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December 2009 Contents

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UPA 2009


UPA 2.0 - Looking back at a successful first year

Silvia Zimmermann and Dan Szuc

Silvia Zimmerman is the UPA President and Dan Szuc is the UPA Vice President.

What an exciting year at UPA headquarters! The UPA Board of Directors and the entire executive board are looking back at an extremely busy but fruitful year filled with excitement and experiences covering all ends of the spectrum.

As we said back in January 2009, this year the findings from the UPA Strategic Planning meeting revealed that the UPA needs to continue to do its homework with regards to:

  • Local Chapter strategy
  • Membership Model
  • Content strategy for our publications
  • Communication strategy

So what have we achieved in 2009?

Local Chapter strategy and UPA Membership Model 2.0

It took the entire Executive Board almost a year to find and finalize the UPA membership model 2.0 including the strategy for integrating local chapters. The crux of the matter was that back in 2002, the UPA decided that local chapter members do not necessarily need to become UPA members. This awkward decision has, over the years, led to an unnecessary competition between UPA international and its local chapters.

The current board is leaning towards a more unified model bringing all UPA members closer together under one roof with the aim of creating mutual benefits for everyone involved. The UPA Membership Model 2.0 is subject to Board approval in January 2010. It will then be shared with all UPA membership for further consultation and approval.

Content strategy for our publications

In light of the strategic UPA repositioning, the Board of Directors followed Publications Manager Susan Dray's recommendation of bringing the different UPA publications closer together to allow for a better use of all synergies, both with regards to the content strategy as well as with regards to an overall leaner organizational structure. The UPA Board also decided that all UPA projects, i.e. the conference, publications, and the World Usability Day follow on a yearly basis one specific theme at a time. In 2011 this will come into operation for the first time under the overarching theme Designing for a Social Change.

UPA Conferences

The User Experience Russia /UPA Europe 2009 conference "User Experience Design: the Journey from Discovery to Advocacy" which took place October 26-28 in Moscow, Russia, with 316 participants, was a great success, generating a lot of positive press coverage. This highly encouraging movement affirmed our continuous endeavor for an increasing internationalization of the UPA. Congratulations and a huge thank you to Dmitry Satin and the entire UPA Russia team. We are looking forward to bringing the UPA Europe conference back one day to Russia.

The 6th annual User Friendly conference that took place November 13-15 in Shanghai, China, was also a huge success generating an enormous momentum for UPA China and more importantly for UPA ASIA. In contrast to Europe which already has many large UPA chapters, the Asian region currently has only two UPA chapters: UPA China and UPA Hong Kong. The UPA International Board of Directors is looking forward with excitement and pride to new UPA chapters in the Asian region. Congratulations and a huge thank you to Jason Huang and the entire UPA China team.

Contrasting these wonderful movements in Europe and Asia, the third large UPA annual conference, the UPA International conference in Portland USA, did not generate the same positive movement, mainly due to the economic situation which unfortunately led to a significant drop in attendee figures. We hope that this negative movement will not continue when we host the UPA 2010 in Munich next year, May 24-28. The conference theme, Embracing Cultural Diversity: Experience Design for the World, acknowledges the increasingly international nature of our work and the issues we as practitioners face. The UPA International conference will focus on delivering a wider range of advanced material for experienced practitioners that will inspire, engage, and challenge our ever growing experienced audience. www.upa2010.org

UPA - World Usability Day

For the first time in UPA history we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the UPA World Usability Day with an official kickoff in Shanghai, the night before the opening of the 6th User Friendly conference. We would like to continue this concept in the years to come, with a clear set of guidelines and processes in place for the nominating kick-off candidates.

Outlook to 2010

What is on our plate for 2010?

  • Training and Certification
  • Finalizing the content strategy and our new website
  • Implementing the new Membership Model including the Local Chapter Membership
  • Generally increasing the bucket of benefits for our increasingly international membership

We wish you all a good remainder of the year and a happy holiday season.

Let the UPA continue to be the association we all can be proud of.


Usability Professionals' Association
promoting usability concepts and techniques worldwide
Phone + 1.630.980.4997         office@upassoc.org

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