Usability And Accessibility Key To Democracy: User Experience Magazine
(Bloomingdale, IL: October 18, 2006) –
The latest issue of User Experience magazine which has just been released, examines how usability and accessibility are affecting the role and behaviors of governments around the world. “For the first time in history, a wide distribution of technology allows citizens to get involved in public governance and participate in institutional life on a very regular basis. Yet, websites of public authorities are hardly taking advantage of the power of the participatory citizen.” point out authors Mark Vanderbeeken and Michele Visciola, from Experientia in Turin (Italy), in their article “Co-creation and participatory democracy: how web usability and strategic communications can facilitate them”.
The magazine, which is a publication of the Usability Professionals Association (UPA), features articles such as:
- “eGovernment & Privacy”, by Jon Armstrong, Director, Technology at Privacy Victoria. Privacy is a key part of any eGovernment initiative. The author, who has worked for years in the areas of IT security and online government, underscores that it will be hard for citizens to trust new technologies such as identity cards embedded with biometrics if even websites are not trustworthy.
- Insider views of two local councils in the United Kingdom. They raised the bar and decided to offer highly accessible and usable online government services. Tom James’ article, “A need for change in Salisbury District Council”, delivers conclusive results: “Although people often equate “accessible” with “plain and boring”, we demonstrated that this didn’t have to be the case. The fact that the site loads quickly and users get straight to the content is now so popular that moving to a bloated, “old-school” design would be unthinkable.”
The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 2000 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:
- Shares information about the skills and approach of usability professionals in meeting needs for usable products.
- Acts as an advocate for usability in consumer, corporate and governmental software, products and web sites.
- Educates the general public about the usability.
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