As usual, the conference took place from Sunday to Wednesday and shone with workshops,
presentations and submissions entirely dedicated to the theme of digital transformation
in the flow of time.
One workshop in particular caught our attention as user experience designers. It was
about establishing UUX in companies and how one (unfortunately too often) encounters
obstacles - even when it comes to convincing customers of UUX. For this purpose,
findings from last year were presented, used as a basis for this year's workshop and
finally methods and approaches were formulated.
In another exciting tutorial, participants were introduced to structured interaction
design for smart prototyping. The methods Customer Journey Map, Flowchart, and User
Story Map were discussed with the help of their Implementation and use cases.
After a theory phase, the participants were divided into groups and were able to use
fictitious examples to apply the methods they had learned. The speakers' own experiences
and tips for choosing the right method rounded off the tutorial.
Monday was all about the Barcamp. In the practitioner track of the German UPA, the
platform of an open conference was created, where many usability professionals came
together to exchange ideas on different topics from practice. The special thing about
it: the content and the schedule were jointly designed by the participants at the
beginning of the day. Each participant was encouraged to bring along his or her own
topics and to pass on impulses. A total of 32 presentations, workshops and discussions
were offered in short sessions of 30 - 45 minutes. For example, we tried out an
innovative method for idea development with maps, listened to an interesting
presentation on "Data visualization is not a question of taste" and exchanged ideas on
UX testing methods that can be used efficiently even on a small budget.
Thus, we were able to take away many exciting impressions and also cultivate our network
with other professionals. At the Barcamp, it became clear, especially through the very
good preparation, that the digital implementation of the conference can also be used as
a strength. The digital transcripts invite further exchange even after the
Tuesday's keynote was by Andy Budd: The Accidental Design Leader. He is a UX
designer and never wanted to be a design leader at Clearleft himself - but he has been
for over 10 years - unintentionally, as he puts it in his talk. Based on his years of
experience, he gives the following 5 tips to other Design Leaders:
As a Design Leader, you are expected to find talent that fits into the team. Personal
growth is to be the focus through workshops and continuing education opportunities.
Overall, the goal is to create a pleasant work environment where every team member feels
To prevent employees from leaving the company early, values that the team stands behind
should be communicated right from the start. Social events are suitable for creating a
sense of community. However, these events should not be excessive in order to preserve
employees' private lives. Likewise, well-being can be created through sufficient freedom
in project management.
Execute at pace
Organizational hurdles should be removed by the Design Leader so that the team can focus
on their essential tasks and the completion of the project is achieved more quickly.
Here, Andy cites the establishment of a design system. Creating a safe space for
constructive criticism within the team also contributes to faster deliveries.
The modern design leader should make managers and stakeholders aware of the importance of
design. To do this, he recommends speaking their technical language in order to
communicate more clearly. The design topic should already be considered at the
An interest in the designers is essential for the Design Leader. He should be available
to talk with them, even in private. Praise may be announced publicly in the team,
criticism only privately to the individual designer.
The next Mensch und Computer 2021 is scheduled to take place in Ingolstadt. We are
already excited about the exciting presentations that await us next year and whether we
will be back to normal by then.