guerillagirl – user experience designer

guerillagirl's (ux) design journal

by stef

Conversations with Machines

Happy 2020 everybody! 🎉 New Year’s starting with the *big* questions and a great (ok, last years) podcast episode: What makes a human a human? What makes a machine a machine?

“Weizenbaum had programmed ELIZA to interact in the style of a psychotherapist and it was pretty convincing. It gave the illusion of empathy even though it was just simple code”

Listen here to “The ELIZA Effect”:

Also if you haven’t seen it already I highly recommend watching “Plug and Pray”
official Trailer:

Image source: Wikipedia

by stef

Security and UX: Don’t blame the users

A very good read by Albrecht Scjmidt (LMU Munich) about security and UX >> Don’t Blame the User: Toward Means for Usable and Practical Authentication

“[…]When the user comes to use a service for the first time, many companies require registration. This is reasonable, as registered users are a valuable asset. However, asking the user for a password at this point is a bad idea. The user’s primary goal is to use a service. Providing a password is an obstacle; hence, it is likely that they will not give much thought about it and will choose a weak one.”

by stef

Accessible means usable

“Often designers use color as a method to identify if a form control is required. When a user moves into the form field or moves out of the form field, the form control changes to a red color. This method is not recommended as it is not accessible for users with low vision, colorblind users, users with cognitive disabilities, and users with visual disabilities. This method can be implemented if there is an alternative fallback method that is “a visual cue,” which can help all users identify if the form control is a required field.”

People with disabilities (temporary or permanent) feel and *are* less disabled if things work for them.
This is a very good article – also for UX Designers: The Anatomy of Accessible Forms: Required Form Fields

by stef

UX Camp Europe 2019 Session: Friend or foe? Lessons learned from human-to-human interaction

After UX Camp Europe Berlin being around for 10 years now (Happy Birthday!), I finally made it this year and got a ticket. I always wanted to go there and looked jealously at Berlin when I was still living in Mannheim.

In a nutshell: This was a perfectly organized event with so many enthusiastic UX people around! Everything did run smooth, and the organizers showed great enthusiasm for what they were doing.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly. With so many interesting sessions going on, so it was hard to decide where to go.

Sadly Sunday I attended only one session, spending the rest of the morning preparing my slides and talk for my own session in the afternoon. I had to compete with Eric Reiss holding a session in the big audimax about ethics plus a few other sessions going on, so there were only a few attendees in my own session which was actually great. This was a real “improv show” as I did not rehearse it and put the slides together and edited them really fast & spontaneously. So actually this was a good “real-life” beta test run. :D Now I know also very well where I will make additions, refine and where to go more in depth.

Here are the slides.
CAVE: This is a rough, first “beta” version of this talk- unpolished and there might be typos.

So thank you for this great event and hopefully seeing you all next year!

by stef

“Mind” statt “MINT”

“[…] schreibt Georgia Nugent, dass es eine schreckliche Ironie ist, dass wir genau in dem Moment, in dem die Welt immer komplexer wird, junge Menschen ermutigen, enorm spezialisiert zu sein. Während Technologie zu einer immer einfacher zu bedienenden Toolbox wird, läge der wahre Vorteil doch in einer Kombination mit Geistes – und Sozialwissenschaften.”

Fantastischer Beitrag:

by stef

Alan Cooper at interaction18

Worth watching.

“We need to stand up, and stand together. Not in opposition but as a light shining in a dark room. Because if we don’t, we stand to lose everything. We need to harness our technology for good and prevent it from devouring us. I want you to understand the risks and know the inflection points. I want you to use your agency to sustain a dialogue with your colleagues. To work collectively and relentlessly.”

Alan Cooper – The Oppenheimer Moment from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

by stef

Can’t unsee

I stumbled upon this little spot-the-difference design game via twitter. First I was a bit sceptical because I feared it will focus on design “trendy” stuff (it actually isn’t) , but then I thought it’s actually a great little tool to train the eye for small design details (sometimes I had a hard time to spot any difference at all) and also it might be a nice game for students to sharpen / reflect visual design knowledge on dealing with color, contrast, consistency and many other things.

At the end, It’s just a game not more not less – so do not take it too seriously.

by stef

Collaborative remote sketching workshops – Lessons from the field:

sketching utensils

  1. All kind of workshops, not only remote: Neverever facilitate AND co-create at the same time. These are two modes of thinking – at least for me. Furthermore, as a facilitator, you might have inhibitions to use your own idea in the following refinement process: This is on some kind of a meta-level. It could leave the impression as if you just want to do your own thing, as you hold a special role as a facilitator. In addition, when you are the UX Designer and a sketching workshop facilitator at the same time, you might develop inhibitions to use your idea in your concepts because this could also transport a wrong message ( like: „they do what they want to do anyway“; leaves the impression the sketching workshop was a „farce“)
  2. Think about doing the ideation/generating ideas sketching ahead of time a bit before the workshop and scan them. Then share them in your team so people can refer to them during the workshop.
  3. When you have no supporting presentation in your virtual room: Prepare index cards or sheets of papers with largely written clear instructions. Hold them in the camera and make sure everybody can read it. Test-run it.
  4. In remote workshops, it’s absolutely critical to have a super clear agenda and a clear process for how sketches will be shared during the workshop that everyone understands *ahead of time*. To ensure that, prepare a super clear „please-read-upfront“ – agenda with all links needed (eg for shared folders to upload artifacts). Send the agenda ahead at least one day before the meeting. Let co-workers proofread it.
  5. Plan enough time – especially the generating ideas/ refining one idea process: Make sure there is enough time for all these exercises: minimum 15 min. generating ideas; minimum 15 min. agreeing on one solution within the group to refine, minimum 15 min. to actually refine it.

by stef

Q – a genderless voice

Cool and interesting project as it’s a well-known fact that voice based digital assistants like Siri convey social roles via their voice.
When we listen to a voice based assistant, we will imply implicit assumptions like the mentioned social gender roles we have learned and internalised over a long period of time – despite we are knowing it is a machine. And as technology is using (by default) female voices for *assistant*like-roles (“How can I help?”) they even support/promote classical gender stereotypes such as women being perceived as “warm”, “helpful” and “cooperative” rather than “dominant”, “competitive” and “independent” – which correspond more to male gender stereotypes.