Name: Stefan Bickelmann
Role: Principal User Experience Designer
Expert at: Discovering & solving problems worth solving
Favorite app: Highlighted
Currently watching: My Son growing up. Can't imagine anything more fascinating.
Currently reading: Empowered by Marty Cagan, Invisible Woman by Caroline Criado Perez and The Lion Inside, a story of a mouse who wants to roaarrrr like a lion – one of my Son´s current favorites
What are your top 3 favorite examples of amazing UX design?
Google search for its undervalued simplicity and significant impact. AirPods as an excellent example of the end-to-end integration of Apple products. Starting from the satisfying ‘click’ when you close the case, through the seamless connection to all your devices, great onboarding, and features like spatial audio (the business of AirPods alone would rank on the Fortune 500 list!). And last but not least, Highlighted – an app made for capturing and exporting valuable insights from books to revisit later on. Very functional and simple, without unnecessary bells and whistles, answers a real need. Love it.
How can UX be socially cautious?
Being aware of the impact and, therefore, the responsibility we bear, is essential. We are way beyond the point of creating simple websites; we’re dealing with real threats on a major scale and affecting the lives of millions. We must act and think keeping in mind that we’re at the intersection of Humanity, Technology, and Business. It's all about balance and taking up the never-ending challenge of delivering great products that create real business value and embody the principles of humane design. Having guiding principles and continuously challenging our work based on ethics is a step towards a more matured industry. Everybody can start by reading about ethics, self-reflection and being cautious about their impact.
What do you think will be the next big thing in UX design?
Focus on people, their needs and problems. This is, and always will be, the axiom of a good UX and, therefore, ‘a really big thing’. Beyond that: As technology continues to accelerate – and acceleration itself is accelerating – the future will come faster than we think. With technologies like ML/DL, IoT, Blockchain, and AR leaving the trough of disillusionment on their hype-cycles, we are facing a groundbreaking new area of digital products. Products that will probably be either invisible or seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of reality. It's the age of magic, digital trust and digital objects breaking out of their usual habitat and populating the world. The impact of these technologies' convergence will be the next big chapter after the dominance of smartphones.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
Honestly, I have no clue. I might do a small survey in the team. I’ll keep you posted.
Who would play you in a movie?
As we slowly leave the uncanny valley, motion capture and CGI will do the work and create a synthetic digital Stefan (probably with some adjustments depending on the budget and audience). Not sure, if it’s a good idea though… Also, still working on the plot for the script.