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Aug 2006 Contents

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UPA 2007

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Experienced Practitioner's Program a Big Hit at UPA 2006

By Merryl Gross

Merryl Gross is a User Interface Architect at GE Healthcare in Boston, MA, and the co-chair for the Experienced Practitioner's track at UPA 2007.

The Experienced Practitioner’s Program was a first-time event at UPA 2006. Forty lucky participants experienced five presentations geared to those with 5-10 years of experience in usability. The event was overbooked, so a group of 30 held an informal session on Tuesday morning. The informal session sparked lively and interesting discussions. To refresh themselves afterwards, many attendees went on a mountain hike. Check the UPA website for links to the pictures!

Both groups found the event interesting and informative. Many liked the depth of the presentations but wished they had more time to discuss the subject. Many liked the informal session and wanted it to continue. Everyone liked having an interesting event for Experienced Practitioners on Tuesday, before the conference proper started.

In 2007, we will change things up a bit. For the Experienced Practitioner's sessions on Tuesday, we're going to try a different format. We'll have some half-day sessions, where one or more shorter presentations will kick off a workshop. We'll also have a session or two where the attendees will pick their own topics, just like in the informal session.

There will be a call for proposals for the half-day sessions. Please start thinking of some interesting topics on which you (and maybe some colleagues) can present, then lead a workshop-like discussion with the attendees. Those who sign up for the Experienced Practitioner's sessions on Tuesday will be asked to send an "expression of interest letter," letting presenters know a bit about their background and why they want to attend the session. Presenters will be able to select those attendees they think will contribute well to the discussion.

We're also looking for "experiences," such as off-site tours, activities, or events in the Austin area that would be fun or interesting to experience with other Usability Professionals. If you have an idea for such an event, please contact Merryl Gross (merrylg@alum.mit.edu) or Janice Simpson


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