Local Chapter News
UPA German chapter organizes usability professionals track at Mensch & Computer 2003
The UPA’s German chapter has organized a "Usability Professionals' Track" for Mensch & Computer 2003, the largest German human-computer interaction (HCI) conference. The chapter’s track will feature presentations on practical issues in usability and HCI.
The goal of the chapter’s UP track at the conference is to "bring as many practitioners as possible to join and actively participate. Practical topics and experience-sharing will be the main focus," says Matthias Peissner, member of the board of the UPA German Chapter. Åsa Granlund, the UPA Co-Director of Chapters, added that “Cooperative events with other organizations are a good way for UPA chapters to expose more people to the work of usability professionals.”
The German chapter has members in about 10 local groups around the country. Organizing this way, explained Peissner, allows for local networking and brings the small number of professionals together into one chapter. This single organization gives usability professionals more public presence than a group of small local chapters could have in order to "strengthen the professional profile of usability engineers in Germany, and to foster the awareness for usability in the industry and the public."
Mensch & Computer will be held September 7-10, 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany. More
information on the conference and the Usability Professionals’ Track is available at www.mensch-und-computer.de/mc2003.
Texas chapters launch job board, consider cross-functional conference
The Austin UPA chapter provides its members with a monthly series of events including guest speakers, panels, and networking happy hours - and is considering bigger adventures. Kerrie Green, the Austin chapter president, is leading an upcoming seminar on remote study methodologies. Previous speakers have included Creative Good's Mark Hurst who spoke about online customer experiences, and UIE's Christine Perfetti who presented "Sense, Search, and the Pursuit of User Happiness" to illustrate how users find material online.
Working with the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter, the Austin UPA has launched a joint Web site at www.texasupa.org. The site is still in shake-down mode with the chapters planning a casual usability test session organized around a keg of beer. The Texas Web site includes a listing of usability jobs ("One of the best in the field," says Kerrie) including opportunities from both inside and outside Texas. Kerrie adds that the job listing is open to everyone.
In the future, the two chapters hope to host a regional conference similar to the conference held by the Boston chapter. The mini-conference would be cross-functional and would include leaders in marketing and product development along with usability professionals.