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An international peer-reviewed journal

Engaged Scholars, Thoughtful Practitioners: The Interdependence of Academics and Practitioners in User-Centered Design and Usability

Susan M. Dray

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 5, Issue 1, Nov 2009, pp. 1 - 7

Article Contents


The Role of UPA

The challenge of the relationship between academics and practitioners is a perennial issue at our sister organization, SIGCHI. It is less of an issue within UPA. This is partly an accident of history. UPA broke away from SIGCHI specifically because there was a sense that practitioners were not getting the kind of information they needed at CHI. As a result, our organization was largely focused on practitioners from the very beginning. As more academics become involved in UPA, it is always possible that similar tensions will arise. However, I believe that UPA has an opportunity to demonstrate how academics and practitioners can work together collaboratively to create the kinds of win-win situations that provide us all with the benefits that our differences can bring. The more we really are engaged scholars and thoughtful practitioners, the larger the positive impact our field can have. I think that is worth aiming for.

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