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4th Annual World Usability Day Launches The Global Transport Challenge

40 plus countries will host events showcasing transportation challenges and successes worldwide

(Boston, MA: October 28, 2008) – On November 13, 2008, towns and cities around the world will focus on a common global concern – transportation usability and its impact on our environment. World Usability Day 2008 will launch the Global Transport Challenge at www.worldusabilityday.org to help individuals measure their everyday travel usage; monitor their carbon travel footprint and compare it with others around the world; and minimize their energy usage through alternative travel choices, carbon offsets and simple travel changes. Additionally, with events in 40 countries and counting, World Usability Day is estimated to bring together 50,000 participants and volunteers from corporations, organizations, and universities to focus on transportation issues globally. World Usability Day was founded in 2005 as an initiative of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use. (www.upassoc.org)

As it kicks off its fourth annual global series of events on the benefits of usability engineering and user-centered design, transportation will play center stage. Crossing cultural boundaries and bringing together people from major cities like New York and London to far-reaching regions such as Iceland, Hong Kong, Uruguay and first-time event hosts in Pakistan, Reunion Island, Estonia and Peru, the events will be streamed live on the World Usability Day website and supported on the ground by thousands of volunteers.

According to World Usability Day founder and director Elizabeth Rosenzweig the first three World Usability Days have been a tremendous success, and the significance of the day continues to grow as a way to bring the world together towards a common goal of making life easier. “The focus on transportation could not be more timely,” noted Rosenzweig, “We are facing global environment and energy concerns that require changes in transportation usage and behavior on the part of every individual. The first step in making those changes is to understand our current usage, and the Global Transport Challenge will provide that knowledge and help influence change.”

Brian Sullivan, the 2008 World Usability Day Theme Chair, said, “The transportation challenges of today will greatly impact the future design of airplanes, cars, hotels, roads, cities, the environment, and more. We are starting to see consumers change their travel behavior—switching to smaller cars, carpooling to work, combining errands, and more. . The Global Transport Challenge gives consumers a way to measure their current travel choices, so they can manage their future travels.”

This year's events will draw attention to some of the key challenges and opportunities in transportation today – safety and security, new modes of transportation – from autos of the future to bike sharing, infrastructure challenges, signage and online transportation resources. Examples of events include: An International Test and Study of Parking Meter Designs by UXAlliance Partners (www.uxalliance.com), Understanding the Success of the Octopus Card – the world’s leading transport and small payment card - in Hong Kong, to the study of New York City Taxicab Designs and The Future of Aviation and Airport Usability in Dallas, Texas.

This year’s sponsors include Adobe, Apogee, Aerva, Axure, Bishoff Communications, Burst Media, Constant Contact, Creative With Direction, E Software, Eventbrite, Exclusive Concepts, FatDux, Intuit, MadPow, Mitsue-Links, Oho Interactive, Ovo Studios, Techsmith, Texas Tech University, Usability.ch, Usability.de, and VKI Studios.

For more information and a complete list of World Usability Day events and the Global Transport Challenge, visit www.worldusabilityday.org.

The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 2000 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:

  • Shares information about the skills and approach of usability professionals in meeting needs for usable products.
  • Acts as an advocate for usability in consumer, corporate and governmental software, products and web sites.
  • Educates the general public about the usability.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
email: office@upassoc.org
web: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org

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