Volume 5, Issue 3 
September 2003

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Chapter News

CUPA — The Birth of the Chicago UPA Chapter

In October 2002, Chicago chapter of the UPA held its kick-off event with UPA co-founder, Janice James, as the keynote speaker. Over 65 local professionals and students attended the event, which included hors d'oeuvres, door prize giveaways, and social opportunities. During the first year, CUPA hosted “Usability In Practice” events focusing on topics such as the “Market for Usability” and “User-Experience Issues In The Voting Processes in Kosovo and Chicagoland”. Other chapter activities included b ook club discussions , networking events and co-sponsored activities with other local User Experience organizations. CUPA wrapped up the 2002-2003 chapter year in Scottsdale , Arizona where several chapter members and Chicagoland professionals attended the UPA2003 conference.

CUPA is now approaching its first anniversary and the planning team is ramping up for another exciting year. The chapter motto for 2003-2004 is "Serving the Chicago User Experience Community and Honoring Their Accomplishments."  In support of this motto, CUPA is using chapter events to highlight the work of local user experience professionals, labs, and authors. Since communication is critical to the success of the chapter and the community it serves, CUPA is hoping to increase the opportunities for networking face-to-face as well as online.

The 2003-2004 year began with the August chapter meeting organized around a book club discussion of David M. Levy's “Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age.” The September meeting's topic was “Designing for 50+ Population” with the AARP Web Services Team and members of the local community with experience designing for and/or teaching the senior population.

Upcoming events in 2003 are:

  • October 2 – Social/Networking Event
  • November 6 – Bookclub: Discussion With The Author
    • Shari Thurow's Search Engine Visibility
  • Dec 4 – Social/Networking Event

For more information about CUPA, upcoming chapter events and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.chicagoupa.org or email the planning team at info@chicagoupa.org .

News from the UPA Minnesota Chapter

Longstanding Board Member Receives Certificate of Appreciation

Last month, the UPA Minnesota Chapter was honored to present DeeDee DeMulling with a Certificate of Appreciation for extraordinary service on the UPA MN Board of Directors as Past President, President, Program Director and Treasurer. DeeDee is a founding member of the UPA MN chapter and has served as an office on our board for the past four consecutive years.

Usability Has Ten Friends at Trane Global Controls and Contracting

Judy Kistler-Robinson, a member of the UPA Minnesota Chapter and strong usability advocate, recently awarded Friends of Usability Certificates to peer employees and management. Judy Kistler-Robinson is a product communications group leader for the technical writing group at Trane Global Controls and Contracting in St. Paul, MN.

As Trane has become increasingly attuned to usability practices and processes, the role of usability has become increasingly prominent. None of the ten employees who received Friends of Usability Certificates are specifically usability professionals, but all have become usability advocates. Of the Trane Ten, nine volunteered to interview technical installers and programmers who had come for technical training.The interview team also established customer profiles and personas from the interviews. The tenth recipient is the Vice President of Product Planning and Support, who Kistler-Robinson wanted to reward "for being a nice guy who understands the role of usability and its importance."

Kistler-Robinson reports that all the recipients were surprised, and a few were very proud. The brightly colored certificates are being displayed in cubicles and offices at Trane. The certificates are "the gift that keeps promoting," Kistler-Robinson said.

And from the NYC Chapter…

NYC Chapter Kicks off the Fall Season With:
Blogging in Corporate America

Michael Angeles, a Lucent Technologies' Information Specialist will give a presentation about who blogs, how and why they do it, how Lucent Technologies is supporting bloggers, and other content on their Intranet.


When: Wed. September 16, 2003
Registration: 6:00pm (refreshments served)
Presentation: 6:30pm to 8:00pm (includes Q&A)
Location: McGraw Hill, 1221 Avenue of the Americas (@ 48th St.) 2nd floor
Cost: $10 for NYC-UPA members, $20 for non-members, $5 for full-time students (payable at the door; add $5 for walk-ins)

Please RSVP to rsvp@nycupa.org (otherwise you pay $5 more at the door)
More info: www.cupa.org/events.html
Questions: (201) 653-0783

A Success: The First National Usability Professionals' Meeting in Germany

Inspired by the 1st European Usability Professionals' Conference (EUPA) in London last year, the freshly formed German Chapter of the UPA set out to have their own first nation-wide meeting.

A dedicated Usability Professionals' Track was planned in collaboration with the well known German conference "Mensch and Computer" (humans and computers) which was held in Stuttgart this year. The conference was organized by the "Gesellschaft für Informatik (a society for computer scientists) and the German Chapter of the ACM. Calls were sent out, and the reactions were overwhelmingly good. In 13 practitioner sessions, about 60 active participants shared their experiences and knowledge with the 350 delegates. The sessions covered almost all the topics Usability Professionals are interested in: from processes to politics, accessibility to joy of use. All results were collected in a separate proceeding document, which was edited by Matthias Peissner and Kerstin Röse.

Daniel Mauch and Petra Vogt, both board members, at the booth at the 'Mensch and Computer' conference in StuttgartThe German Chapter of the UPA had a dedicated booth, and was very well received by the delegates. Almost 20 practitioners joined it right away at the conference.

A cozy informal meeting at the 'Maison des Vins'.Others just enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and inspiring discussions at the informal meeting at the "Maison des Vins"(see picture 2).

To sum up: It was a lot of work to organize the track, but very rewarding for everyone involved. And it seems, there will be future Usability Professionals' Tracks to come at the upcoming conferences.

Usability Professionals' Association

140 N. Bloomingdale Road
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
Tel: +1.630.980.4997
Fax: +1.630.351.8490
UPA: office@upassoc.org

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