Over the past two years I have seen a great deal of change in Poland in the level of awareness of what experience design means and what value it can add to products and services. But in spite of the raising awareness of the significance of this discipline (also in terms of economic value), few companies, organisations and schools are ready to take the risk. With my presentation, I want to share my observations and considerations relevant to answering the questions, why in Poland we would like to design various products and services that create and support a positive user experience but at the same time we have some reservations about it, and – how to break the deadlock.
Dr Agnieszka Szóstek holds a position of research adjunct at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities and is a User Experience and user-centered interaction design lecturer at its Poznań design department: School of Form. Next to her research activities, Agnieszka is a User Experience and Design Thinking consultant. She advises and teaches design approach to innovation based on knowledge about users and their desires to companies such as Play, Orange, Bumar, Product and others. Furthermore, Agnieszka is a chairwoman of the Polish association of UX and usability professionals: CHI Poland and in her spare time she is a blogger (uxplus.pl) and a podcaster (radionovum.info).
Agnieszka picked up the topic of user-centered design in 2000 during the postgraduate studies at User-System Interaction program at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. In her career she worked for companies such as Philips, Océ Technologies and Google. She was also a usability consultant for Agfa Healthcare, Banksys and SmartSigns. In 2005,she returned to academia and began doctoral studies at the Faculty of Industrial Design again at the Eindhoven University of Technology, where she defended the doctorate in 2009.The subject of her research regarded mechanisms stimulating social behavior in mediated communication. Directly after her PhD she worked at the newly formed Intelligent Lighting Institute (ILI) in Eindhoven where she designed relaxation lamps for Psychiatric Crisis Center (GGzE) belonging to the St. Catherine hospital in Eindhoven. After returning to Polish she initiated the Interactive Technology Laboratory at the Information Processing Centre (OPI) in Warsaw and then she decided to return to academia and combine science and consultancy as a way to increase the awareness of the value of User Experience and Design Thinking in Poland.