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let’s dev Blog | Mensch und Computer 2020 - Digital Change in the Flow of Time
by UX Team
18. September 2020

Mensch und Computer 2020 - Digital Change in the Flow of Time

This year's Mensch und Computer under the guiding theme of digital change in the flow of time was probably a new experience for all participants. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Mensch und Computer did not take place in Magdeburg as planned, but was transformed into a fully digital conference.

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 conference.


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:

Finding Talent

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 comfortable.

Retaining Talent

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.

Managing up

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 management level.

Managing down

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.

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