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It’s at home – our MYO

Mar 25th, 2015

Finally arrived!


The Myo armband created by thalmic is released now and Youspi is one of the first who received it. Being more than curious we also immediately tested it. Now we want to share our experiences of using this technical milestone!


What Myo is and how it works


The Myo armband is a technical gadget to operate several gadgets like pc’s, laptops, smartphones or tablets only with a gesticulation. It is the start of a new technical generation where you can control things without being in visual contact or touching a surface. The armband works with EMG sensors, which measure electrical activity from the muscles of your hands. By measuring them it can recognize five poses and using a 9-axis IMU it reads off the motion, orientation and rotation of your forearm. This information is transfered over a Bluetooth connection to your laptop, pc, tablet or other gadgets.


Getting started!


Before you can start the Myo armband has to be loaded. There aren’t any instructions in the box but every information you may need is on the website. The software can be downloaded there and a “getting started” guide opens when the software starts. An important point is the Bluetooth adapter, it has to be connected all the time. After you have done that you can put the armband on. Before you can use it for controlling your personal gadgets you have to sync it, so that the armband knows and understands your gestures. Afterwards you can start to work with it!


What Myo can be used for


Even if the Myo armband is still in the early stages and there are some restrictions like no single finger detection, it can be a useful tool. It is compatible with windows, android and mac OS and can also be used on different gadgets like iPad, Laptop, PC or even on Smartphones. The possibility of connecting it with the smartphone offers a variety of other possibilities, for example controlling a stereo system or a thermostat connected to the phone. There are also some standard softwares like PowerPoint, keynote or acrobat which can be controlled with the armband.















UX Post – September 2014

Sep 17th, 2014

UX Trend

Prominent call to actions!

It is no trend, it is usability. Too much information depends to bigger and clearer call to actions. Usability studies showed that CTA in a less prominent style will be disappear in the useres mind.

UX Video

User Experience Strategy by Ultan o Broin

He describes the Oracle strategy Simplicity, Mobility and Extensibility for a huge company. We can takes some ideas and thoughts from him!

UX Slideshare

The digital edge of experiences by Yonatan Dubinsky

He shows the black hole bewteen fantasy and experiences. A nice presentation – Have a look on it.

UX Blog

Think your app is beautiful? not without User Experience Design, by Dave Feldman

He describes the importance of User Experience design and why it is essential for every development. He shows a lot of examples and describes a nice theory.

UX Article

Breaking the Contraints by Marli Mesibov

He describes constraints for every UX Designer. On will be to convince user to do UX design. Great article about every day’s constraints.

Innovation, Exceptional Experience and Sustainable Success Made Easy: The NI© Needs Innovation Model

May 02nd, 2014

Is it magic or a jack of all trades? The Needs Innovation Model can best be understood as a combination of various established concepts, models and maps, aiming to provide a holistic and reliable way to achieve long-lasting success on the market.
The NI©Modell was created to help practitioners gather and assess a comprehensive set of customer needs, thereby determining the critical areas for improvement. In order to identify customer needs and opportunities for value improvement, NI analyzes the “Main task & the surrounding journey” that customers are trying to get done during a process when they use products, services or interact with a company.

The eight steps of the Needs Innovation Model are defined as follows:

1.) Specify the market and the problem
2.) Elicit all needs along the journey
3.) Quantify needs and ask for satisfaction, importance, KPIs and emotions
4.) Create the „Potential & Feeling Area“ and determine the needs with the highest impact and value
5.) Create, iterate, draft and design solutions
6.) Evaluate your new solutions through the previously defined KPIs
7.) Design experiences building up on the “Emotions/Satisfaction MAP”
8.) Market your products and services and achieve lasting success



We deployed this model to speech processing systems and redesigned the Philips DPM 8000. It is a high-end device for quality voice recording. Since competitors released new products, also Philips had to follow.

NI© „NEEDS INNOVATION MODEL“ used at Philips DPM 8000
1.) Specify the market and the problem

In a first interdisciplinary workshop we defined the market and the user group for the redesigned product. We wanted to
– Optimize the experience for the actual user
– Allow Philips the entry of a new market – analog voice-recording user
– Retrieval at the displacement market
– Create more than 3 innovations


2.) Elicit the needs along the journey
At the beginning we specified an initial user journey to define an unique user group for observation and in-depth interviews. We visited lawyers and doctors around Austria and were able to obtain a comprehensive list of various actual needs associated and clustered to the recorder journey.
With the user input we were thus able to optimize the journey and gained valuable customer insights. Recommended methods for this stage comprise in-depth interviews, observations, or daily diary entries. This step is one of the most crucial ones throughout the presented process.

3.) Quantify needs and ask for satisfaction, importance, user KPIs and emotions
After that we initiated a large-scale interview phase throughout a time span of three weeks. For the interviews we prepared a survey, which collected
– Satisfaction degree
– Importance
– KPIs
– Emotions
for all clustered needs. Each interview conducted in this step will last for about two hours and gathering the information on Satisfaction, Importance and Emotions for all needs is paramount to create the Potential & Feeling Area. The identified Users KPIs are employed to evaluate the optimization of the process at a later stage and are very important for the needs prioritization.
This is a great possibility to quantify and prove Usability & User Experience!

4.) Create the Potential & Feeling Area and determine the needs with the highest potential
The „Potential Feeling Map“ shows all needs with the potential for innovation. Put simply this means that a high importance and lower satisfaction rate indicates a huge potential. At this stage a third layer will be combined, comprising emotions, which will ultimately allow you to determine the innovation potential.
Please note that it may well be possible that some needs have a high satisfaction rare and score low in importance (right graphic area), which enables you to consider a possible reduction in functionality or service quality. In fact, here we are talking about reducing unnecessary innovation to create space and freeing means to create valuable innovations. The third dimension “emotion” will give us an extra key evaluation.


Potential Feeling Map
Thus, this model allows you to concentrate on those needs exhibiting a high acceptance level. In case of Philips DPM, one need for the analog user was „DATA SECURITY“. Users connect a tape with reliability and trust, knowing that their spoken words will be archived and will thence always be available, which is not possible through usage of a digital device. In addition, they know that the recording is happening through looking at the turning tape.
5.) Create, iterate, draft and design solutions for the needs with the highest potential
Now we started our creative process to define and visualize all defined needs. We tried to find new technical and User Interface solutions for these needs.


New features

Need analog user: data security, no changes
– Classic mode for clear and simple operation

Need: Less importance of info
– Simplified data visualization on the screen

Need: High quality recording
– Integrated motion sensor for automatic microphone selection

Need: Speed
– Docking station for quick battery charging and hands-free recording

Need doctors: Speed data security
– Integrated barcode scanner for optimization in the documentation
– And many more…
At the iterative development process we included Mock-UP testing, ergonomic testing and usability optimization testing.

6.) Evaluate your new solutions with the defined user KPIs
At the last Usability Testing we took the defined user KPIs and evaluated them. It was great to see what is possible. For the medical use in hospitals we optimized a process from the duration of two days to a few hours, might was a huge innovation in their working process.

7.) Design experiences building on the emotions/satisfaction map
While you are working at the main product, process or service, you can create much more experiences on the base of the „Potential Feeling Map“. Unspoken Needs or less important needs could be complied with fast and easy and you create additional surprisingly experiences along the whole customer journey. You create them also on a big basis of data. If you cluster and combine different target groups, you will get similar needs and will achieve a huge target group.
– Create an easier first use user manual
– First use wizard
– Optimized service delivery
– …

8.) Be successful
Within the first six months, they won a worldwide market share of more than ten percent.
In 2014 they expect a further increase by up to 20 percent worldwide.


Visualizations at the NI Model

– Target Market map
– Journey Map
– Potential & Feeling Area
– KPIs
– Experience Guide

– Innovation
– User Experience
– Customer Experience
– Usability
– youspi
– NI(c)M – Needs Innovation Modell

World Experience Award @ World Usability Congress

Apr 03rd, 2014






The World Experience Award PEGASUS appreciates the world´s best projects around user experience
and service design. As part of WUC the PEGASUS is awarded by a vote of the attendees.

For that we are searching for best practice projects. Apply now and get the chance to win the World Experience Award. The process looks as follows:

The 6 Pieces of the Customer Experience Puzzle

Jan 19th, 2014

By  |  Jan 17, 2014

How do you define customer experience — and, more importantly, how do you create the best customer experience model? I started wondering about both concepts while working on an assignment to increase sales from the digital channel of a hospitality giant.

It seems like everyone is interested in the idea of “great customer experiences.” But both businesses and scholars have struggled to understand what that really means, and have fared even worse at attempts to measure the outcomes of the “Customer Experience.”

My suggestion: Divide the customer experience into six dimensions that can work cohesively to improve the requisite “experience” to customers, provide competitive differentiation and even affect the bottom line.


The diagram above visualizes the six dimensions of customer experiences, a few factors that characterize those dimensions (inner circle) and the enablers for succeeding in those dimensions (outer circle).

Knowing the Customer

Knowing the customer cannot be limited to just collecting personal and demographic data about the customer as it has traditionally been done. Increased varieties of touch points, particularly the digital touch points, help in collecting advanced data such as transaction history and behavior across multiple channels.

This is amplified by advantages of big data analytics in synthesizing the collected data and understanding more about customers, their individual behaviors as well as preferences. Similarly, speech analytics helps in understanding customer behavior and problems in the interactive voice response (IVR). All of these together, using data from all channels, provides a consolidated view of the customer by creating customer profiles.


Imagine calling the IVR of a hotel booking agency and hearing “Hi, I am Martha, can I help you?“ versus “Good Morning Mr. Wong. I am Martha” and offering to book a room based on your previous preferences such as type of room, amenities, etc. A key step in personalization is customer identification. Techniques such as recognizing automatic number identification, cookies, email ID, Facebook handle and more can help in identifying customers. A few touch points by their very nature help in customer identification — for instance mobile apps.

The next step would be to provide a personalized service to the identified customer. Previous point about knowing the customer combined with interaction design methodologies help in ensuring that the customer feels valued. Advanced statistical techniques coupled with big data help in micro segmentation of customer and thus in targeting effectively. Traditional loyalty programs also aid in personalization. Some well known examples of personalization in action are Amazon’s dynamic recommendations and Zite’s story/news selection.


Every customer wants to be treated according to their individual needs and does not like generalized interactions. This necessitates a clear understanding of customer needs and the intent of transactions. Advanced predictive analytical techniques using machine learning algorithms such as regression models or Bayesian Models help in intent prediction and thus in designing customer journey, particularly in digital channels.

For instance, predicting the intents of the callers of a nationwide directory assistance service helped us increase the self-service rate by nearly 5 percent and also reduce the time taken for completing a transaction. Similarly, my colleagues could predict the intents and problems of web visitors using Naïve Bayesian model for a telecom giant and thus designed optimal interventions to increase the sales.

Recent research from Google shows that 90 percent of the customers use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time and 98 percent of them move between devices on the same day. Also, 67 percent of customers start shopping on one device and continue on another. Retaining context across multiple touch points and transactions further facilitates predicting the exact intent of the caller so you can provide seamless service. How nice would it be to start making an airline reservation on the web, pause and continue in the IVR or your mobile app without duplicating any steps!

Ease of Transactions

Imagine you are talking to an airline agent using your smartphone to book a ticket. She offers you 10 different choices, but you’ve forgotten the first choice after she completes the tenth. What if instead you could simultaneously see the flight choices on your smartphone screen while talking to the agent? Research by Google shows that 66 percent of customers use their smartphone and laptop simultaneously and 22 percent use both simultaneously usage for the same transaction. Innovative multichannel solutions greatly simplify and ease transactions.

Other critical factors which contribute to the ease of transactions are: availability of convenient channels, attitude and warmth of staff, information availability, etc. Journey-based analysis and design also contribute to the ease of interaction. Organizations are experimenting with ideas such as gamification to engage customers during transactions, as participation is seen as another factor that contributes towards ease of transaction.

Quality of Product/Service

What if the particular product is not available (Business Class seat from Chicago to Atlanta at 10 AM on Monday)? What if the customer thinks the price is higher than the value? What if the cappuccino you received at Starbucks is cold? While all of the other factors contribute to superior customer experience, they mean almost nothing if the quality of the product/service is not up to the expectations of the customer.

Outcome of Transactions

While the outcome of transactions may appear to be the sum total of all the previous elements; however all of them go together in ensuring a superior customer experience. Typical expected outcomes from our airline booking example above would be booking completion, travel completion, hotel stay, order fulfillment, problem resolution, etc. Effectiveness of outcomes can be measured by metrics such as first contact resolutions, average handling and wait time, customer satisfaction, net promoter score, etc. Organization can improve on these outcome metrics by constantly measuring, benchmarking and optimizing the same.

If you excel in all of the above six dimensions, you will not only provide a superior customer experience but also makes it tougher for your competitors to emulate the customer experience you provide.

The Art of Guerilla Usability Testing

Jul 02nd, 2013

We iterated through our design ideas using lo-fi techniques like paper prototyping. Sketch by Chris Cheshire.

The bottom line? Guerilla usability testing presented itself as an easy-to-perform technique for refining the user experience. It helped us validate (and invalidate) critical assumptions at cheap cost and with rapid speed.

Breaking it down

It’s hard to see the magic that guerrilla usability testing affords and not want in on the action, right? Here are some basic questions to consider before getting started:

  1. What shall we test?
  2. Where will we test?
  3. With whom will we test? and, of course,
  4. How will we test?

What shall we test?

One of the best parts about this kind of testing is that it can be done with almost anything, from concepts drawn on the back of napkins to fully functioning prototypes.

Guerrilla usability testing is a powerful technique. Designer Martin Belam describes it as “the art of pouncing on lone …read more

Hiring the Best UX Designers

If finding “the right fit” feels like a frustrating task you’re struggling to survive, you’re doing it wrong. Getting the …read more

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