Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The CeBIT is over. The UX point-of-view.

As I posted some days before, I went to the CeBIT in Hannover to join the German community and to present the current activities in the Project Renaissance. Due to my vacation planning, I was only able to attend the trade fair from Friday to Sunday ... the last three days. That means, that the visitors were rather private persons in contrast to the business people who usually attend during the working days.

However, as you can see on the picture, it started cold and rainy - outside. Inside, it was rather hot, loud and hectic. The latter results in having only very few photos available, but maybe other community members will provide some more visual input. On these pictures you would be able to see that most of the time there was no chance to rest. We answered questions the whole the time, explained our product and many community members did presentations. My sister was right when she proposed me to buy some cough drops. I've never needed so many... ;-)

At the evenings, we tried to calm down - we drank some beer and (of course non-alcoholic drinks) and went to dinner. Like before at e.g. the OOoCon 2008, these are the real-world events I like most, because you get the chance for more private contacts with other contributors of the community.

Summarizing the few days, there were some minor bad experiences and many very good ones. The less good ones for example were people who rather aggressively asked for gifts like USB flash drives - things we cannot offer. But there were also other people who just stopped by to say: "Thank you for the great product!". And people who gave us some feedback how to improve this or that. For me, the most noteworthy discussion have been...

  • Two elderly people asked for a small feature comparison of Microsoft Office applications and our modules. They explained that they are trainers for computer courses targeted at seniors and wanted to know how to integrate in their learning matter. Those two people were about 70, I think, but seemed very active and proved a great sense of humor.
  • With regard to Project Renaissance, a teacher of learning-disabled children asked me to limit the changes in the user interface. Currently, his scholars are able to explore and to understand the interface - slowly but steadily. He told me that a small test revealed that is superior (in this case) in comparison with a current product of an competitor. I invited him to join the UX team to support us with his pedagogical knowledge, let's see.

From the UX point-of-view, the highlight was the presentation of Project Renaissance. Unfortunately, only very few people attended because it was pretty late and many people had already left the trade fair. And, Andreas from the German team held a presentation in the open source forum at the same time - pretty hard competition ;-)

Thus, you may enjoy the presentation for yourself and have a look at the slides (German). The presentation is located in the Project Renaissance Wiki , direct links to different formats: PDF, Impress ODP. And, there has also been some video recording which will be published if the quality is sufficient (at the moment I don't know whether I would like this high quality *g*).

What is my final thought? Personally, I will try to use more of those great opportunities to meet other community members. See you :-)

Have a nice day,


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