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Big Brother is Watching... User Experience Magazine 6.3

(Bloomingdale, IL: September 25, 2007) – With many cell phones now including video capabilities, and the number of television channels exploding, there’s no shortage of content to watch. But how are people – both viewers and producers -- managing this explosion in content? And how can the field of usability help make the process easier? These topics are addressed in the latest issue of User Experience, the magazine of the Usability Professionals’ Association.

In their article, "What Shall We Watch Tonight", researchers Matt Jones, Neil Turner and Paul Cairns, note that interactive program guides can help navigate the maze of television programs, but they limit planning to times when the user is in front of the TV (not always ideal), and fail to take advantage of social recommendations, even though recommendations from family and friends actually have a major impact on what people choose to watch. Developing a system that uses mobile devices to encourage sharing of recommendations and planning viewing could increase television viewership.

A study by Erika Reponen, Jaakko Lehikoinen and Jussi Impio, " You Can Run But You Cannot Hide," explores the privacy implications of omnipresent video-capture capabilities, and how the reactions of those being filmed changes over time.

Other articles in this issue discuss:

  • Usability challenges hampering the uptake of interactive TV
  • The use of quick surveys for website task analysis
  • How convince company executives of the merit of conducting field studies to better understand their customers.

Read more about this issue of User Experience magazine.

For printed copies of the magazine or for PDFs of individual articles, please contact Nicole Tafoya, publications@usabilityprofessionals.org


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.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
email: office@upassoc.org
web: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org