wudhh - Just good. No evil.

Another year, another World Usability Day. This year’s motto: “Design for Good or Evil”. Togehter with two of my colleagues I took part in Hamburg, where the venue was again the HAW Hamburg Mediencampus. It was a great day with a lot of useful input.

I’d like to share some highlights and learnings with you, and how they fit into our working envirmonment at ePages.

Organizational ability to create good UX and how we increase it!

This talk by Dominique Winter was probably the most important for us. It dealt with how an organization can develop products with good UX, or in other words, what they need for a good UX. These are the top 5 methods to tackle this:

Workshops, Trainings, Coaching

Goal: to establish social and UX method competence, as well as to get to know the domain of our target group better.

We do have both already at ePages, but there’s always room for improvement. The UX team still needs support, and with regards to getting to know our target group better, I’d personally wish for more possibilities as well. I ask myself too often, what the working environment of our merchants is like. Which processes do they follow? Does their working environment bring special requirements? Which artefacts do they work with? Which terminology do they use?

We definitely have to allocate time and resources to address this issue.

Interdisciplinary teams

Goal: knowledge transfer, collaboration, develop a mutual understanding.

Yay! That’s what we’re about to do as well!


Goal: important tool for team communication, to create a common understanding, to avoid self references (user = me!), to avoid “elastic users”. Different parties involved in development define the user differently. That makes a user very variable depending on who you ask and at which point in time.

How: Personas should be created on a data basis, including validation. This should be done by different persons and as neutral as possible (no Marketing personas).

We do work with personas for the ePages Base and ePages Now products. But they’re a little outdated and need to be reworked. For our new product that’s in the pipeline, the users are still out of sight. We need to establish a common understanding, who these users are, and create new personas accordingly.

Constantly measure user feedback

Goal: establish an essential basis for decision making for everything (development, conceptional decisions, strategy). Control the UX of the product and figure out what to improve.

This is definitely on our To Do list, but requires time, and resources.

Set up a UX strategy

Goal: allocate UX resources.

As UX is an intrinsic part of the Product Management team, luckily we have an impact on this strategy. But until now, we did not have the chance to develop one.

Between flow and manipulation: product design with neuro-psychological principles

Topic: Behavioral Patterns on which our intuitive decision system is based (which is the more dominant, by the way). The speaker Philipp Spreer selected the Behavioral Patterns, which are very well researched and well applicable in e-commerce. For example:

Endowed Progress Effekt

People feel pressure when they feel like they haven’t finished something. This is used, for example, by means of a progress bar on job portals or contact platforms: “only 10 contacts until you reach …”.


“What you see is all there is”: What is (prominently) shown is also everything that is perceived as reality. And what is easily overlooked tends not to be perceived as existing and is practically unavailable. Example: at checkout on a very well-known marketplace, the purchase of a trial or subscription to a premium membership was coupled to the buy button for a while. The actual buy function without concluding a premium membership was just shown as an inline link.

Status Quo Bias

This refers to as the tendency to maintain the current status. This effect is particularly noticeable with organ donor cards: countries have significantly more organ donors where by default all people are organ donors, until they actively object to organ donation. While countries where one must first actively say yes to organ donation have fewer donors. Learning: watch out, and consider carefully how to set the defaults in your software.

More about this topic in the speaker’s book: PsyConversion: 101 Behavior Patterns for a better user experience and higher conversion rate in e-commerce.

Great event

I enjoyed the well-prepared talks, as well as used the breaks between the sessions to chat with other UXers. I also liked the evening event with snacks and drinks very much, where I again had the chance to share the impressions of the day with my colleagues and other visitors. See? Just good. No evil. 🙂

About the author

Michaela Wawrok is a UX Manager. She loves creating UX concepts, and is keen on data-driven work.