guerillagirl – user experience designer

guerillagirl's (ux) design journal

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.


by stef

Plato’s cave allegory and experience design.

What does Plato’s cave allegory have in common with human centered design ?

It demonstrates the effects of narrow and non-holistic thinking, a phenomenon we can still observe in many organizations – where it sometimes seems that one department doesn’t talk to other departments to get a holistic, cohesive understanding of the customer’s experience and their problems.

„That is someone else’s responsibility“ is often a standard jargon in such organizations. But: in the user’s or customers mental models – meaning how your customers/users think how things work (also called cognitive representations or mental models) – there is only one responsibility, not several based how internal things might work. That means: Customers do not split up responsibilities in department-like silo thinking, like the organisation itself probably does.

So, getting rid of this department-like thinking and instead gaining a holistic understanding of customers and users is key to get an idea of the ways how your customers think, and then put this learnings of your customer’s way of thinking first – not the mapping of the underlying internal business structures and hierachies (or the the underlying tech-backend structure) to the users interface

Everything else will most likely lead to something called silo-thinking and most likely, self-referential design and will most likely have negative effects on the user’s or customer’s experience.

by stef


“[…] the trouble begins with the word user – there are only two industries that call their customers users: illegal drug dealers and software houses”

– Edward Tufte

This quote is unfortunately (and only) very relevant when we take a look at the business models of certain Internet businesses.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find the direct source where he said it – if someone knows? It might be a talk he gave?

by stef

About “good” design

“Successful products meet user goals first […] The essence of good interaction design is devising interactions that achieve the goals of the business or service and their partners without violating the goals of the user”

Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D., & Cooper, A. (2007). About face 3: The essentials of interaction design

by stef

John Searle nicht widerlegt! (Maschinen weiterhin dumm)

Ladies and Gentlemen, große Neuigkeiten aus Berlin: Das Sensemaken hat schon lange gestoppt, scheinbar. Ok, ok, nicht so neu.

Aber: Da wollte ich doch gerade einen sehr halbgaren Kurzartikel über meinen heutigen Nachmittag verfassen, der sich weitgehend mit “Künstlicher Intelligenz”, Robotern und Sprache beschäftigte. Soweit, so gut. Nun, gerade als ich mein doch sehr gefährliches Halbwissen zusammentragen und in die Welt hinausposaunen will, da passiert das Folgende. Und ich sag’s Ihnen: Das ist so dermaßen meta, das gibt’s praktisch gar nicht!

Also *trommelwirbel* da war ich so am schreiben:

[…] Was ich mich allerdings frage, ist: hat er damit John Searle widerlegt?”

Zur Erläuterung: Gemeint sind Luc Steels Forschungsarbeiten zu Intelligenz (der heute unter anderem im HKW zu Gast war) – und vornehmlich Sprache. Genauer gesagt zu Robotern, die ihre eigene Protosprache entwickelten – also im weitesten Sinne semantisch “denken” können, und was macht die doofe Maschine aus John Searle? Sehen Sie selbst:


Ja, gibt es denn sowas?

Das, meine Damen und Herren, ist META. Aber sowas von. Und somit ist Searle, der die (semantische) Intelligenz von Maschinen anzweifelt, nicht widerlegt! HA!

Anbei noch ein paar Fotos & Tweets zum heutigen Nachmittag, so zur allgemeinen Unterhaltung an diesem Samstag Abend.

Der Beweis aus dem Texteditor, im Entwurf:

Hito Steyerl meint: ( I agree!)


Düstere Aussichten?

Bitte ja!