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Senior consultant with 18 years +experience, worked for BMW ergonomics for 5 years, and 12 years in academia while being a consultant for 18 years as well. Worked as research fellow for 10 years in Trinity College Dublin till May 2019 mainly on industry projects, since May 2019 working in Munich as consultant.

Background Synopsis
Often non-experts, such as web or software developers or UX designers, because of a lack of experience and knowledge in human factors take user responses at face value. However direct translation of user needs without interpretation and reading between the lines, what people really meant or want will not give any insights as to why a product or service fails or doen't sell or why users have issues using it.
Users will never tell directly what they want. This is due to an inability of users to correctly recall and remember actions and often not being aware of actions they have performed. So often users won't be able to report problems as they can't remember them or were not aware of them.

Often users are asked: Would you use such a product/ app etc? Users responses taken at face value either with new products or evaluating existing products, are hugely inaccurate. The reason is that users responses are based on experience, users will only be able to judge a product, which they know, have used and experienced. Users of new products wont be able to predict their liking accurately. Research shows that users were wrong in predicting their liking almost all the time, when presented with a concept or prototype and were asked about how they would rate it i.e if they would like it. Walmart for example painfully experienced that in trusting customers predictions of their likings. The redesign based on customer direct feedback was a huge failure, although customers predicted they would like it, when the re-design was implemented the customers complained about it and hated it.
Users/ customers can only judge things they are familiar with.
Therefore responses cannot be taken at face value. Specific techniques and intricate knowledge and experience of how to extract the customers needs and wants from users often very vage responses need to be applied. I have the clear advantage over others in the field that I have both industry R&D and academic research experience. I have developed methods in my research to extract and quantify user experiences and customer needs and wants.This provides me with a solid background in understanding and interpreting user responses based on experience, applied and research knowledge. I use suitable methods to extract real meaning form users sometimes very vage responses and translate them into tangible product requirements.
I have suitable unique methods to use in this process, which enables me to uniquely put the pieces of the puzzle together to identify root causes of why products or services don't work and what needs to be changed to make them better.
This saves valuable time and cost in product development, testing or revision.

I have lecturing experience and delivering workshops and design challenges in human factors, user centered design, HCI, web-page design and medical device design for 12 years
1. 8 years + experience, in automotive ergonomics. HMI (Human Machine Interaction), driver monitoring
2..10 years + experience in user centered medical device design, development, and testing
3. 18 years experience in user interface development and usability testing, web, apps, GUIs and variety of hard and software interfaces
4. 8 years experience in Design thinking, applying design thinking to automotive, software development, medical device design and service design, digital and paper based content
5. 18 years experience using user centered methods and user insight to create innovative products, contributed and generated myself many product innovation and one patent granted in September 2018
6. 18 years experience in designing, analysis and interpreting usability studies
7. 20 years experience in statistics for data analysis
8. 9 years experience in Universal Design (designing for accessibility)


available now, flexible, based in Munich, but flexible to relocate temporarily or for longer for onsite work, travel globally. German nationality, so no work permit required in Europe.


Consulting for clients SAP Dublin app house, SSE Dublin Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Magna USA, Mazda, Japan, BMW, Munich, NSAI (National Standards Authority Ireland), Pysio company, Dublin, University College Dublin, Technological University Dublin, University of PISA department of bioengineering, Saquoit industries, Pennsylvania, USA.


Have vast international work experience
Lived and worked/ studied in London for 5 years
Lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland for 12 years
Have worked for international clients from US, Italy, Ireland, Australia
Fluent in German and English (worked and lectures in Ireland and England for 17 years in total)
Very experienced in cultural differences, and working in or with multidisciplinary multinational teams

In addition to product evaluation and conducting usability studies I have extensive experience in training non-experts in usability and Design thinking and familiarizing them in interpreting users data in the correct way.

Example work for example delivery or training workshop usability or design thinking to :
SAP APP house Dublin
1. Consulting in Design thinking, User experience, innovative digital products and recruiting suitable UX staff
2. Organised, delivered and manged Trinity summer school - Design Thinking- for SAP software developers in Dublin.
3. Development Kick-Off Meeting of developers for developers. SAP APP house, Dublin, Ireland: Universal design Workshop at DKOM 2013, Human Computer Interaction- Simulating aging with low cost aging suit -
4. Design thinking training workshop for recruiters: HR of SAP and Computer Futures recruiting agency, Computer Future, Harcourt street, Dublin, Ireland.
Bank of Ireland:
- Workshop in collaboration with with the Center of excellence in Universal Design: “Universal Design explained” - implementing universal design principles (Universal design= extension of User centered design by extending user groups to all users with differing abilities - design for accessibility) into electronic content, National Disability Authority, Dublin
SSE Dublin - (SSE = Irish energy provider)
- Workshop for Webpage developers and marketing and IT on Universal Design: Understanding UD and implementing UD effectively of digital and paper based customer communication (Web, app, bills etc.)
for more infos on projects, usability, workshop, design challenges etc delivered see CV

Sonja Hermann_CV_17_09_19.pdf (328 kB)
Hochgeladen am: 17.09.2019
CV with list of projects, workshops etc
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