Technology and (the Lack of) User Value

About a year ago Mark Zuckerberg released a video clip about the result of his personal challenge of 2016: Jarvis, a simple AI to control his home.

Back in December 2016 this was cutting edge technology: a smart home assistant you could talk to or chat with. It was able to play music, inform Zuckerberg about events, recognize faces, and control household applicants, of course.

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The Crumbling Nerd Barrier of Physical Prototyping

When I tell people that I build physical prototypes (a.k.a things with knobs, displays and wires, which demonstrate how physical user interfaces of products that are going to get built will work) they usually smile, often sadly, and say: „Yes, but that’s easy for you, since you are such a nerd.“

That’s of course a grand misconception. Of me (probably) and of the general situation as a whole. People still believe that extensive programming and electrical engineering skills are needed, but that is no longer true. The nerd barrier has been torn down in quite a few places.

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Blogging Aspirations vs. Reality

The avid and attentive reader of this blog might have noticed another (silent) relaunch of my blog – the giveaway was the change of design.

This is the result of aspirations meeting reality. As I mentioned before, I wanted to use a small and lightweight engine for this blog and say goodbye to the behemoth called WordPress. Back in September I picked Kirby, since it ticked all the boxes. I bought a license and a decent theme, and loved the fact that I could now write my posts in markup and simply upload the files to the server.

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Detours with Arduino Code

“Umwege erhöhen die Ortskenntnis” (detours expand local knowledge) was a common saying of my philosophy professor after he went on a tangent during class.

I love the saying and I know the feeling pretty well – it frequently happens to me when I start to get interested in a topic. I start to research something, then I notice another interesting aspect, then another, and then another, and then… I guess you can see a pattern there. It’s similar to the process Dory experiences when she is trying to do something in Finding Nemo.

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Alexa and me

About four months ago Alexa moved in with me. She’s a quiet but witty flatmate. She connected with my WiFi speaker, immediately. Yes, she is a real tech geek. Soon she took over music and radio management for my place.

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Happy Birthday, dear Axure book

Five years ago today I released a small e-book on the Amazon Kindle platform called Axure for Mobile. At that time Axure 6.5 was just released, offering quite a few enhancements for mobile prototyping (swiping events, the mobile settings panel, etc.). My book described these new features and offered quite a few hacks which made mobile prototyping way easier.

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UX Prototyping Trends

For the longest time our discipline seemed to pay only lip service to one of the key activities of UX design: prototyping.

Yes, everybody always states that prototyping is important. Do it often and early on in the process. Always treat your prototypes as experiments. Don’t fall in love with them and last bust not least, always welcome failure.
Right.

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Let’s reboot

The other day I thought I should try to take another stab at blogging. My last blog post is from 2014 and was an uninspired embed of a presentation I gave. But that is easier thought than done. Especially if you want to do things “right” – whatever that means.

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