December 2005 Contents
Special Issue: World Usability Day 2005
World Usability Day in Boston
Boston's little-known secret is that regardless of how renowned its citizens
are for their literacy and tech savvy, we find consumer electronics just
as hard to use as everyone else. The World Usability Day planning committee
knew that as we raised awareness of usability and its related fields we
had to communicate a secondary message: "If it's hard to use, it's
not your fault."
By Judy Blostein, Chauncey Wilson, Susan Rice, Susie
Robson, and Chris Hass
World Usability Day in Brazil
Curitiba, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte were the three cities in
Brazil that had events for World Usability Day (WUD) on November 3, 2005.
These events marked the formation of the UPA Brazilian chapter. The city
of Curitiba participated in WUD by bringing Larry Constantine, IDSA, member
of the faculty of the University of Madeira, Portugal.
By Adriana Holtz Betiol
World Usability Day in Finland
In Oulu, Finland, we organized a seminar, "Human technology: integrating
usability into software and product development." Oulu is a booming
technology city in Finland where Nokia and other IT companies employ thousands
of people. To attract participants, we invited two international guest
speakers: Erik Frøkjær and Kasper Hornbæk from Copenhagen
University. In addition, we had national presenters from research organizations
By Timo Jokela
World Usability Day in Germany
Enthusing people for usability - this was the main target of the "Adventure
Park Usability," Stuttgart's contribution to the World Usability
Day 2005. The concept added up, the stream of visitors was enormous. Laymen,
experts and media showed great interest in the various lectures and exhibits
of the Stuttgart event.
By Matthias Peissner
World Usability Day in Hong Kong
In support of World Usability Day and with the kind support of Global
Hand, UPA Hong Kong (HK) conducted a Usability Walkthrough of some strategically
critical pages on www.globalhand.org. Matthew Gow, Project Manager of
the Development Team at Global Hand, was kind enough to share his perspective:
"The closer you are to a product the harder usability becomes. World
Usability Day provided the team with a refreshing perspective on a version
of www.globalhand.org that is being constructed for release in December
By Daniel Szuc and Matthew Gow
World Usability Day in Minnesota
What to do? What to do? So many great ideas being generated by other chapters
and the organizing committee! So many suggestions to choose from - where
do we start? Such an overwhelming assignment: create a mind-blowing event
for the first-ever World Usability Day that no one would forget! That
was how I felt about it, anyway. Choosing what to do was definitely our
most difficult challenge, albeit one I was happy to wrestle with. In the
end, we chose two events: a booth at a marketing conference to reach out
to a new audience and a dinner with a presentation in order to celebrate
with fellow usability professionals.
By Libby Cecchi
World Usability Day in North Carolina
We had nearly 50 people attend World Usability Day here in the Triangle,
a great turn-out for the area. For our event, we planned an interactionary
design competition between rivals University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and North Carolina State University as well as a review of items
that had been ticketed as usability violations throughout the week.
By Rick Cecil
World Usability Day in Philadelphia
How will we meet the usability needs of an aging population? How do gender
differences impact design perspectives? How do disabilities and functional
limitations affect technology use? How do we start preparing ourselves
for a design approach that will address these issues? These questions
were among the many addressed at World Usability Day in Philadelphia on
By Casey Malcolm, Andrew Rubin, and Debra Levin
World Usability Day in Scotland
The Scottish chapter of the UPA (SUPA) is one of the newest in the worldwide
network, having formed only about a year ago. We have had enthusiastic
support from a core group of UPA members and non members attending our
monthly meetings but recognised the need to get the word out to a wider
audience and show them what good usability can offer. World Usability
Day provided the perfect opportunity.
By Chris Rourke
World Usability Day in Switzerland
The Swiss UPA organized two local WUD events in Switzerland, one in Bern
(capital of Switzerland) and one in Lugano (Italian speaking part). Besides
the two events, the Swiss WUD activities were accompanied by broad media
coverage, including a special usability focus in a well established Swiss
computer journal, featuring articles on the history of web design and
usability, and the importance of user requirement analysis and accessibility.
By Silvia Zimmermann
World Usability Day in the United Kindom
Mouse traps, kettles and baby seats were just some of the products that
were put into the spotlight at an open lecture on usability in Loughborough
on Thursday 3 November to mark World Usability Day. The day was designed
to show everyone how they can improve the usability of products to create
a better user experience.
By Amanda Bellamy
World Usability Day in Washington, D.C.
In honor of World Usability Day (November 3, 2005), the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Usability Professionals'
Association (UPA) presented a panel discussion entitled "e-Gov Success Stories from the Nationís Capital." The focus of
discussion was the progress to improve usability of products and services within the U.S. federal government.
By David Dick and Lisa Battle