guerillagirl – user experience designer

guerillagirl's (ux) design journal

by stef

Orga culture and UX: Competition vs common vision


Image: Cooperation, exemplary image. ;)

The famous robbers cave field experiment conducted by Muzafer Sherif (1954, 1958, 1961) investigated how and why group conflicts occur.

Sherif argued that conflict between groups (intergroup conflicts) occur in case of two groups are in competition for limited resources (like e.g recognition etc)

The research group arranged an artificial competitional environment (which does not necessarily reflect real life conditions) where friction conflict and frustration between the groups was likely to occur.It didn’t take long and the predictions of the researchers came true, the two groups had become strong rivals and behaved hostile to each other. The conflicts only subsided as the researchers began to create situations in which the opposing groups had to solve problems together, thus creating a common goal and vision to achieve these goals.

Sherifs studies could teach us a little bit about organizational conflicts like eg silo thinking, political and ego driven processes, etc – which we are often confronted with in our work as experience designers and which have a direct impact on product development and at the end of the day: the users’s experience. The experiemnts also emphasize how important it is to have common goals and therefore a common vision.

The study was and is ethically questionable and was also biased. Nevertheless I think it can teach us about how intergroup conflicts occur, what to do against it – also in organizational structures and teams.

Sherif, M. (1954). Experimental study of positive and negative intergroup attitudes between experimentally produced groups: robbers cave study.

by stef

UX Research: Writing a research objective

This is just great. Having no shared objectives and so suffering from ambiguity in research kills everything: your data will simply be not valuable if you don’t know what you want to find out – so research objectives have to be clear and well communicated in the team.
Awesome @LaiYeeLori provided some help:

by stef

UX/ Design principle: Give instead of taking

If you are interested in specific information people should provide to your organization think of reasons in terms of how it would benefit those people and not how it benefits you as the business – because we are really more interested in people who are interested in us and not so much in selfish people.
If there is no benefit for the people then perhaps you should not ask for that information.

by stef

Ladies that UX Berlin meetup #19

Ladies that UX Berlin meetup #19

Happy to announce that our July meetup is coming along! This month we will be exploring learnings on how to conduct user research in agile teams with Carina Kuhr who is working as a senior design researcher at Microsoft.

Also massive thanks to this month host and sponsor IDAGIO – we couldn’t do it without you.
Happy to see you there!
When: July 10, 6:30 PM
Where: IDAGIO Tempelhofer Ufer 17, 10963 Berlin
Please RSVP here:

by stef

Look after yourself.

by stef

What is my job in one sentence ?

It’s not that easy to describe, really. I just spontaneously set myself a 15 min timeframe to write down what I actually say to others when I try to explain what I am doing for a living. I call myself an “experience strategist”. You can also say “user experience strategist” or “user experience designer”, but often, users are also customers. And I have a broad understanding of “user experience”, which means I do not narrow it down to the usage of digital products but also to the interaction with the whole organization behind the product and the holistic perception which is generated by interacting with the company/organization (through their website, app, insert “touchpoint” of your choice here).

This is really the core which came out of the long description:

We consult companies how they can reduce the discrepancy between business- and customer/user goals to ensure the business success of the company.

by stef

UX copy: Using plain language is good for your business

It’s really nearly all about perceived intentions towards a person, you can break things down to this basic thing when it comes to communication/interaction which includes also brand perception.
Don’t use jargon or internal terminology no one except insiders will understand when it comes to copywriting for your website. Good, clear, easy to read copy is good for your audience and therefore it is good for your business – simply because simple, plain language means your site, app or product is talking “human”.

It increases a) the readability and also b) – which is really important – the credibility because the usage of plain language is perceived as being transparent towards others and not hiding behind a hard to understand terminology which may be perceived as a sign to be more skeptic towards you, thinking even you may have bad intentions towards your users. (“What are they trying hiding from me? / Don’t they want me to understand?” )

Watch a good video about this topic here:

by stef

GDPR is good for user experience.

“In short, GDPR will make privacy a mandatory design principle–and, in doing so, may redefine the profession.”

Great article on why designers should care about the GDPR.  Because  it makes us rembember that  we are designing products for people not data/numbers  –  and that businesses should have the ultimate goal to treat their users/customers well and with respect.

Read here:

by stef

Computers are social actors, again and again

See also:

by stef

About Intelligence, meaning, the mind and machines

The video above contains a very short introduction to the chinese room argument, introduced by philosopher John Searle in the 1980 in his essay “Minds, Brains and Programs”. and it fits to my last post about Googles Duplex natural speech pattern.

The chinese room argument is a thought experiment with whose help Searle (who is btw deep into the philosophy of mind) wanted to prove that it is not enough for a computer to pass the Turing test in order to be considered intelligent. The Turing test was developed by Alan Turing in the 50s as a definition of intelligence where Turing claimed that if one cannot distinguish the answers of a computer from the answers of a person, this computer could be regarded as “intelligent”. So, passing the Turing test is therefore not a sufficient criterion for so-called “strong artificial intelligence”. In addition, it questions the computational theories of the mind and the question if machines are able to think.

This is a huge and interesting topic and it is deeply related to intentionality in human beings and the body-mind problem in philosophy which is still “unsolved”. I think this is the most fascinating topic I have ever been introduced to since I study psychology.

Minds, Brains and Programs by John Searle:
About the chinese room argument:

by stef

Google Duplex’ natural speech pattern: It’s a human? No it’s not!

I think we now go really deep into the uncanny valley. I think it is of psychological and also sociological relevance that we know if we speak to another human or a machine.The point is, it may be perceived as cheating, playing with trust.

by stef

Ladies that UX Berlin #17: Portfolio Night!


Excited to announce our Ladies that UX Berlin May meetup where we will discuss UX Portfolios!

Is your portfolio in need of a refresh or are you wondering what to put in it? Is your CV up-to-date? Join us for an in-depth discussion with Olga Madejska who works as Amazon Web Services Design System UX Lead about building a designer CV and portfolio.
Also Ladies who are confident in reviewing portfolios are more than welcome as we will offer some Folio Quick checks on demand after the talk!

Massive thanks to SinnerSchrader Swipe GmbH who will host us this month!

Ladies that UX Berlin, Tuesday, May 22, 2017; 6:30-9:00PM.
This month’s event will be hosted by SinnerSchrader Swipe. The location is Friedenstraße 91a, 10249 Berlin (Friedrichshain)

Please make sure to RSVP here:

Are you passionate about a special UX / Design topic? Why not give a short talk on that one of our next events? It’s a great place to get started and train your speaking skills ia a very welcoming environment!
If so or if you would be interested in hosting one of our upcoming events please make sure to reach out! :)