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Expert Interview Series: Trends in Embedded UIs with Sebastian Ullherr

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Interview #2

The Crank Software team met up with Sebastian Ullherr, Managing Partner of interfacewerk, at Embedded World 2020 to chat about the trends and innovations he's seen in the embedded space. 

Sebastian Ullherr believes that UX design is the key to every good embedded product. By basing design and feature decisions on facts, he thinks we can save ourselves a lot of time, money, and frustration.


[Start of video transcription]


Sebastian Ullher: Hi, I'm Sebastian. I'm a CEO of Interfacewerk, which is a UX consultancy from Munich, Germany. And my role there is to focus on our client projects and the user experience strategy for the projects. I make sure the whole process of getting a project done focuses on the user and that the user's needs are met by the end result. That's what I do every day.

What are the UX trends and innovations you've been seeing in the embedded HMI space?

Sebastian Ullherr: In the embedded space, I see that there are different streams moving into this embedded space and there are more and more touch screens also moving into the embedded space. That means that we have more and more interactivity, so we need to apply or adjust our processes on how we develop these things to account for this interactivity.

We need to take care so that the users can also know what to expect from interacting with it. We need to cover their expectations from the other devices that they have; from the smartphones and the tablets and so on. We need to take care in our user experience that we provide with new embedded devices and the touch screens that we develop for them, so that it’s maybe not on par with something that Apple does, but good enough so that they don't just throw it away because it's that different or that much worse than an Apple product. 


What is the most important consideration when creating an embedded product that people actually want to buy and interact with?

Sebastian Ullherr: The most important thing that we should consider or you should consider when creating an embedded product I think is to first focus on figuring out the main use of the product for the people that are going to be using it.

Many companies and UX processes I think focus only on making it easy to use or making it just usable. And I think you should start one step further. I think that's the most important thing; to start the user research before the development begins, as an integrated part of the whole product development process. That way you can figure out, okay, what's the thing that brings the most use to people and then nail that through a process that's iterative, and that's built up by creating prototypes over time.

If you do that, you can figure out, okay, is that way of doing it the right way? Or is this way of doing it the right way? Once you do the prototyping and testing, you can continue to figure out the value that you can provide with your product to the user. Once you've nailed all of that down, then you can work on making it easy, but that's only the second step. The first step is creating the value and maximizing the value to the actual user.

[End of video transcription]

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Originally published: Apr 23, 2020 11:41:50 AM, updated 04/23/20

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Crank Software features industry experts in all things GUI design and development. If you're interested in writing for us, send a message to msesto@cranksoftware.com.

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