Renate Schinköthe


Through Lisbon with UX glasses

As a user experience designer, my goal is always to achieve the best possible user experience with a product. As my colleague Maxi already reported, we visited the UXLx together to gather new impulses for our work. In addition, we allowed ourselves 2 days in Lisbon to explore the city and surroundings. During this time I realized how much I have already internalized my work in my everyday life.

For a long time now, I can hardly take the view of the UX expert when it comes to digital products. Now this is increasingly being transferred to my non-digital everyday life. This is noticeable, for example, in the fact that my colleague and I discuss where the dialog principles of efficiency are contradicted. To give an example here: Although the machine clearly indicates that you can only pay by card (the coin slot is covered with gaffa tape), there is no information about which cards are accepted. After we tried every card from our wallet without success, we had to switch to the coin machine. So here we have violations of self-descriptiveness, error tolerance and controllability.

Public transport in particular offers many opportunities to apply the principles of dialogue. The first point of contact with a city is usually the train station or airport. In our case it was the latter. The nice thing is that airports usually function in the same way and you can find your way around without much knowledge of the language. Globally, a similar icon language is used everywhere. So far so good. If it weren't for the missing signpost half way around. A clear violation of suitability for the task and controllability. But fortunately, in the non-digital world, you can rely on the lemmings principle and simply follow the crowd, only to find the little suitcase icon again at the next intersection.

The way forward is extremely easy in Lisbon. One would think that one would now have to fight one's way into an opaque network of public transport and its fares. But at this point a simple ticket system and an even simpler marking of the subway network is revealed. Apparently, they didn't want to take any risks here and have consistently implemented the self-descriptiveness through color coding, an icon and a name for the subway line.

However, the paper tourist ticket represents a small shortcoming. In any case, you should keep the receipt as recommended by the machine, because in all probability the ticket will suddenly not work anymore and you will have to squeeze through the barriers in front of the subway station until you find an employee who can issue a new ticket.

If one moves then with the public means of transport, one gets the impression quite fast that the use of these can become very dangerous. In the subway you have to be careful not to be cut in half by the doors and when you leave a bus you should avoid being hurled through the air by cars... fortunately, neither of these things happened to us.

These and many other small examples show that once you put on the UX glasses, you find many everyday occasions to think about user experience. There are many little things in our everyday life that can be improved. So, what do you think about the UX of your city? Our experience with Lisbon was great! It was a fascinating city that revealed itself to us, where there is a lot to explore. From the zoo, to the aquarium, to the statue of Christ Crito Rei and the bridge Ponte 25 de Abril, we saw an exciting city where you can stroll through the small streets of the old town and discover something new at every corner. Again and again it goes uphill, downhill and especially the many different tiles on the facades of the houses are fascinating.

So, now away from all the work-related thoughts, here are a few visual impressions of our little city trip, in which we both could indulge our passion for photography!

The Monday morning lion

Schwibbel Schwabbel á la Dori

The blue-green chicken in the zoo

Estátua de D. Pedro IV

Driver in lunch break

Tile facade

Arco da Rua Augusta at night

View from Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII

Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII

Marquis of Pombal Square

Renate Schinköthe


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