New Friends of Usability Certificates Promote Usability by Saying "Thank You"


New Friends of Usability Certificates Promote Usability by Saying "Thank You"

One of the UPA Outreach missions is to help make usability visible to the broader business and development communities. In his editorial in the Summer 2002 issue of User Experience, Charlie Kreitzberg listed several critical points about promoting usability. Two of them pointed out that we have not teamed with our natural allies and that we have been too inwardly focused within our field. Now you can publicly thank those who support, fund, initiate, and implement usability programs at your company using the UPA's new Friends of Usability certificates.

( click on certificate to enlarge )

A simple certificate is not the complete answer, but it's a step in the right direction. Look around you and see who has gone out of their way to support your work. What about:

  • The director or vice president who approved the funding for your position or for a new usability lab
  • The project manager who included time for usability testing (and for incorporating the results into the product) in the project plan
  • The QA manager who asked how the quality testers could help find consistency problems or other usability bugs, and started including them in the bug-tracking database
  • The business or requirements analyst who decided to include information about usability requirements - and asked you to help create those sections of the product requirements
  • The corporate leader who announced that a customer focus was the first priority - and that usability would be part of the goals and marketing strategy for every project in the company
  • The person who helped add user-centered design to the software development methodology
  • The corporate or government executive who has kept your project off the recession budget chopping block

Cement your partnerships and encourage a culture of usability at your company by thanking the people who helped you with a personalized UPA Friends of Usability certificate.

How it works

  • Visit the UPA store or go to the Friends of Usability certificate.
  • Order a Friends of Usability certificate in the name of the person you are recognizing.
  • Use a credit card to pay just $15 to cover materials and shipping.
  • Within 4-6 weeks you'll receive an attractive, personalized certificate in a frame.
  • Present the certificate to the person with as much pomp and ceremony as you feel is fitting.
  • Show them (if you've given permission), their name on the UPA web site (along with other people who have been recognized as friends of usability).

Remember, Friends of Usability certificates should be given to people outside of the profession who "support, incorporate, and promote usability as an integral and fundamental element of development and evaluation processes." They are not for usability professionals - no matter how important or heroic their work. This is a chance to thank others for their support - not to acknowledge our own work.

Consultants who give certificates to clients can rest assured that client and company names will remain confidential, unless they give permission for them to be used.

Promoting Usability

The Friends of Usability program can be used to help promote usability in many ways. Some of them are simple,

  • use the certificates as a way to create conversations within your company
  • thank people who partner with you in your work
Or, use the certificates to publicly share the news that usability is a part of how your company does business.
  • Write an article for your company newsletter about how the recipient supported usability and improved the customer experience.
  • Bring your colleagues to admire the recipient's certificate and to add their thanks to yours. Show the recipient that usability is important to many people in the company.
  • See if your corporate communications department will issue a press release, at least to the local newspaper's column on people in the news.
  • Write a case study for the Voice, or for User Experience, showing how the recipient made a difference and enhanced a culture of usability at your company.

For more information about Friends of Usability, please contact the UPA office or Whitney Quesenbery.