Posts by stefanie

human_cognition_ux

From global to local: How our visual perception develops over time

September 6th, 2018 Posted by User Experience No Comment yet

There is evidence that our visual processing develops over time though it seems instantaneous to us. This general (or: global) to detailed (or: local) processing is also supported by neuroscience and is of enormous importance as it explains how we identify objects in our daily environment

Undercover user research

August 14th, 2018 Posted by Analysis & Research, User Experience No Comment yet

As we all know: UX – U = X . But, unfortunately, as we all also know: sadly it’s often difficult to get a buy in to conduct user research at the beginning of a project or even establishing an ongoing research culture. But, the good news is: There is still hope out there and here’s what you can do while you have to deal with research blockers.

human-cognition-ux

How change blindness can affect your user’s experience

July 24th, 2018 Posted by User Experience No Comment yet

Our visual environment changes all the time. It is important that we notice these changes. For example, it allows us to react to potential dangers like moving away from something dangerous and in general, to make sense of the world around us. However, our perceptual system does not always respond to changes in our environment in an appropriate way. The phenomenon of this so-called change blindness is crucial for user experience design as it can affect overseeing critical information on a visual display.

Project Common Voice goes multilingual

June 11th, 2018 Posted by News No Comment yet

This awesome project we collaborated on with Mozilla just got an important upgrade:

 

“Today, Mozilla officially kick starts the process of collecting voice data for three more languages — French, German, and — a little randomly — Welsh”

 

Help make the Internet more inclusive by supporting Project Common Voice now! Because – among other things – you don’t want to end up like this, do you?

 

You can support the project by donating your voice or reviewing other donations:

https://voice.mozilla.org/de

How our expectations determine how we process information

May 8th, 2018 Posted by Analysis & Research, User Experience No Comment yet

How do we process information? In cognitive psychology there are two famous processes involved on how we interpret information – and as humans, we constantly use both: Top- down processing and bottom-up processing. (more…)

User research biases to be aware of: Demand characteristics

March 14th, 2018 Posted by Analysis & Research No Comment yet

Demand characteristics are one of the so-called experimenter effects in behavioral research. They describe the tendency of interview/usability test participants to give you (the experimenter) what you want based on what the participants think what you might expect from them.

This doesn’t require that you tell them what you want explicitly and give them obvious cues. Participants only need to guess/hypothesize what you want from them based on some subtle cues you send out which are often based on your implicit opinions. So the assumption your participants make regarding what you might want from them is sufficient enough. For example, a general assumption which occurs during usability testing sessions could be that you want them to like the product you’ll be testing.

It’s important because demand characteristics may put the complete validity of your usability test/interview at risk.

Here’s how to weaken/temper the effect:
1) Make clear at the beginning and throughout your test or interview that you want to hear honest feedback. Try to take the fears of non-desireable answers away.

2) Be aware of subtle cues and nonverbal language your participant sends out. Seems the answer forced? Is he/she struggling? Take notes during the test, ask afterward in the debrief interview, eventually play the scenario through again.

3) In addition to an in-person usability test/interview, provide a post-test questionnaire like for example the SUS (System Usability Scale) which is a quantitative tool to measure the perceived usability

4) Last but not least: Demand characteristics may be one of the reasons the designer, who actually designed the system is not always the right person to conduct a usability test or doing debriefing interviews, because he or she may send subtle positive cues about the system he/she designed and so participants might react more positive than they actually feel about the task or question you gave them.
For this reason – even though we also claim research should be not outsourced but should be conducted by the interaction design team itself – it may be worth considering another person to conduct the test or interview – in best case people that are not directly involved in the design or development team. If this is not possible, it’s important to be aware of this bias throughout your test.

 

Comic image by http://www.markstivers.com/wordpress/?p=67

 

Live UX Design mit Adobe Xd und unserem Sideproject “Ladies who Lunch”

February 28th, 2018 Posted by News, Studio life & culture No Comment yet

Letzte Woche waren wir bei Adobe Live zum Thema UX Design zu Gast in München. Dort haben wir ein Projekt mit Adobe Xd live gestaltet und vorgestellt.

Adobe Live ist ein Live Streaming Format von Adobe, bei dem Experten live an Projekten arbeiten. Alle Zuschauer können dabei in Echtzeit ihre Fragen und Anmerkungen rund um das Thema User Experience und natürlich auch zu dem Projekt, welches von den Experten live umgesetzt wird, via Chat stellen. Das Ganze geht drei Tage, jeweils von 10-18 Uhr mit je vier Experten aus einem bestimmten Bereich– hier: UX Design – die sich jeweils zwei Stunden täglich live der Community stellen.


Während dieser insgesamt sechs Stunden live Zeit haben wir an unserem Sideproject “Ladies who Lunch – connecting working ladies during lunch breaks” weitergearbeitet. Wir dachten, es ist ganz interessant zu sehen, dass es wichtig ist, Lerneffekte bringt und viel Spass macht, auch im daily business Zeit für eigene Projekte zu investieren.

Noch kurz zum Thema Ladies who Lunch: Wir sind selbst Gründerinnen, die sich gerne mit anderen austauschen und neue Menschen kennenlernen. Die Idee hinter “Ladies who Lunch” entstand somit im Laufe des letzten Jahres aus unseren eigenen Bedürfnissen: Statt einsam ein Sandwich im Büro vor dem Rechner zu verspeisen, würden wir uns freuen, die Mittagspause besser zu nutzen, zB indem man neue, interessante Menschen kennenlernt. Quasi eine Art Lunch Speed Dating, aber eben ohne “Dating” Charakter.

Fig 01: Frühe Papierskizze von einem Lunch Item, dem “Herzstück” des Produktes, um relevante Anforderungen zu sammeln
Papier Skizze UX Design

Uns schwebte ein Netzwerk aus Frauen vor, die aus den unterschiedlichsten Bereichen kommen, und mit denen man sich ungezwungen und spontan zum Mittagessen verabreden kann. Wir haben uns beim Netzwerk bewusst gegen eine branchenspezifische Ansprache (wie z.B nur Leute aus Agenturen oder nur Journalisten etc. ) entschieden, da wir die Zielgruppe hierdurch nicht einschränken wollten und den Blick über den blasenspezifischen Tellerrand ermöglichen möchten – abteilungsübergreifend sozusagen.

Die Nutzerinnen sollen auch selbst entscheiden, wie sie Ladies who Lunch nutzen – um neue Leute kennenzulernen, also eher private Bekanntschaften zu machen oder als berufliches Networking Tool. Das soll also ganz bewusst offen gehalten werden. Die Maxime, so wie wir uns das momentan vorstellen, lautet: Mach daraus, was dir gefällt. Wir haben uns zudem bewusst auf Frauen beschränkt, einfach, um die mögliche Missverständnisse, die entstehen können wenn man sich mit Männern verabredet, flach zu halten (ausserdem gibt es bereits genug Dating Apps) – sowie eine “safe” Atmosphäre innerhalb dieses Netzwerkes zu schaffen. Diese Idee brachte sehr viel positive Resonanz in den verschiedenen Frauennetzwerken ein.

Fig 02: Frühe Papierskizze der Einstellungen, um relevante Anforderungen zu sammeln
frühe Papier Skizze UX Design

Nach der Prämisse “better done than perfect” – also um schnell damit in die Welt hinauszugehen und somit einen Proof of Concept zu bekommen – haben wir uns bei der Realisierung der Idee zuerst einmal mittels Facebookgruppen ausgeholfen. Eine initiale App ohne diesen Schritt, haben wir auch im Sinne einer Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse als eher negativ betrachtet.

Es gibt also bei Facebook mittlerweile einige LwL Gruppen (in Berlin, Mannheim, Bremen, Frankfurt und München). Das Ganze fand bei der Entstehung sehr viel positive Resonanz – da aber hier Eigeninitiative gefragt ist, ist unsere Hypothese, dass etwas mehr “Guidance” gut wäre, um das Projekt am Leben zu halten und die Nutzerinnen mehr einzubinden und ihnen einen klaren “Call to Action” anzubieten. Dafür ist natürlich eine eigene Seite oder Anwendung, die das Ganze unabhängig des Social Media Giganten und seinen “Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn”-Algorithmen unterstützt, viel besser geeignet. Und genau diese haben wir in diesen drei Tagen konzipiert und mit der visuellen Gestaltung begonnen.

Während wir daran arbeiteten, kamen viele neue Fragen auf, die wir uns selbst bezüglich des Produktes gestellt haben aber auch jede Menge neuer und wertvoller Ideen, wie man das Produkt später noch nutzen und erweitern kann.

Video 01:Der noch nicht ganz perfekte Prototyp am Ende der drei Tage, allerdings ohne den Onboarding Prozess – erstellt mit Adobe Xd:

 

Angefangen haben wir erst einmal auf Papier, da dies im Denkprozess  in der typischen Trial & Error Phase für uns am besten funktioniert. Nachdem die groben Basics standen, sind wir zu Adobe Xd geswitcht. Tatsächlich haben wir lange Zeit nicht mehr mit Adobe Produkten gearbeitet und waren nun doch in einigen Dingen positiv überrascht. Hervorzuheben sind besonders die Repeat Grid Funktion sowie die wirklich sehr schnelle Live Preview auf dem Mobilgerät wenn man direkt mit USB verbindet sowie die Schnelligkeit des Programmes an sich und die kleinen Dateigrößen. Da hat sich wohl wirklich einiges getan beim Kreativgiganten, wenn auch noch viele Punkte offen sind. Aber dank der regen Community werden diese auch hoffentlich bald gelöst (und nein, dies ist kein Sponsored Post. 🙂 )

Seht selbst und viel Spass – wir hatten den auf jeden Fall 😀

 

Adobe Live 1/3 – Live UX für Web-Community „Ladies who Lunch“ mit „The Geekettez“

Adobe Live 2/3 – Live UX für Web-Community „Ladies who Lunch“ mit „The Geekettez“

Adobe Live 3/3 – Live UX für Web-Community „Ladies who Lunch“ mit „The Geekettez“

UX Research: Don’t forget the stakeholders

June 7th, 2017 Posted by Analysis & Research, User Experience No Comment yet

When we are hired as a user experience design studio we are often asked to jump straight into production work like sketching and wireframing and to quickly hand over some solutions and deliverables.
We are not very comfortable with this approach and this is why:

May we introduce: Ladies who lunch – Connecting working ladies during lunch breaks

May 16th, 2017 Posted by Studio life & culture No Comment yet

You probably all have that one issue you keep complaining about. It may be either something you miss or something you want to change. So you have two choices: You try to do something about it or you keep complaining which is – honestly – misspent time.

We decided we had complained long enough and came up with a solution for our source of complaint: who is free for lunch?

Despite the fact that we both are sitting in shared office spaces with a bunch of other people surrounding us, we often ask ourselves: what should I do with my lunch break?
Often we meet with co-workers or people we already know for lunch but you know how it goes: sometimes your coworkers or friends do not have the time and so if you would like to go somewhere on that day, you either go alone or you spend your lunch break quickly eating a sandwich in front of your desk with your eyes glued to your smartphone and the internet (SAD!).

We are convinced there is a better way to spend your lunch break, especially because no one wants a tuna overlord ruling our lives in the near future.

In addition to spending happier lunches away from the desk, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could meet new people during lunch hours? New, interesting people, who you might even end up doing business with? Yeah, we thought so, too. So voilà!

We happily introduce: Ladies who lunch

The idea is simple: we want to create an opportunity to connect women by going out to lunch together, building or maintaining their professional network or making new friends!

When we came up with the idea we considered creating a Ladies who Lunch app to get things rolling. But then, after discussing the idea – on a lunch date with a befriended project manager – we decided to take her suggestion and get Ladies who Lunch started with existing tools and services that everyone is already using. This is why, only a few weeks after we first had the idea we already have two Facebook groups (see what we can achieve on lunch dates with awesome people?!), reflecting our two studio locations: one group for Berlin and one group for Mannheim. Join us! We believe this will be an awesome way to spend your future lunch breaks.

But we won’t stop here!

Before our decision was made to start with Facebook groups we had also discussed the possibility of using slack. But slack is rarely used in Germany from people outside of the tech bubble. We are currently also discussing opening groups in Xing and/or LinkedIn. But that is something we would like to discuss with you – on our lunch dates. So join us and help us shape this. UPDATE (18.05.2017): we heard you and have expanded the Ladies who Lunch groups to Linked In!

Also, we haven’t given up on our initial app idea because we would love an independent platform. We already have a clear concept in mind so if you want to join or support us: let’s discuss it over lunch! Head over to one of our groups so we can set up a lunch date: Ladies who Lunch – Berlin, Ladies who Lunch – Mannheim

Who is it for?

Every woman is welcome.
If you are looking to make new connections or to find like-minded women to connect with – whether you are new in town, a long-time resident or just visiting for a business trip or conference: Ladies who Lunch is the perfect way to spend your lunch break.

Why we chose the name

According to Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary “Ladies who lunch” are “Rich middle-aged women with no jobs or another meaningful way to occupy their time, who descend on upscale cafes around lunchtime to hang out with each other more because they have nothing better to do than because they like the company. Generally despised by cafe workers.” (Source: Urban Dictionary)

Well, we thought it was time to change the meaning of this term and use it to describe a network of working ladies exchanging information and experiences.

We are looking forward to meeting many many new ladies from different professions in our cities! Head over to Facebook and apply to join our local groups in Berlin and Mannheim.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8623220@N02/2178452567 (Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication)

UPDATE May 19, 2017:
Wow, thank you all for so much positive feedback! We have now an “official” Facebook page you can follow: https://www.facebook.com/LadiesWhoLunchMeetups/
Also in Berlin we had already our Ladies who Lunch premiere!

And because we were asked about it by now several times about that: If you want to start a Ladies who lunch in your city, this small FAQ may help you to get started: LadieswhoLunch-FAQ YAY!

Differences in formative and summative evaluations (and why they matter for UX designers)

May 12th, 2017 Posted by Analysis & Research, User Experience No Comment yet

A few weeks ago Steffi spoke at the Berlin Ladies that UX meetup “An evening about user research” about the different types of usability tests. Here is a brief summary of the talk

We love to write an speak about UX topics.

We have had many nation wide speaker appearances on many different topics. We have spoken at TEDx, UIG spring conference, Usability Congress, World Usability Day, webmondays and the up.front web design community in Berlin. We speak mostly about topics such as user experience and workflows. Have a date? Need speakers? Get in touch and let us know We might be interested in researching a topic