations to the Munich public. So this year we planned an event with impulse lectures, case studies and workshops by experts from the Munich area.

Right at the beginning Michael Bartl, member of the board of HYVE AG, gave an overview of which innovations will increasingly occupy us in the future in his lecture "The "New Openness" - The Change of Innovation Models in the Digital Age". Among other things, it becomes clear that the developments of self-propelled cars not only offer great potentials for the automotive industry, but that the "run" for the perfect interior design and the leisure time of the drivers has already begun. After all, the average motorist spends 2 of 52 weeks per year in a car. It is not for nothing that media specialists such as Apple and Google are involved in this industry. Thanks to Open Innovation, customers also exert a massive influence on innovations.

Henning Brau and Mirco Winde from BSH Hausgeräte GmbH explained how the consistent integration of users leads to successful products in their presentation "Home Connect - A UX Journey from the First Scribble to the Design Award". Through an agile, lean and consistently user-centered approach, Home Connect was a successful product that ultimately won the Red Dot Design Award. But more importantly, this pilot project has paved the way within the huge corporation so that user-centered products can continue to be developed in the future.

In parallel, the participants were able to gain experience in the development of innovative products in the first workshop. Lorena Meyer from the eResult GmbH led the workshop "Design Studio". This is a method which helps to generate numerous ideas within shortest time and to check them in the team. The more interdisciplinary the team, the more manifold the results.

Workshop Design Studio

My colleague Josef Jaud explained the potential of introducing touch displays for machine operation in his presentation "Industrial HMI and User Experience - 2 worlds collide". Using examples from a case study, he explained how the new visual possibilities of touch displays can be used to transfer mental models from real use into visualizations of interactions. Convince yourself and have a look at the prototype here.

In the following lectures, the focus was on the experience reports of the speakers. Wolfram Nagel from SETU GmbH, for example, reported in his lecture "Content Design and UI Architecture for Multiscreen Projects" that content, user interfaces and workflows for a successful multi-screen presentation must be planned and built in a modular and structured way according to similar patterns - comparable to the building blocks in a modular system. And Lisa Daske from msg systems AG presented a list of errors in her presentation "Top 10 Errors in the UI Specification", which we will probably all be making no more in the future. You can find out what these are here.

At the same time the participants of the workshop "Normal users do not exist! Blind Date of the AK Barrierefreiheit der German UPA" workshop dealt with extreme conditions of use, which they were able to experience themselves right away. In addition, there were tips from the experts on how to use common digital aids. Everyone learned about concrete possibilities of how conceptual, technical and design consequences of extreme user behavior can be integrated into their own everyday work.

Finally, Katharina Frison, Master student at the LMU Munich, and Johannes Huber from designaffairs gave a lecture on "UX Lab 2.0 - How to design UX evaluation holistically and efficiently", in which they discussed to what extent an app for evaluating user experience can be used in the future. The advantages of this method is a UX evaluation that is simpler, more flexible and less expensive and that uses the advantages of a field study to capture the direct usage context with the test object. The detailed results of this study can be found in the presentation and master thesis of Katharina.

The 11th World Usability Day in Munich offered me a lot of input, discussions and opportunities to exchange experiences. Besides the, from my point of view, very successful event, I was especially happy to meet so many interested people, whose commitment made this event possible. I would like to thank all the speakers, who gave a lot of thought and shared their ideas and food for thought with us in the lectures and workshops, the sponsors, without whom such a free event for the participants is not possible, and of course the team of the Munich WUD 2015.


Anja Stork

UX Consultant


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