A laptop screen with white-on-black line charts
A laptop screen with white-on-black line charts
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

TL;DR: Despite evidence that employing a human-centered design (HCD) approach to product design yields a strong competitive edge, many companies neglect HCD or don’t even consider it in the first place. One reason for that is probably that many who think they’re working user-centered are practicing something entirely different: KPI-Centered Design. This article inquires into different forms of design processes, into the differences between proper HCD and KPI-Centered Design, and how a reasonable compromise can look like: Formulating hypotheses based on evidence rather than just KPIs or gut feeling, and complementing quantitative experimentation with more qualitative insights.

Originally published in…


A pile of books about design, usability, and user experience, next to a pile of post-it notes and a pen.
A pile of books about design, usability, and user experience, next to a pile of post-it notes and a pen.
Photo by Mohamed Boumaiza on Unsplash

TL;DR: When hearing conversion rate optimization (CRO), many think of the application of psychological principles such as social proof or scarcity. But before employing those, e-commerce businesses first have to have their fundamentals down — which many don’t. In this article, I present five foolproof (and proven) ways to optimize your conversion rate: optimizing your checkout, getting rid of shipping costs (as much as possible), focusing on usability, getting rid of dark patterns, and gaining a deep understanding of your customers.

Originally published on 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience.

I’ve been in the conversion rate optimization business…


Photo by Ralph Hutter on Unsplash

Ursprünglich veröffentlich in meinem persönlichen Blog 2008 Tales of Design & User Experience.

Im Zuge einer Klage der Deutschen Umwelthilfe im Oktober 2018 gegen den Entwurf des Luftreinhalteplans der Stadt Düsseldorf, der Dieselfahrverbote in der Landeshauptstadt verhindern soll, wurden in ebendiesen Plan die sogenannten “Umweltspuren” [1] aufgenommen, um die ‒ oder, genauer gesagt, deren geplante Abschaffung ‒ es in diesem kleinen Essay gehen soll. Die Planänderung bedeutete, dass zunächst auf zwei besonders Stickstoffdioxid-belasteten Düsseldorfer Straßen Fahrstreifen eingerichtet wurden, die ausschließlich von Bussen, Taxen, Fahrrädern und E-Autos befahren werden dürfen. Später kam, aufgrund vielversprechender Ergebnisse der ersten beiden Umweltspuren, eine…


Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Originally posted on 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience.

Life in the time of Covid-19 can be challenging — for some much more than for others. However, it’s also an excellent opportunity to reflect and read more — if you can afford the luxury of reading, that is. For those who can, in this article I want to recommend five books that I believe are essentials in trying times like these. …


An “e-commerce” road sign between two green traffic lights.
An “e-commerce” road sign between two green traffic lights.
Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

TL;DR: An effective personalization strategy should be treated as a design problem with a structured framework of ideation, implementation, and evaluation. Co-creation workshops are used to brainstorm audiences and personalized content based on credible hypotheses, which are then implemented and continuously monitored to assess the performance of the personalization strategy and individual campaigns. A good strategy focuses on UX while helping with achieving business goals.

Originally published on konversionsKRAFT.de and 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience. This article is a follow-up to a webinar held by konversionsKRAFT in cooperation with Dynamic Yield.


A team putting their hands together.
A team putting their hands together.
Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

TL;DR: This article presents 9 guidelines for building and leading UX teams. They are based on what I learned from the people who led me as well as my own experience: recruit diverse talent; set up a process (and iterate); involve other teams from the start; be fair; have regular ceremonies; pass on knowledge; have a vision; ask questions (a lot); and make UX visible.

Originally published on Tales of Design & User Experience.

I’ve been involved in building and developing teams since 2012. First, at Unister, where Prof. Andreas Both was creating an R&D department from scratch. Then, at…


Shelves filled with books in a library
Shelves filled with books in a library
Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Originally posted on 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience.

To keep my promise of writing more about (good) books, I’ll start off with the list of books I read in 2018 — the first year in which I recorded my reading list on Goodreads — along with (very short) summaries and my personal ratings. I also give away 💎ᴍᴜsᴛ-ʀᴇᴀᴅ awards to the books I can especially recommend.

William Deresiewicz: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life 💎ᴍᴜsᴛ-ʀᴇᴀᴅ

A book not just about the problems of the American educational system, but…


Two people playing a football game on a Playstation
Two people playing a football game on a Playstation
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

TL;DR: The theory of Jobs To Be Done explains that too much focus on socio-demographic data and correlations hurts companies. Rather, you have to gain a deeper understanding of your customers, who “hire” your product to help them do certain jobs under certain circumstances. For instance, you don’t buy a video game console because you’re male and over 30. You hire it to, e.g., do the job “connect with friends”.

Originally published on 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience.

It was only two years ago that I first heard about the theory of Jobs To Be Done (abbreviated…


TL;DR: Depending on the environment you have to navigate, it’s not always easy to try and apply all of the awesome design methods that are out there, be it due to daily business or a lack of management buy-in. In this article, I describe 5 methods that I have successfully and effectively applied in C&A’s eCommerce department: Design Jams, Storyboards, Crazy 8s, 4×4×4, and Buy a Feature.

Originally published on Tales of Design & User Experience.

Currently, I work as a User Experience Manager in the eCommerce department of C&A, one of Europe’s biggest and oldest fashion retailers. Now, what…


TL;DR: Depending on who you ask, a design system and a design language might be the same thing or not. Regardless, the important point here is that both a system and a language go beyond a simple pattern library. They have to include a set of rules and guidelines to give the included components structure and meaning.

Originally published on 2008 ‒ Tales of Design & User Experience.

Most people concerned with digital design in one way or the other should already have an intuitive understanding of what a design system or a design language is. It’s what Apple’s Human…

Max. Speicher

Researcher, Scientist, Part-Time Philosopher 🤔 • All articles available for free at https://2008.maxspeicher.com/

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