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HOW TO USE UXCG IN EDUCATION

By being one of its kind, the UXCG project opens many exciting opportunities to anyone who wants to:
  • Access homo sapiens species "user manual" written in the most accessible way;
  • Study humans software system (thought processes) documentation;
  • Study the most generic and vital knowledge about thought processes that will be highly relevant throughout the whole human life;
  • Increase self-awareness via western scientific methods instead of reaching the same goal with mindfulness and different eastern techniques;
  • Increase the quality of all their decisions, and by that, forever increase the quality of life.
Since the project material was written with IT domain in mind, here are some specific goals that any IT manager can achieve here:
  • Managers can use UXCG to back up their arguments with science. This is exceptionally efficient if the higher management consists of mostly conservative people;
  • Managers can use UXCG to build up in-house business processes with alignment with cognitive science. Here we talk about making the best User Experience for colleagues;
  • Managers can use UXCG to conduct "ego fragility" checks during the interview with candidates;
  • Product Management Teams can create new interviewing processes and tasks for the "product manager" role candidates.
For the best learning it is recommended to use online, interactive version of the project: https://uxcg.io.To use the project offline you can download 63 UXCG Flashcards absolutely free by clicking here.

Below you will find a few training exercises called “games”. The ultimate goal of each game is to make a student think in new dimensions. We want the student to understand the complexity of thought processes and see how an attentive approach to our thoughts is reflected in the quality of our decisions.

These exercises require mental effort and focus, but eventually, once you applied the knowledge to your software system (thought processes), you will forever increase the quality of your decisions, and life.

Each game can be played by a single person as well as within a group.

To make the content more generic, we call participants "students."

Any of your friends, family members, or colleagues can be a "student.” While writing the games, I was imagining IT companies. Still, the exercises could be easily used in any business domain as the stages and the questions we have in the UXCG are generic.


Product Stages Intro GameDownload PDF

In this game, we aim to open various discussions around the matter so the student could clearly understand the purpose of each product stage mentioned in UXCG, and the key differences between each one of those.

Thinking in these dimensions allows the student to set up a more modular mindset. The easier you categorize the questions being discussed around you, the easier it is for you to outline to which scope the problem belongs. This makes the overall thinking process around the question highly efficient and lowers the time waste.


Question: Ask a student to name the product stages mentioned in UXCG.

Answer: Team, Development, Pre-SignUp, Post-SignUp, Analytics.

Question: Ask a student to explain the differences between each stage and tell their opinion about the presented stage sequence. This question aims to understand if the student sees the clear difference between the stages and has all those coherently one after another in their mind.

Answer: The team goes first since it is the most vital thing when building an excellent product. The acceptable error margin in Team-related issues is lower than in any other stage of the product.

The development stage starts from the idea brainstorming, often when the team is more or less formed. The stage continues to the moment of the first public release of the product. Most of the startups close during this stage. Thus, completing this stage is extremely important as it shows that the proof of concept of the team was successful, because they could build up and release something. Ideally, this stage completion is something that any startup should thrive for. Nobody really cares about the number of ideas you had until you haven't released something.

The Pre-SignUp stage is about the product packaging that you created. It includes marketing materials, sales strategies, communication with potential users, leads support, etc. In broader terms, this stage is something that is being executed by the Growth teams. The scope of this stage starts from the released product and ends at the moment when the potential user has become an actual user of your product (signed up/enroled/etc.). Even if your product has a fantastic set of features, nobody cares about it if you didn't do homework and come up with a decent “wrapper”.

The Post-SignUp stage is all about user interaction with the actual product. This means that your product and the actions you performed on the Pre-SignUp stage were efficient enough to make the user choose it. From this very moment, you have to maintain their expectations, their comfort, and concerns. This stage begins with the user's successful sign-up/enrolment process and ends when you email them about their account deactivation.

The analytics stage begins on the development stage because you should create appropriate event tracking mechanisms and have ready-made theories and the metrics to check those. The analytics never ends. You should always have data. You should always make product changes based on your hypothesis and validate those with the data.

Product Stages Argument GameDownload PDF

In this game, we question why the UXCG questions are labelled with the labels they have. Often, the same question can be related to different product stages. Discussing each question’s connection to its stage label allows the student to obtain an even more modular mindset. This exercise trains the skill of understanding upfront to what stage the question that is being discussed in the team belongs to.

For example, question #26, "How to make bonuses and promotions more attractive to users?" will have totally different answers depending on the product stage. For the Development stage, the answers to this question are hypotheses. Some of them could be right, some of them could be wrong. Therefore, it is safe to create as many theories as possible and validate those after the product release.

The same question with the focus on the product packaging and wrapping of the released product (Pre-SignUp stage) will have answers similar to the Development stage. However, we will be less flexible since there will be less theories available for safe validation, without damaging our reputation and relations with our users.

As for the Post-SignUp stage, the assumption goes that we think about creating promos and bonuses within the scope of already existing reward mechanisms. In this case, we'll have to consider much more factors since the cost of our decisions will be the highest. The answers will also depend on the internal "economics" of the product and many other things mentioned in the answers to that question in the UXCG.

Basically, any UXCG question that has more than one label could be discussed with the student.

Multi-label UXCG questions are: 6, 10, 14, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 47, 52, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62.

Stage GameDownload PDF

In this game, we question why the UXCG questions are labelled with the labels they have. Often, the same question can be related to different product stages. Discussing each question’s connection to its stage label allows the student to obtain an even more modular mindset. This exercise trains the skill of understanding upfront to what stage the question that is being discussed in the team belongs to.

For example, question #26, "How to make bonuses and promotions more attractive to users?" will have totally different answers depending on the product stage. For the Development stage, the answers to this question are hypotheses. Some of them could be right, some of them could be wrong. Therefore, it is safe to create as many theories as possible and validate those after the product release.

The same question with the focus on the product packaging and wrapping of the released product (Pre-SignUp stage) will have answers similar to the Development stage. However, we will be less flexible since there will be less theories available for safe validation, without damaging our reputation and relations with our users.

As for the Post-SignUp stage, the assumption goes that we think about creating promos and bonuses within the scope of already existing reward mechanisms. In this case, we'll have to consider much more factors since the cost of our decisions will be the highest. The answers will also depend on the internal "economics" of the product and many other things mentioned in the answers to that question in the UXCG.

Basically, any UXCG question that has more than one label could be discussed with the student.

Multi-label UXCG questions are: 6, 10, 14, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 47, 52, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62.

In this game, we try to understand the importance of the Development stage and the most commonly occurring issues of it.

There are 23 UXCG questions in this category. The game begins with discussing each of the questions in the Development category of the UXCG.

We don't need to read the answers. All we want to do is to make students think of how such questions arise. The students should come up with their own reasons and answers. We can ask each student to come up with at least three answers to each question (more = better). We don't want to simulate a complex situation with many variables. We want to limit the answers to 3-4 sentences per each. This game allows creating many new connections in the student's brain so that they could see the versatility of each question and become more prepared when the development stage begins.

The Development-related questions are: 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 47, 52, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62.

In this game, we try to understand the importance of the Pre-SignUp stage and the most commonly occurring issues of it.

There are 23 UXCG questions in this category. The game begins with discussing each of the questions in the Pre-SignUp category of the UXCG.

We don't need to read the answers. All we want to do is to make students think of how such questions arise. The students should come up with their own reasons and answers. We can ask each student to come up with at least three answers to each question (more = better). We don't want to simulate a complex situation with many variables. We want to limit the answers to 3-4 sentences per each. This game allows creating many new connections in the student's brain so that they could see the versatility of each question and become more prepared when the product is released and the focus comes to product packaging.

The Pre-SignUp-related questions are: 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 44, 56, 57, 58, 60.

In this game, we try to understand the importance of the Post-SignUp stage and the most commonly occurring issues of it.

There are 45 UXCG questions in this category. The game begins with discussing each of the questions in the Post-SignUp category of the UXCG.

We don't need to read the answers. All we want to do is to make students think of how such questions arise. The students should come up with their own reasons and answers. We can ask each student to come up with at least three answers to each question (more = better). We don't want to simulate a complex situation with many variables. We want to limit the answers to 3-4 sentences per each. This game allows creating many new connections in the student's brain so that they could see the versatility of each question and become more prepared when it comes to maintaining the existing userbase.

The Post-SignUp-related questions are: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 63.

In this game, we try to understand the importance of Analytics, and the most commonly occurring issues while working with it.

There are six UXCG questions in this category. The game begins with discussing each of the questions in the Analytics category of the UXCG.

We don't need to read the answers. All we want to do is to make students think of how such questions arise. The students should come up with their own reasons and answers. We can ask each student to come up with at least three answers to each question (more = better). We don't want to simulate a complex situation with many variables. We want to limit the answers to 3-4 sentences per each. This game allows creating many new connections in the student's brain so that they could see the versatility of each question and become more prepared when it comes to product data analysis.

The Analytics-related questions are: 27, 28, 30, 43, 59, 62.

Question GameDownload PDF

In this game, we go through each question of the category and discuss each answer with the student. We want the student to think of each link between the question, the answer, and the biases mentioned in the answer. We don't need to rush, and there is no such thing as "the right answer". This exercise aims to make the students self-reflect, think of their experiences in the past, or imagine some hypothetical situation. The value comes from the very fact of modelling such a situation in mind.

The project has 896 question-answer pairs. One hundred five cognitive biases are mentioned in the UXCG more than 1000 times, and continuously thinking and ruminating around each of these links is what makes us smarter and train our brains.

The winner in this game is the one who applied the knowledge from the flashcards to their software system (thought processes). This step is being achieved if all the biases, questions, and material of the UXCG are so native to the student that they can't squeeze more interest out of it.

UXCG Blender GameDownload PDF

The purpose of this game is to train our memory so we could better remember the biases and the situations where those can occur. In this exercise, you randomly pull three UXCG questions and thoroughly go through each answer. You need to read the bias mentioned in the answer and then try to link it to the question. You can come up with as many links as possible by imagining any kind of theoretical situations. The only generic rule here is that your answers should be aligned with bias' scientific descriptions.

This exercise might be better to do in pair with someone who'll read the bias name to the student and maintain the further discussion to keep it "within the range" of the bias.

Spending daily 1 hour on three UXCG questions will be one of the best healthy habits for your mind in your life, career, and self-development.

UXCore Bias Research GameDownload PDF

The purpose of this game is to get familiar with cognitive biases and learn how to spot them in our everyday life. The student has to read the bias name and recall the situation where the bias could occur. It is not necessary to remember an example written in the UX Core or the precise description of it. The student can come up with examples from their own life or the life of someone else.

The game ends when the student can come up with a single short example of each bias in real life. Due to the volume of the material, the game should be limited either in time or in the number of discussed distortions per session.

Ego Fragility Test GameDownload PDF

In this game, we use UXCG to test a person (position candidate, colleague, anyone) for a few points:

  • Mind flexibility;
  • Ego issues;
  • Stress resistance;
  • Learning mind (open-mindedness);
  • Person's arrogance.

To explain this game, let's imagine two persons: Person A - let's call him an Interviewer, and person B - say, the Candidate.

This game consists of two processes running simultaneously. The first process is when an Interviewer asks questions, and the second process is when an Interviewer analyzes the Candidate's reaction.

In short, we're interested in spotting anger, discomfort, and any kind of negativity while asking the questions to the Candidate.


The game starts with one of the below-mentioned questions. The goal is to try to check a person for being prone to some specific biases.

The questions are written in a bit generic way, and you might adjust them to your business specifics per need.


Overconfidence effect (UX Core Bias #69)

Question: How often do you make mistakes in your work-related judgments in a year?

Expectation: There is no right answer to this question, but there should always be a balance. If a person says that they don't make mistakes, this indicates that the person might be confident in their actions too much than needed. With this question, we would want the person to ask us to clarify what kind of mistakes we're talking about. If a person answers our question without clarification, this is another sign of overconfidence since our question is too broad to be answered without clarification.


Illusory superiority (UX Core Bias #77)

Question: What is the most efficient thing that you did at your job?

Expectation: We want the Candidate to tell us the story of their input as something major. We want them to tell us about something they consider a major accomplishment, achievement.

Question: Why do you think that XYZ thing was that major?

Expectation: We want to show our doubt of the Candidate's achievement seriousness. If we see that this is something that insults the Candidate, this is a negative sign for them and us.

Question: And nobody from your colleagues could do the same thing?

Expectation: Here, we want to doubt the uniqueness of the Candidate's input. A person who doesn't have problems with ego and has enough stress resistance will talk simply, in an easy-going manner, without thinking that we downplay his achievements.

Question: So we might say that there was just an opportunity and you just was at the right time in the right place to see and use it?

Expectation: If a person says "yes" to this question, it shows that the person is confident enough, stress-resistant enough, and understands their value.


If we assume that the Candidate is too confident in himself, the question we might ask is as follows.

Question: You seem to be confident enough in what you do. Do you think that might become a problem while working with the team?

Expectation: We don't want to see an immediate answer to this question. We want the Candidate to think of what we asked and make sure that he understands the risks. If the Candidate replies quickly and says something like "No, I'm a very friendly/funny/teamplay/etc. person," this might be the sign that he won't be good at maintaining good, honest relations with the colleagues.


Dunning-Kruger effect (UX Core Bias #74)

To test an opponent for the Dunning-Kruger effect, we must know in advance his level of responsibility in his current/previous company, as well as his level of competence. In interviews, we must ask questions that require much more competence to answer. For example, if the candidate is a junior or mid-level manager, we may ask them questions that are part of the senior specialists' job. When interviewing a senior specialist, we can ask him questions from senior management (C-level) and so on.


Expectation: We do not care about the answer the candidate can give. What we are interested in is the level of his comfort in answering such questions. If he is perfectly calm to answer questions that are clearly outside his level of competence, this is a problem. Such ease in answers, in the future, may lead to a situation where we cannot trust the statements of the candidate. Ideally, when asking these questions, we would like to see the candidate feel uncomfortable. Maybe even a disclaimer before answers like "this, frankly, is beyond my scope, but ..."

We want to see that the candidate understands this.

Another dialogue option: we can directly explain to the candidate what cognitive biases are and talk about those biases that we tried to find by asking previous questions. If the candidate completely refuses even to admit the likelihood of being biased, this shows that he is not flexible enough, which, in fact, is critical for any manager. Bias blind spot (UX Core Bias #33).

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Don't hesitate to contact us directly for more details, clarifications, or brainstorming around making the project material more popular.