T05: Human-Algorithm Design - How to create algorithmic systems people will trust?

Sunday, 23 July 2023, 13:30 - 17:30 CEST (Copenhagen)
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Thomas Otto (short bio)

Designer & Design Researcher, Germany


Astrid Deichmann (short bio)

User-centred IT Processes, Germany



The tutorial aims to encourage discussion, exchange approaches, and apply them in a hands-on fashion in the concept/design phases of new or current algorithmic systems that will have an impact on people and businesses.


Content and benefits:

Designers and HCI professionals face new complexities in their work today. We are not only creating interactions for individual applications (apps, websites, services) for humans but rather complete digital ecosystems that can't be hardly managed without smart agents and their underlying algorithms. These systems and their agents already have an impact on people from loan application, insurance, (online) security to the critical infrastructure. This poses new challenges to us. We must adapt to, explore, and try new things to face these challenges. The goal of the tutorial is to introduce new practices, talk about them, and use them. To help designers and HCI professionals deal with complexities and build better algorithmic systems. The tutorial will be based on academic research insights, expert groups, industry experience, and participant input. 

The participants will work in groups focussing on cases from different areas (welfare, public services and health). Working along the process steps in a workshop environment covering all stages of creating an algorithmic system with focus on the »Design & Conception« phase:

  1. Goal and requirement gathering
    Why do we need a system? Why are the goals? Which problem do we try to solve?
  2. Design & Conception
    How does an interaction between systems and people look like? What impact will it have on people and business?
  3. Testing & Iteration
    How can we prototype our ideas and possible outcomes of our systems?
  4. Implementation & Maintenance
    How can a robust implementation look like? How can feedback loops between people and the system look like?

The tutorial is acting as a safe space to explore, discuss and fail with attempts. It provides professionals the possibility to learn/discuss approaches and apply them with peers and other experts.


Target Audience:

This tutorial aims to bring together professionals from the field of HCI and design who are working on algorithmic systems/projects and people from the theoretical background to apply methods and insights on implementation projects.


List of materials or devices required by the participants:

  • Material from your research/project that you want to share as digital assets or printed artefacts
  • Adapter for a projector (if needed to share some work)
  • Pens (thicker ones, like sharpies)

Bio Sketches of Presenters:

Thomas Otto is seasoned designer working at the intersection of Interaction Design, User Experience, Design Research and Business for over 10 years. Working with creative, tech and business teams on the topic of data and design research from enterprise environments to start-ups and international innovation firms. Evolving from his master thesis about »Human Data as material in the design process« 2016, he put his focus on the relations and interaction between people, data and the systems they use. At IBM he lead and supported teams to create first algorithmic systems for the public and automotive clients by creating an collaborate environment between data, engineering and UX teams. Based on his experience in the field and academic research he published an open-source workshop set to create more human-centred data services/products. Changing from the consultancy side to inhouse teams, Thomas now supports start-ups building data ecosystems, automated systems. Beside he is a regular speaker at different conferences and consult design teams about data landscapes and create human-centred algorithmic systems. Currently he is am supporting upper.co a platform where freelancers and clients meet to create an automated ecosystem as Head of Design.

Astrid Deichmann is a Process Manager and Consultant based in Germany. She loves working with IT teams to develop an environment where professionals can thrive and deliver user-centric services. After her studies in natural sciences and coordinating the development of a new engineering faculty for the Turkish German University she worked in different design agencies, in particular with IBM iX for almost 5 years. There she started to work with and learn from people working for institutions in the public sector as well as private enterprises, enabling companies to reflect on and optimize their processes with an emphasis on automation - with the goal to make lives for all process stakeholders a little bit easier every day.