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Announcing the secret guest speaker: Rolf Molich

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He said yes! Rolf Molich, UX Godfather and co-creator of the original Usability Heuristics, has agreed to join us on the evening of the awards ceremony and give the opening keynote.

Here’s a quick Q&A so you can get to know him a bit better. Thanks Rolf 😀

What was the most challenging UX project that you’ve ever worked on?

Selling a UI-styleguide internally in a large insurance company that I worked for 20 years ago. An interesting challenge to write and debug the UI-standard and to make it usable, but a harder and unexpected challenge to sell it to the users – that is, make the developers pay attention and understand why it was helpful. I learned the hard way that you must never, NEVER police developers.

What has been the biggest UX game changer you have seen in the last 20 years

Actually, I have been surprised to see that the basics are to a large extent unchanged over the past 20 years (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).  The basic rules of thumb for design (heuristics) are still the same regardless of technology: Provide useful feedback, speak the users’ language, write constructive and comprehensible error messages, etc.

The basic methods (interview, observation, usability test, usability review) are basically unchanged, Of course, our theoretical knowledge of how to do things right and what not to do has increased tremendously. I am still intrigued by the number of UX Professionals who make basic mistakes in interviews, usability test, usability review and in using basic heuristics.

Which industry has the most potential for improving its UX?

The medical industry.

In your view, which sector is leading the way in usability

Banking. Some banks are doing an amazing job in providing useful and usable apps and websites. They have understood that profit and usability go hand in hand.

How do you see UX shaping up in the next 5 years? What will it look like?

I hope we will see more rigour, less improvisation and less innovation for innovation’s own sake. I would like UX to become an industrial discipline with fixed procedures for standard activities like interviews, usability reviews and usability testing.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?

This will be one of the key subjects of my keynote: Get experience. Learn and master the proven methods. Be careful with “wonderful” new, unproven methods. Sell your results well to your users (the product teams), your colleagues and your management. Last, but not least: Be curious, humble and always willing to learn.

What prompted you to develop the certification in UX? Why is it important?

In accordance with my previous answers, I think we have a need for a common language, so everyone has the same understanding of key concepts in our profession like usability testing, interviews, stakeholders, UX, use cases, storyboards, wireframes etc.

The CPUX certification system has two cornerstones: The curricula that define many of these terms with some rigour; and the certification process that ensures people have actually understood the concepts and have not just been physically present during a training course.

Thank you Rolf Molich! Look forward to hearing more insightful things from you on the night!

You can get more information of the evening here.