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By Julia Burchell

Meet the UX Champion: Erik Hersman on what makes for good user experience design

Erik Hersman on what makes for good user experience design

As we build to the announcement of the winners of the Design Challenge next Tuesday 26 February 2013 and in the next of a series of interviews with our selection panelists, Erik Hersman, Technologist and Blogger, Co-founder of Ushahidi and founder of AfriGadget and iHub, discusses what makes for good user experience design.

1.       Why is user experience design so important?

So that we’re making decisions for real people, and we’re creating tools, apps and services with the feedback of users, not just ourselves.   

2.       What characterizes a successful design?

Quoting Albert Einstein, I think successful design is when something is “as simple as it can be, but no simpler.”

3.       How can UX design improve women’s lives?

When we have more people designing products and services for women’s lives, and testing those in an iterative way by the women who will use them, the end product will be so much better than if it was done in a silo beforehand.

4.       What is the role of research in UX design?

Research and UX design go hand-in-hand, where the research and understanding of usage is tied very closely to the testing of those thoughts and hypothesis against real prototypes so that the best product is created for the end users.

 5.       What are some examples of innovative UX design in emerging markets?

Jane Chen’s work on Embrace, creating the low-cost infant warming device, is a product of rapid prototyping and iterative testing and feedback in India.

 6.       Why should the mobile industry invest in women as customers?

Any company who is trying to increase profits should look at their users and truly understand how they use their products and services.  In this case, women are using mobile phones differently than their male counterparts, and companies should be offering value added services to them to meet their needs.

7.       Why is the Design Challenge a worthwhile initiative?

Because it forces us to be creative, innovative and address the challenges faced by a major demographic user base that is under represented.



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