UXMA @diwokiel 2024

From May 11th to 17th, the Digitale Woche Kiel 2024 offered the opportunity to be inspired, explore new technologies, experience current trends, challenges and solutions and discuss them with the various participants as part of the future and digital festival. Of course, we were also involved this year and contributed to the program with four exciting events.

Two female UXMA employees stand on a stage with a microphone in their hands and give a presentation.

Respectful product design as an initiator for innovation and inclusion

We kicked off DiWoKiel on Monday with a talk on the topic of “Respect Driven Design – what can designers do to develop products that are as inclusive as possible?”. In an impulse talk, we introduced the audience to how the conceptual creation process in product development already determines whether and how inclusive a product will be in the end and which critical questions can break existing thought patterns: Do we only consider the culture we are most familiar with? Do take our our own heritage, sexuality and religion as a starting point? Or do we go a little further and question possible biases and thought patterns?

The motivation for this critical attitude is clearly based on the human-centered design approach. Through respectful product design, we can not only appeal to a larger target group, but also include diversity and innovation in our products. This could be a recipe app, for example, which not only offers Christmas and Easter menus, but also has recipe suggestions for Hanukkah and the end of Ramadan fasting up its sleeve.

Take-away: When we work in diverse teams, this automatically results in a wide variety of perspectives that are incorporated into our work and thus enrich the process. In addition to more diversity in product development and in research and testing, an important aspect is a critical attitude towards one’s own approach and thought patterns, which are usually only based on one’s own personal background.

Two people stand at a table during a workshop, on which notepads and pens are lying. In the background is a banner with the logo of Digital Week Kiel 2024.

Synergy between social work and technology

Our second DiWoKiel event was also about different perspectives: Together with the Paritätischer Wohlfahrts­verband Schleswig-Holstein e.V., we had the opportunity to connect people from the social work sector with those from the technology sector as part of the event: “Digital and social – innovating together for social change”.

Using the “World Café” method, we facilitated a participatory process for all participants to discuss situations and problems from social work and develop concrete, target-oriented ideas.

For example, great solutions have been developed that reduce the waiting time in the allocation of therapy places – a topic that is very relevant for many people. At least as relevant as the ideas developed for more quality time for patients in care, who currently experience much less personal interaction and care than they actually need due to time constraints and staff shortages.

The workshop made it clear to us once again that the major social problems of our time cannot be solved in 45 minutes, but that methodical support and guidance can enable solution-oriented participation and positive dialog.

We felt that the exchange was very positive and hope to be able to bring together even more participants from social work and the IT environment in the near future!

A female Uxma employee kneels in front of a table with colorful workshop materials on it.
Two female UXMA employees stand behind a podium on a stage at the Digital Week Kiel.

Reaching your goal with methodology and interdisciplinarity

Our experts at UXMA not only place great emphasis on approaching the tasks ahead of us with the right mindset, but also always transform the developed concepts into outstanding solutions. At our third event, “From mindset to action”, we therefore worked with the participants to turn established “mindsets” upside down:

Using the “Tarot Cards of Tech” method, we gave the participants provocative questions to help them take a fresh look at familiar products from their everyday lives and surroundings. Questions such as “What would it look like if your product was used excessively?” or “What would be the worst headline that could be made about your product?” were very well received by the participants and sparked both exciting and heated discussions. And that was precisely the intention: A methodical approach can help with any task to look at and evaluate things in a completely new way – potential for improvement can be found almost everywhere.

Two women are standing at a high table in the evening sun on Kiel
The DIWO Kiel Dome stands in the evening sun on Kiel

Closing of DiWoKiel with an exclusive project insight

Our final event at the Digital Week Kiel 2024 took place on Wednesday on the town hall square: Together with the contact persons from Kiel University, we were able to give interested citizens exclusive insights into the “CO.RIO” collaboration platform in the beautiful Kiel evening sun. A prototype developed for the event was tested thoroughly live on site with the visitors. This allowed the project team to immediately determine and evaluate the feedback received. A complete success for everyone involved with many positive discussions!

Overall, it can be said that Digital Week Kiel was once again a great experience for us this year. Once again, the week was characterized by great conversations with exciting people, lots of inspiration and the opportunity to shape the future together.

We are already looking forward to the next #diwokiel25!

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