Ruth loves people. She has spent much of her career understanding how people think, feel and behave. She cares a lot about making things that make people’s lives better. Her first love was engineering, until she realised that people were more interesting than maths. On a good day she gets to do both.
Ruth is GM of Design Research at Xero. Before that, she worked at Trade Me as Head of User Experience from 2012 until 2018, then spent over a year at Trade Me as Head of People Research.
We live in a world where political opinions have become more polarised in the last 25 years and social media leads us deeper into our echo chambers. At the time of UXNZ, the US and NZ will have just come out of elections. During elections attempts to understand each other can go out the window, in favour of becoming further entrenched in our own views.
I will explore the reasons behind this polarisation. Why humans are psychologically vulnerable to it, and the way in which the technology we use amplifies it. I’ll give examples of how products (and the UX people behind them) are trying to reverse this trend.
Lastly I'll turn the attention on ourselves - our UX community. Do we fall into the same trap of polarisation? What do we lose as a community by this polarised thinking and what do we gain from spending more time finding common ground.