sovanta shows practical examples at the Münster University of Applied Sciences

A lecture by UX Designer Alexander Lenhart

Jan 08, 2020

Today we live in a complex society in which it is no longer sufficient to look at problems from one perspective. But: consulting experts from different fields is not enough - they also have to work together. For this approach to be put into practice, it must first be taught in theory. My visit to Münster University of Applied Sciences is dedicated precisely to this goal. There I had the opportunity to present my work in the field of user experience (UX) at sovanta as part of the lecture series "GUDialog".

Theory meets practice

The whole thing came about through the graduate event "Parcours" at the University of Applied Sciences. There I discovered projects about UX that inspired me. The concepts that were worked out by the students were good, but they "only" remained concepts. This motivated me to show them the practical side. And the lecture series of the Institute for Society and Digital Science was the ideal platform for this. Because its interdisciplinary approach reminded me of how sovanta works. A team from the fields of design, computer science and social science uses its cross-competence composition to critically question the digitalization of society in a series of lectures.

UX Design at sovanta

The initial question we usually ask ourselves at sovanta is: "Does every digitalization of a human interaction really make sense? With the help of UX Design at sovanta I tried to answer this question. For this purpose I brought the case of a fictitious bicycle manufacturer whose processes are based on a real project. The goal: An app for retailers that allows them to quickly find out about the company.

At the beginning, the focus is on the user: What does he think and feel? What are his goals? With the answers to these questions as a basis, we move on to the choice of technology. Then we put ourselves in the user's shoes again and design the first scribbles. Finally, mockups are presented. For the actual development, we then go on to formulate the user stories to work out the concept.

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Now comes the point at which practice begins: evaluation. Because development is not the end. In order to see whether we have delivered the right product, we then go "on the road". This involves conducting user surveys, the results of which we use to further work on improving the app if necessary.

We use the tool "Qualtrics" for this purpose. If we find any gaps or errors, we go back to writing, or rather to adapting the user stories. In my case study, for example, it turned out that a feature was not needed at all.

Let us now return to the initial question: "Does every digitalization of a human interaction really make sense?” As you can see from the example with the bicycle manufacturer, the question can also be answered in the negative. The omission of a feature even improved the app in the end. And this is exactly what good UX design is all about: putting the user in focus to achieve the best possible results for him. To achieve this, critical reflection in the form of evaluations is important.

About the author: Alexander Lenhart

Before I came to UX, I was an art director in trade communications. Over the years I noticed that advertising campaigns lacked logic. Decisions were made rather subjectively. And the focus was less on the customer. At UX, the user is in the focus and provides the "balance" that I missed. After all, the end products are for the customer.

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