What if user-centered design was the law? In Sweden, it is.


Friday, 28 Sep. 16:25–16:45


What if user-centered design was the law? In Sweden, it is.

/ Jonas Söderström


… for digital systems, products and services in the workplace.

In this short session, you’ll learn how the Swedish (by the way, also Norwegian) laws concerning occupational safety and health have proved to be applicable also not just to (analog) machinery, but to digital technology / enterprise software. And how this provides new opportunities for professionals like IAs, UX designers, etc.

While digital tools seldom poses physical hasards, there is mounting evidence about stress and pressure from badly designed software. Poor information architecture, bad interaction design, and features like constant irrelevant notifications, create a cognitive load that ultimately is harmful, and contribute to burn-out and “hitting the wall”.

You’ll learn how OSH inspectors and ombudsmen actually closed companies and threw out multi-million euro software suites out of concerns for the users’ cognitive/psychological health. You’ll also see the tool developed to help ordinary users have their say (as the law requires) when developing or buying new digital systems for the enterprise. And get first-hand info on the process to create the tool.


Jonas Söderström

An IA/UX consultant since the mid-1990s, I’ve worked with countless companies, the Swedish Government, the Swedish Parliament, Council of Europe, etc. Been called “the grandfather of usability in Sweden”. Pioneer in digital work environment issues, frequent keynote speaker.
In 2012, I was appointed by the government to the National Forum on Usability and Accessibility, a strategic group in charge of advancing UX methods. Proud recipient of Sweden’s finest UX award, Stimdis’s Grand Prize, in 2016.
The bestseller “Jävla skitsystem!” (“Stupid bloody system!”, 2015) was hailed as “an eye-opener” and “a breakthrough” and has reached readers far outside the design and ux communities.