As previously announced, we continue with the second part of our exciting WUD review. From cultural requirements for an AI, soccer-playing robots, a "dancing" cup to UX writing, the WUD afternoon once again offered participants a whole range of interesting topics.
Cultural demands on AI as a challenge for UX design?
In the first presentation after the lunch break, Holm Hänsel, Senior UX Designer at Jambit, explored the question of whether artificial intelligence can meet cultural requirements in global design and development projects.
During the pandemic in particular, the use of AI in collaborative UX design has become increasingly important. As highlighted by Holm, AI is increasingly seen as a "sparring partner", especially when it comes to automatically summarizing user tests. This means that UX research processes can be driven forward more quickly. Additionally, the quality of ideas can be significantly improved by closing knowledge gaps about content and skills in a fully automated way. Nevertheless, one fundamental problem is that UX teams are usually not culturally diverse This lack of diversity carries over into the AI’s database, leading to unreliable user tests. As a result, products have a higher tendency to fail due to the target group’s needs not being addressed, according to Holm.
In order to solve this diversity problem, UX teams should therefore adjust their prompts more on the socio-cultural characteristics and regional specifics of their respective target group. In order to mitigate against the probability of error in these systems, UX teams are required to check whether the information generated is actually correct. Furthermore, AI can also help to make software more sustainable by identifying and reducing energy-intensive features. This becomes increasingly important, especially in a global context, when a high level of traffic is generated by many users. UX design can therefore also fulfil an ecological responsibility.
Kick-off time for collaboration & cooperation
Next up were Lea Kunz and Felix Loos, representing the HTWK robotics team, accompanied by their little mechanical friends. The robots not only look cute, they also proved themselves to be gifted ball artists at the annual RoboCup, a robo soccer tournament.
But before the robo team is ready to play at all, a lot of preparatory work needs to be done in advance. This is where the team around Lea and Felix steps in. Together they turn all of the robots' movements into code. Working all the way through the night when preparing for the upcoming RoboCup is not an uncommon thing. It’s stressful but always a lot of fun, said Felix. Cooperation plays a decisive role right from the start. For the HTWK student team this includes a constant exchange with other teams at various robotics events as well as working cooperatively on exciting and future-oriented research questions. By doing so, we cover the intersection between science, AI and cooperation, Lea noted.
In the end, hard work pays off. The HTWK team has landed several 2nd places and even one 1st place at RoboCup tournaments in the last seven years. And maybe in 2050 the team can achieve their goal of winning against a real human team with their robots.
BIBO – the dancing cup
During the final afternoon presentation, Kevin Lefeuvre, a product design researcher at the Bauhaus University Weimar, impressively demonstrated the important role that human-centered development processes can play in the care sector.
As part of the interdisciplinary research project ReThiCare (Rethinking Care Robotics) between the Bauhaus University, the Chemnitz University of Technology and Odense University, an interactive drinking cup called BIBO was developed. The overall aim of BIBO is to remind dementia patients to drink more regularly. As an example, the cup starts to vibrate if the person has not had a drink of water for at least seven minutes. Kevin also described how the prototype cup also lights up blue, notifying care staff to refill water. In general, the product concept contributes to solving two specific problems that participating scientists were able to identify during a field observation in an old people's care home. On the one hand, people with dementia are actively reminded to drink. On the other hand, the drinking cup relieves the nursing staff of their workload in the long term, as they do not have to remain with a single patient for longer periods of time and can use this time to look after other patients. To test the effectiveness of BIBO in real life, an experiment was conducted with people suffering from dementia in a nursing home in Denmark. Kevin describes the results as showing that the patients drank more with BIBO than with conventional drinking cups.
In conclusion, the research project suggests that design and development projects should be rethought in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration in order to meet the needs of specific target groups in the long run.
Workshop: UX Writing
While the afternoon presentations took place on the main stage, the second workshop was dedicated to UX writing. Today UX writing is becoming increasingly important. With compact practical examples and tips from their wealth of experience, Katharina Urbantat and Birgit Horn from Invision introduced their participants to the newest UX discipline.
As in UX design, the users are at the centre of this discipline and effective UX writing guides them through the application without any problems. The following characteristics play a particularly important role here: clear, concise, useful and consistent. If you take these four things into account, you are already well on the way to creating user-friendly microcopy. Good UX writing also benefits from defined guidelines in, for example, voice charts or terminology tables. With these tips in hand, the participants immediately set about writing their own texts, divided into groups.
The colourful mix of designers, technical writers and marketing copywriters led to lively discussions and interesting solutions. Overall, the workshop offered a good opportunity to gain initial points of contact with UX writing and to try it out for oneself.
All in all, this year's WUD demonstrated the importance of "Collaboration & Cooperation" in UX design. At the same time, new opportunities and challenges were highlighted for UX design to address in the future. Last but not least, there is only one thing left to say: We are looking forward to next year.