October edition of Ladies that UX Berlin is coming along!

Ladies that UX, Personal 10. Oktober 2017

Ladies that  UX Berlin October 2017
Our next Ladies that UX Berlin meetup will be Tuesday October 24 hosted by Mozilla Berlin. The location is GSG-Hof Schlesische Straße 27, 10997 Berlin; Gebäude 3, 4.OG – There will also be some signs in the courtyard and staircase. Event opens doors at 6:45 and there will be two talks this time: One by Marja Annecke (SinnerSchrader Swipe) – she will be talking about CX & Branding and one by Sabrina Mach (ThoughtWorks) about how to use acting techniques to understand & predict human behavior.

A big thank you to Mozilla Berlin for hosting and sponsoring this month’s event.

Make sure to RSVP here, if you are close by! See you there!

Contact me if you have a topic you’re passionate about and would like to present at an upcoming event or would be interested in hosting one of our upcoming events

On cognitive dissonance and rewards

Human cognition and behaviour, Psychology, Social psychology, Video 4. Oktober 2017

„We try to reduce the dissonance between how we think we should act and how we actually act by changing one or the other“

This is interesting because it is contrary to incentive / economic theories which claim that the higher the reward will be the more likely people will change their mind – but only if there is a mismatch between my internal attitudes, values an or core beliefs and how I actually act.

The video shows excerpts of a classic experiment in social psychology conducted by Leon Festinger and James M Carlsmith in 1959 which is called „Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance“. Forced compliance is very closely related to the theory of cognitive dissonance which states that there will be the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This, in turn, is related to one of the main principles in Gestalt Theory: The principle of good form.

Maude does not care about submitting the form: The problem with „agile user stories“

User Experience, Usability and HCI 21. September 2017

» „As a user I want to click the button…“
Nope. No one ever wants to click a button.
„… so I can submit the form.
No. Maude does not care about submitting the form. She might, however, care about the thing the form will get her.«

Jep. Exactly! Scenarios are the best basis for requirements – not „agile“ user stories. Later in the process, those „agile user stories“ could be used as something like „scoping tools“ after the requirements based on scenarios are given.

Read the article here: “As a user” needs to stop.

The social (and ethical) implications of your digital assistant

Computers are social actors (CASA), Conversational Interaction, Social psychology 18. September 2017

“People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind. They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life,” states the April ad for a “Siri Software Engineer, Health and Wellness” in Santa Clara, California.

Read the article here: https://qz.com/1078857/apples-siri-job-posting-seeks-engineers-with-psychology-skills-to-improve-its-counseling-abilities/

What’s your long-termed product vision?

Findings, User Experience, Usability and HCI, Video 18. September 2017

In 1987 Apple had already mapped out a vision which way they want to go. Look at that: It includes today’s digital assistant (like Siri but way more smarter) screen sharing concepts and a rough version of something like the iPad. It’s important to map out where you want to go because it might extremely helpful to focus and go that way.

What’s your long termed product vision? What would an article 5 years from now say about your product?

Gender stereotypes applied to machines

Computers are social actors (CASA), Psychology, Social psychology, Sociology & culture in the digital age 12. September 2017

Amongst other things when it comes to gender stereotyping, studies show that dominant behavior by males tends to be positively received by western society since dominant men tend to be perceived as “independent”,“assertive“ and „successful“, whereas dominant women tend to be perceived as “pushy” or “bossy”.

Nass et al did a series of studies in the late 90s to determine if computers trigger the same scripts and cognitive schemas associated with gender stereotyping – as they conducted an experiment they found out their hypothesis that people mindlessly apply gender stereotypes to computers were supported.

During this experiment, participants used computers for three separate sessions:
a) tutoring (via voice output), b) testing (screen-based), and c) evaluation (via voice output).

„The results supported the hypothesis that individuals would mindlessly gender-stereotype computers. Both male and female participants found the female-voiced evaluator computer to be significantly less friendly than the male-voiced evaluator, even though the content of their comments was identical. In addition, the generally positive praise from a male-voiced computer was more compelling than the same comments from a female-voiced computer: Participants thought the tutor computer was significantly more competent (and friendlier) when it was praised by a male-voiced computer, compared to when it was praised by a female-voiced computer. And finally, the female-voiced tutor computer was rated as significantly more informative about love and relationships compared to the male-voiced tutor, while the male-voiced tutor was rated as significantly more informative about computers.“

(Nass et al., 1997).

The Content is the Navigation

Methods, User Experience, Usability and HCI 9. September 2017

„The content is the navigation, and it’s all in context. […] Unfortunately, the art of content modeling is still unfamiliar to many UX designers, who hear “content” and assume it doesn’t apply to them.“

I really like this article about Object Oriented UX from our next Ladies that UX speaker Sophia. Related to that, in workshops, we often conduct a word listing exercise to gather input from the project team and work similarly with the nouns we found that may refer to objects or actors (content wise) in the system we’re planning and use the verbs which can help us to think about actions and adjectives which may refer to design principles. Looking forward to Monday and I hope that I can make it!

Ladies that UX Berlin #09: Sophia talking about Object-oriented UX

Ladies that UX 7. September 2017

Ladies that UX Berlin #09

Our next Ladies that UX Berlin meetup is coming along! This time, Sophia Voychehovski, founder of Rewired UX Studio in Atlanta and also the organizer of the Atlanta Ladies that UX chapter will speak about Object-Oriented UX! Sophia was highly involved in designing CNN.com’s responsive election night experience in 2012—and again in 2016.


When & where:
Monday, 11.09.2017, Doors open:18:30
A big thank you to ThoughtWorks for hosting and sponsoring this month’s event. Contact me if you have a topic you’re passionate about and would like to give a talk at one of our upcoming events.


Make sure to RSVP here, if you are close by! See you there!

Interaction & the social function of intelligence

Food for thought, Human cognition and behaviour, Psychology, Quotes, Social psychology 5. September 2017

„Like chess, a social interaction is typically a transaction between social partners. One animal may, for instance, wish by his own behaviour to change the behaviour of another; but since the second animal is himself reactive and intelligent the interaction soon becomes a two-way argument where each ‘player’ must be ready to change his tactics — and maybe his goals – as the game proceeds. Thus, over and above the cognitive skills which are required merely to perceive the current state of play (and they may be considerable), the social gamesman, like the chess player, must be capable of a special sort of forward planning. Given that each move in the game may call forth several alternative responses from the other player this forward planning will take the form of a decision tree, having its root in the current situation and growing branches corresponding to the moves considered in looking ahead at different possibilities. It asks for a level of intelligence which is, I submit, unparalleled in any other sphere of living. There may be, of course, strong and weak players – yet, as master or novice, we and most other members of complex primate societies have been in this game since we were babies.“

Nicholas K. Humphrey. The social function of intellect. In P. P. G. Bateson and R. A. Hinde, editors, Growing Points in Ethology, pages 303–317. Cambridge University Press, 1976.

About Users‘ Goals (Goals ≠ Tasks)

User Experience, Usability and HCI 4. September 2017

„Users’ goals are often quite different from what we might guess them to be. For example, we might think that an accounting clerk’s goal is to process invoices efficiently. This is probably not true. Efficient invoice processing is more likely the goal of the clerk’s employer. The clerk is more likely concentrating on goals like appearing competent at his job and keeping himself engaged with his work while performing routine and repetitive tasks, although he may not verbally (or even consciously) acknowledge this.“

Source: Cooper A., Reimann R., Cronin D.; About face 3: the essentials of interaction design, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, 2007

Nobody ever will read your 50 page research report or: Cultivating Shared Understanding from Collaborative User Research

UX Research and Evaluation 29. August 2017

Erika Hall, author of the book „Just enough research“ has taken a more effective approach she calls team-based research. She says her goal is to shift the focus away from a more academic way of thinking.

„Researchers, as humans, will do what’s habitual and comfortable for them, which is want to be a specialist, and go off in a corner, and do a rigorous course of study, and write up a report. Then, designers and developers will do what they want to do, which is not read anything and go off and do things that are interesting and feel productive to them.“

Listen to the podcast episode here:
https://uie.fm/shows/spoolcast/erika-hall-cultivating-shared-understanding-from-collaborative-user-research