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July 28, 2017

UA Reloaded 17 in St. Leon-Rot, Germany:

Breaking through to the Other Side of User Assistance Was a Success

Helena Maier, Kiriaki Kampouridou

What can User Assistance disruptively change in the future? International experts unveiled the newest options at UA Reloaded 17, a conference format that tekom has developed together with UA experts of SAP. In an interactive environment, participants got the chance to learn more about topics going beyond the classic portfolio of technical communication: from video documentation to machine learning to virtual reality.

The two-day conference on July 25-26 provided information and entertainment in one: participants experienced interactive lectures, live videos, and many live demonstrations of new products at the Idea Market, where they could experience and test the latest technologies. The participants were able to sit back and enter a world soon to arrive, discovering the impact of these new technical inventions in the field of User Assistance on themselves, their companies and users.

"A new computing revolution is ahead of us, with a fundamental paradigm shift for human-computer interactions where machines act as intelligence amplifiers aiming at the augmentation of the human mind."
Prof. Andreas Dengel

The Future of UA: Let’s Take a Closer Look

Speaker Makes a Call - A Little Later, the Keywords of His Conversation Appear on the Screen

How does this work? Nigel Cannings, speaker at UA Reloaded, presented an interesting opportunity for voice recording in his workshop. We use words every day, but to analyze our words and bring them structure and more value is a new thing. With the "Intelligent Voice" tool, you can detect different people’s voices and filter out important keywords that can be used to navigate through your content.
This option is also applicable to videos. This allows users to click through explanations much faster. Texts can be transcribed more easily.

Location-Based Information via Bluetooth – Automatically and without WiFi

In his workshop, Jody Byrne explained how Beacon and the Bluetooth setting information are transmitted in a location-bound manner. A small chip ensures that local data is automatically sent to the smartphone. This enables the user to receive the relevant information on the spot.

Videos, How-To Videos and Storytelling
The appeal of the conference was clear: stop writing documents, finally begin to tell stories. Today, there is a constant overflow of information wherever we go. Stories help users react to and consume this information more quickly. Stories are interesting because they trigger the parts of our brains that process emotions.

Alison Norrington, Axel Luther and Ingo Eichel took up this topic, showed some videos with good storytelling, and explained what was important.

"Start to ask ‘why’ then ‘how’ you do it before you figure out ‘What’ to do”
Alison Norrington

In his workshop "Visual Storytelling", Axel explained how videos must be made in order to support the user well:

  • Infographics combine text, images and visualizations to communicate complex information
  • You must have a story to tell
  • Build iteratively and refine after each round
  • Be creative but stay within your corporate brand guidelines as much as possible
  • Remember to have fun!

One big topic was machine learning, along with deep learning and artificial intelligence. Kai Weber wrote an article about how to amplify your customer and company by new AI technologies.

Full Interaction at the Idea Market

At the Idea Market, the participants of UA Reloaded 17 were able to explore and test for themselves live demonstrations of the new products developed by institutes such as the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and partners of the conference, which you can find listed here

At the same time, it was the ideal platform to exchange knowledge and get in touch with the inventors of these new technologies and their projects, such as:

  • Visualizing complex data in VR (University of Newcastle / Masters of Pie)
  • Connecting employees to the information they need (LATERAL)
  • Augmented Reality in education (University of the West of England)
  • Human-like understanding of conversational data using recent advances in deep learning and natural processing (re:infer)
  • Smart glasses (DOSCO GmbH)
  • Speech Recognition engine (Intelligent Voice)
  • Text mining and machine learning solutions (averbis text analytics)
  • Technology to conduct eye-tracking studies (eyzag)

Networking in the Evening: Food, Fun and Music

After a long day of interesting presentations and discussions, the participants were able to enjoy a variety of food and drinks prepared and served at the food trucks: from a variety of burritos to different types of Sri Lankan specialties. The evening was accompanied by a live performance given by the music band "Power of Two".

We look forward to seeing you at our next UA Reloaded conference in 2018. Stay tuned!