Anja Stork
Published on under Events, Usability, User Experience

A Successful World Usability Day in Munich

On November 12, IT architects, concept developers, UX designers, usability specialists and product managers from all over the world met for World Usability Day (WUD), an event started by the international User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) in 2005. After giving a presentation last year at WUD in Bonn, I became part of the organizing team for the event this year in Munich.

The central topic this year was “innovation” so we took this as an opportunity to provide companies from Munich with a chance to present their ideas and innovations to the Munich crowd. So we planned an event with keynote speeches, case studies and workshops by experts from the Munich area.

To kick things off, Michael Bartl, a board member of HYVE AG, in his presentation „The „New Openness” – Changing innovation models in the digital era” provided an overview of which innovations we will deal with more in the future. So, for example, it became clear that the development of self-driving cars not only provides great potential for the automotive industry, but rather, the “chase” for the perfect interior design and leisure time for the driver has already started. Moreover, the average driver spends two of 82 weeks per year in their car. So it is not for nothing that media specialists like Apple and Google are now involved in this branch of the industry. Also, thanks to ‘Open Innovation’, the customer will have a massive influence on innovation.

How rigorous integration of users leads to successful products was explained by Henning Brau and Mirco Winde from the BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in their presentation „Home Connect – A UX Journey From the first Scribble to the Design Award”. Through an agile, lean and consistently user-focused approach for Home Connect — a product was developed that eventually got the Red Dot Design Award. But, even more important, this pilot project within a huge corporation streamlined the path to user-focused product development in the future.

In parallel, as part of the first workshop, participants gained experience themselves about the development of innovative products. Lorena Meyer from eResult GmbH led the workshop „Design Studio”. This is a method that helps teams generate numerous ideas and analyze them in the shortest possible amount of time. The more interdisciplinary the team, the more diverse the results.

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The potential impact that the introduction of touch displays for operating machines will have was illustrated by my colleague Josef Jaud in his presentation „Industry HMI and User Experience – Two worlds collide”. He explained, based on examples of a case study, that by using the new visual possibilities of touch displays mental models from actual usage can be transferred to visualizations of interactions. See for yourself by looking at the prototype here.

The presentations that followed focused on experience reports from the speakers. Wolfram Nagel from SETU GmbH explained, in his presentation „Content Design and UI Architecture for Multi-screen Projects”, that content, user interfaces and workflows for a successful multi-screen presence have to be planned and built in a module-based way and structured along similar lines – similar to building blocks in a building block system. Lisa Daske from msg systems AG, in her presentation „Top 10 mistakes in the UI specification”, provided a list of mistakes that no one will make again in the future. What are the mistakes? You can see them here.

At the same time, participants in the workshop „There are no normal users! Blind date of the AK Barrierefreiheit of the German UPA” were confronted with extreme user conditions that they could experience directly for themselves. Additionally, some tips from experts were provided for dealing with these extreme conditions, including popular digital aids. In this way, everybody learned about concrete possibilities and about how the conceptual, technical and design-based impact of extreme user conditions can be integrated into their own everyday work.

Finally, Katharina Frison, a Masters student at LMU Munich, and Johannes Huber from designaffairs, in their presentation UX Lab 2.0 – How to design UX evaluation wholistically and efficiently”, talked about how much an app could be used for the evaluation of user experience in the future. An advantage of this approach is a UX evaluation that is easier, more flexible and cheaper, and which uses the advantages of field study to capture the direct user context with the test object. You can find the detailed results of this study in the presentation and Katharina’s Masters thesis.

The 11th World Usability Day in Munich provided me with a lot of input, conversations and opportunities to exchange experiences. In addition to the, in my opinion, very successful event, I am especially happy about meeting so many interested people whose engagement made this event possible. I would like to thank the speakers who all put in a significant effort, and shared their ideas and thought-provoking impulses with us during the presentations and workshops. Also, I would like to thank the sponsors without whom such a free-of-charge event would not be possible and, of course, the team of the Munich WUD 2015.

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This Post has been published in Events, Usability, User Experience.
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