sjors timmer


New technical developments such as augmented reality and spatial computing offer the opportunity to rethink how we can incorporate our body in knowledge work. To do this successfully we have to let go of design concepts that have been developed for a world of flat screens and start over with designing for digital spatial interactions.

This an excerpt from Sjors’ Timmer (Senior UX Desinger at Designit) talk at #MUXL2018. Since we’ll be discussing designing interactions of the future at our Annual Conference this November, Sjors talk fit right in. But before we could dive deeper in the topic in just under 2 months, we’ve had a chat with Sjors to gauge his background and find out more about designing for AR.

Can you briefly explain your experience in UX? What made you become interested in the topic?

I studied Digital Media Design in the early 2000s, for me UX is a natural extension from these days. What I love about UX is the privilege to shape the world with and for people around us, to shave off a few seconds of a process, or to resolve a moment of confusion. With every small improvement we achieve, we can give people back a little bit of time which they can use to do what they want instead of what they must.

If there were a list of ten commandments for good mobile UX, what would be your number 1?

Now that the mobile phone has become the dominant way for people interact with digital experiences, good mobile UX has become good UX. A great place to start is’s first guideline: start with user needs (find the other nine here).

What is the most frequent mistake you’ve seen done in mobile UX? How can people avoid this for the future?

Hoping that a mobile redesign will solve all the company’s deeper issues. These days, especially for established companies, you have to include service and business design to be able to compete with companies founded in the mobile era.

What should you consider when designing for immersive experiences, specifically AR?

The superpower that augmented reality brings is not robot monsters who jump at you from the wall, or the ability to turn any surface into a TV screen, but that it’s the most you-centred medium imaginable (aside from a direct brain-implant). It can show you actionable information that is tailored to you, in this specific location at this specific time. Because of its contextual relevance, it’s unrivaled in its ability to show you information that is directly actionable. For example, “Walk the dog now, it is going to rain in 30 minutes.” “Buy that avocado now, your exercise has used up your energy.” “Hurry, turn left here, the gate is about to close.” In this way AR is not just a visual layer on top of the world, but a source of integrated personal information.

Which was the most inspirational work you’ve recently seen using AR?

One thing I still haven’t wrapped my head around is Amazon Go. If technology removes interfaces from physical spaces instead of adding them, is it still AR. It’s like discovering that TRON has merged with Waitrose. We’re inside the computer but instead of exciting motor races we find aisles and aisles of salads and sandwiches.

How do you think mobile UX will be transformed in the next years?

What interests me is how the demand for calm computing can merge with the ever-growing stream of proactive assistants. Can we go to a time where we’ll only get ten notifications a day, each of them being super relevant?

What trends do you think will become the norm in the following years?

Mobile phones will become so dominant that for many companies it won’t be worth it to put any effort in a desktop version that goes beyond stretching their mobile site. Laptops will continue their road downwards to become the machines of specialists. The wildcards are to be expected among smart watches, glasses and voice assistants. They’re all competing in the space of micro-information but it’s still unclear to see who will win there.

What are you looking forward to at Mobile UX London 2018? (we can also discuss why you’ve accepted speaking, what made you interested in the event?)

I’m looking forward to discovering all the unintentional connections between the talks. The small threads which connect seemingly unrelated ideas and give you the feeling, at least for a short moment, that you understand what’s going on.

Understand what’s going on in the future of UX at Mobile UX London 2018, 20 November, One Park Crescent. Get your ticket before 30 September for just £200 to take advantage of the Early Bird discount!