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UPA 2010

 

UPA Conference Experience Design - Something excellent happened in May

Silvia Zimmermann

Silvia Zimmermann is the UPA President.

UPA Conference Experience Design - Something excellent happened in May

The UPA 2010 International Conference in Munich was a blast. Yes, it was the first conference outside North America for the UPA. But this in itself didn't promise the good vibes it was able to generate. The conference experience design the UPA applied in Munich was just phenomenal. I received and still do receive today so many congratulations from around the world on the huge success of the conference. Various attendees I spoke with in Munich told me "You know what? Something is different this year!" I'm an experience designer in my daily job, and I did understand what they meant and why they said it. I'm happy and convinced that we will be able to bring many of the positive vibes to our UPA region North America next year when we do host our international conference in Atlanta in June 2011.

Please take a moment to experience the UPA 2010 conference yourself.
Flickr: http://tinyurl.com/2uw6nha

Usability International Student Design Competition

As many of you know I have taught usability and interaction design for many years now and I have seen and graded various student design projects over the last years. In my role as Student Design Competition judge (2 years at ACM SIGCHI, 2 years at UPA) I have seen many excellent student projects, but this year at UPA the projects handed in for our international Student Design Competition (iSDC) were just outstanding, both with respect to their solution quality and their design thinking. The iSDC presentations drew significant interest at the conference; there were about 60 attendees and the Q&A session ran until the end of the available time. Its very promising for our industry to see how well usability and user experience design thinking is integrated in the various university programs and trainings. Thank you UPA for providing a platform for international students to receive feedback from the field.

Please get in touch with me if you are interested in becoming part of the UPA iSDC program or if you want to become a mentor at UPA: president2010@usabilityprofessionals.org

UX International Leadership Panel

I'm very proud to say that the UX panel the UPA was hosting in Munich this year about The future of the UX field and how leading UX organizations interact was very successful. The panellists were:

  • Janna DeVylder, President IxDA
  • Steve Baty, UX Book Club
  • Vicky Koster, STC
  • Elizabeth Churchill, Vice President ACM SIGCHI
  • Silvia Zimmermann, President UPA

These panellists spoke about the similarities and differences between the different groups and how the various organizations could support each other to move the entire field up to the next level. After the conference the panellists met for a one day strategic summit to talk about more concrete actions. So please stay tuned – we will update our UPA membership here on a regular basis.

To share my personal view with you: When I started working in the field 17 years ago I experienced a lot of competitive notions in the field. Questions like "Do we really need to have yet another organization?" were a daily occurrence in my professional life. Personally I never did quite understand that notion, because it is a positive sign for the growth and maturity of our industry when we have different organizations filling our space. And, more important, more organizations with different core values and benefits for their constituency add to the flavour of our entire field.

Working together instead of against each other, and focusing with all our combined efforts and energies on our field and how we can bring it forward, will help us become a very powerful industry. And it seems to be the right time in history now to move ahead and bring our industry to the next level. Our responsibility as a field and as a global leadership team is to ensure our international constituency that it is ok to share. It is ok to attend a HCI, SIGCHI, STC, UPA, HFES, AIGA, IAI or iXDA event (to name a few) and to learn and share with other academics and practitioners in the field. It is ok to be a member of one or many organizations and it is ok to switch between the different organizations if it adds value to the personal development and growth of each individual.

Best regards, Silvia Zimmermann
President UPA International
president2010@usabilityprofessionals.org

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