April 2006 Contents
Projects and Events
Reasons to Attend UPA 2006
The UPA conference is a chance to spend a few days with people "just
like you" - interested in usability, design, and how we use our skills
to create better products, processes, and services. The setting is collegial
with opportunities to network, debate, and just hang out during breakfasts,
lunches, and dinner on Thursday night.
By DeeDee DeMulling and Carol Smith
Usability Body of Knowledge
The UPA is working on an ambitious project to define a Body of Knowledge
(BoK), a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of
the usability profession and provides an authoritative source of reference
and definition of the scope of the profession.
By Nigel Bevan and the BoK Editorial Board
Getting the Word Out About
The UPA Board of Directors is undertaking some new activities this year.
We’re working to increase awareness of UPA, and focusing on making
UPA more effective and efficient as an organization of volunteers. We’re
organizing a team that will work to increase awareness of UPA and support
the communication and promotion of our activities.
By Lyle Kantrovich
World Usability Day at SafeCo Insurance
At Safeco Insurance Company the User Centered Design Team created a variety
of activities and events to raise corporate awareness around usability
and user centered design. The culture here is not fully aware of the benefits
these practices bring and World Usability day last November afforded our
team the opportunity to create some buzz.
By Jason Valalik
Usable Regulations: Legislation Pending
in U.S. Congress
On March 1, 2006, witnesses testified before the House Government Reform
Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs. Their testimony
supported what plain language and usability experts have long known: Clear,
concise, easy to understand regulations will save the government (and
taxpayers) time and money.
By Thom Haller
Thumbnail: Jakob Nielsen
Jakob Nielsen’s name is practically synonymous with usability. He
is, in many ways, the voice of usability to the outside world, and has
appeared in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, and The Guardian, as well
as on CNN, NPR, and the BBC. Media outlets such as these have called him
the “guru,” “king,” “czar,” and even
“pope” of usability.
By Cliff Anderson
Meet the New Member Services Manager:
Ed’s official title is Member Services Manager. He is very involved
in the day–to-day activities of the UPA, and has worked with the
organization for over a month now.
By Ed Grochowski