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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 bitstars — a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University — with their AR/VR web platform HoloBuilder. After that, I helped Prof. Michael Nebeling build his Information Interaction Lab at the University of Michigan; and finally, at C&A, Ulrike Otto, who leads the Customer User Experience unit, has given me the chance to build a UX practice from the ground up. In all of these positions, I was trusted with leading my own little teams and task forces, and in this article, want to summarize my most important learnings so far. …


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 also about finding your vocation. Helped me through an extremely difficult time in which I had to make decisions with far-reaching consequences regarding my future career path. …


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: JTBD). Since then, the approach has gained traction in user experience and conversion rate optimization environments. But what exactly is a Job To Be Done? …


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.

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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 does a UX manager do? For one thing, I organize and coordinate quantitative and qualitative UX research in the department. For another thing, together with the rest of my team, I identify problems and create concepts for new features. If you’re also involved in design, I think it’s a safe bet to assume you’re aware of the plethora of design (thinking) methods and techniques that are out there. …


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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 Interface Guidelines are, or Microsoft’s Metro Design Language. I, personally, have heard the term “design language” more often in my career in UX so far, and sometimes “design system”. But a new term I came across for the first time recently was “design language system”. So, I asked myself: Is there actually a difference between these three? …


TL;DR: There is not a single, “best” definition of mixed reality. Instead, there are six widely used and partly competing notions that can be classified based on a 7-D conceptual framework of mixed reality.

Originally published on Twenty Oh Eight.

Five days ago, on a train traveling home for Christmas, I was thinking about my personal highlights of 2019. While a lot of good things happened in the past 12 months (and I’m not going to talk about private matters here), from a professional point of view, there’s a clear winner: Giving a talk about mixed reality at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (a.k.a. …


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TL;DR: To get started with Scrum, grab one of the popular tools (e.g., Jira), implement all the Scrum artifacts and fill your gaps with some experienced people. It is not all too important to have the right task estimates, sprint lengths, etc. from the beginning or to follow the methodology dogmatically. The crucial part is to have a team that commits to the process, reflects critically, is eager to learn, and improves incrementally.

Originally published on Twenty Oh Eight.

It took us a little while to get the second part of our series about agile development done, but Andreas and I had some pretty good reasons for it (or at least we hope so). While I moved back to Germany from the U.S. and started a new position as a UX Manager, Andreas is now not only the Head of Research at DATEV, but also started as a full professor of Web Engineering at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. …


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Is that Pikachu on the street right next to you? Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock.com

Augmented reality systems show virtual objects in the real world — like cat ears and whiskers on a Snapchat selfie, or how well a particular chair might fit in a room. The first big break for AR was the “Pokémon GO” game, released in 2016 with a feature that let players see virtual Pokémon standing in front of them, ready to be captured and played with. Now, technology companies like Microsoft and Mozilla — the company behind the Firefox browser — and even retail businesses like IKEA and Lego are exploring the potential of AR.

Where I do research, an AR lab at the University of Michigan School of Information, it seems everyone knows about AR and is excited about the technology becoming popular among the general public. My colleagues and I watch videos of impressive AR demonstrations, try out new applications and play with new devices. The research community’s enthusiasm may be why several experts — including some I talk with — say they expect AR to be commonplace in five years, or envision AR glasses replacing smartphones within a decade. …

About

Max. Speicher

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

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