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Conferences and Events: Past UPA Conferences

UPA 2006: Usability Through Storytelling


Logo for UPA 2006 conference

As usability professionals, we weave stories that have been harvested from user communities. While using products we help to develop, they tell us stories of frustrations and joyous discoveries. Observing and analyzing users and their tasks creates stories that will bring the user community alive in the minds of others. Even older stories, told in the ancient tradition of Native American tribes, can teach us how to communicate with and educate our peers. - DeeDee DeMulling, Conference Chair

The conference proceedings are available for sale in the UPA Store.

Keynotes and Invited Speakers

  • Steve Denning - Usability through Storytelling: the Discipline of Business Narrative
    Web site stevedenning.com  
  • Kevin Brooks - Stories in the Mirror: Narrative Reflections
    Web site story resources   Powerpoint file presentation slides
  • Annie Archbold - They're Telling a Story: What are They Saying
  • Carolmarie Stock - Pictures in My Mind: Using Storytelling to Help Develop Creative Imagination
  • John C. Thomas - The Story of the Story: Using Narrative Elements in the Service of Usability
    Powerpoint file presentation slides
  • Leigh Rubin - Telling 365 Short Stories a Year: The Inspiration Behind Creating a Daily Cartoon
    Web site Rubes online
  • Nelson Soken - Ready, Set, Innovate: With the Customer Experience in Mind
  • Roy Carter - Narrative and Interaction: Memory, Experience and Form
  • John Carroll - Getting Your Story Straight: Scenario-based Usability Engineering
    Acrobat file presentation slides

The Idea Market - Afterthoughts

Ever feel that the best part of a conference happens between sessions? Ulf Andersson did. So he devised a new format for conference sessions called an Idea Market. Attendees are free to roam from one idea station to the next, until they find a topic that they are interested in. Multiple "activators" stir up lively discourse on a variety of topics in a highly interactive, fluid session.

Wednesday –



Presentation sessions are either 40 or 90 minutes long, and focus on a practitioner's ideas and experience with usability methods, skills, philosophy, design, business case studies, or other relevant topics.

Qiwu Liu , Barbra Enlow Enhancing Usability of Print-Based and Web-Based Documents Through Information Design
Tim Herbst , Bill Dixon, Lisa Battle, Sean Wheeler Applying User-Centered Methods to Inform New Product Selection and Strategic Planning
Michelle McNulty. Ellen Mangan Usable Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems & Older Adults: Observations & Recommendations
Desiree Sy Formative usability investigations for open-ended tasks
Don Zimmerman. Linda Stapel Using focus groups to design user-based Web sites
Shawn Henry, Chris Haas Redesigning /www.w3.org/WAI: A Tale of Two Sites
(Web site WAI Web site redesign project site)
Lynn Miller Interaction Designers and Agile Development – A Partnership
Jay Joichi Using Scriptwriting Techniques to Develop More Engaging and Effective User Scenarios
Kathi Kaiser, Lyman Casey Digital Prototyping for Dummies: An Unconventional Approach to Creating Interactive Prototypes
Mark Wehner Researching Concepts with Comics
David Siegel Evaluation in the Field: Usability, Utility, and Technology Adoption  (Advanced Topic)
Lyman Casey, Kathi Kaiser From Green Screen to Browser: Bringing an Industrial Order Entry Interface into the 21st
Leah Rader, Beth Toland Create Compelling User Stories--Collaboratively
Merryl Gross Tales Come True: Use Cases As Functional Specifications
Ron Sova Storyboards - A Dynamic Storytelling Tool
Judy Kistler-Robinson, Jennifer Wilmer A Different Story: Applying Nielsen's Heuristics for Speech-Enabled Applications
Spencer Gerrol, Reshmy Kurian, Javier Broch When in Rome: Understanding Cultural Differences in the Context of Building Personas and Creating Designs for Various Cultures
Nelson Soken Ready, Set, Innovate: With the Customer Experience in Mind
Robert Schumacher, Alfonso de la Nuez, Tim Bosenick, Shelley Allen, Ed Israelski How Usability is Changing the World: Assessing the Impact of Global Testing
John Whalen The Usability of AJAX: A Primer for Usability Professionals and a First-Hand Account
Web site Presentation slides (HTML) Acrobat file Presentation slides (PDF)
Word file Handouts
Richard Fulcher, Rachel Garb, Alex Liston, Donna Slote How (Not) to Destroy a Great User Experience: Discovering and Documenting the Story Behind the Design
Powerpoint file Presentation Slides   Word file Functional Spec Template
John Schrag Using Formative Usability Testing as a Fast UI Design Tool
Marguerite Bergel, Ann Chadwick-Dias Web Accessibility and Usability for Blind Users: Closing the Gap
Gavin Lew Advanced user experience techniques or “what they often do not teach you in school…”
Larry Marine Driving Product Design from the Business Objectives
Acrobat file Presentation slides, Acrobat file Example design spec
Maggie Reilly, Barbra Wells Shoes for the Shoemakers Children: Bringing Usability Home
Caroline Jarrett, Whitney Quesenbery How to look at a form...in a hurry
Acrobat file Presentation Slides
Cory Lebson Tools for Electronic Collaboration: Off the Shelf and Into the Usability
Timothy Keirnan An Inside Job: Usability Success Stories In Corporate IT
Kerry Bodine, Moira Dorsey Persona Best Practices That Drive Business Results
Tom Noonan A Study of Researchers in Europe, UK and the US: A Review of the Methodology, Findings and How the Results are Being Used
Agnieszka Bojko, Abigail Stephenson, Gavin Lew Team and Data Management in Large-Scale User Research Projects
Michael Harms, Bob Dolan Applying Universal Design: A Framework for Relating Design Guidelines to Accessibility Requirements
Jennifer Wilmer, Judy Kistler-Robinson Usability Testing to Get the Caller's Side of the Story

Panels and 10-Minute Talks

David Siegel, Caroline Jarrett,
Scott Kincaid,
Steve Krug
Usabilty Fundamentals: Testing
Susan Dray, Joseph Dumas, Janice James, Thyra Rauch Usabilty Fundamentals: Research
DeeDee DeMulling, Ron Sova, Stephanie Rosenbaum, Whitney Quesenbery Usabilty Fundamentals: Design
Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus, Jakob Nielsen, Steve Krug, Susan Weinschenk, Janice James The State of Web Site Usability for 2006
Powerpoint file Presentations
Joi Roberts, Nicole Schadewitz, Carmen Broomes, Yue Yin, Liu Wei, Pedro-Jorge Adler People Are Talking! Projects Designed to Enhance Storytelling Within Communities
Acrobat file Presentations part 1,Acrobat file Presentatations part 2
Larry Constantine, Jeannine Strope, David Kellmeyer, Werner Höfler When User Interaction Really Matters: Designing for Performance-Critical Applications
Mary Theofanos, Dean Barker, Whitney Quesenbery, Lisa Battle, Mary Beth Rettger Usability Standards: Are they effective in fostering good usability practice?
Word file Handouts
Paul Sherman, Caroline Jarrett, Steve Fadden, Catherine Courage, Carol Barnum Usability Stories II: Successes and (Gasp…) Failures
Scott Kincaid, Catherine Courage, Maggie Duvall Compare your Instincts with the Users

Peer Reviewed Papers

Peer-reviewed papers are submitted as both a complete paper and a presentation. Both must reflect the priorities of the UPA conference, which emphasize practicality, hands-on experience, and interactive presentation.

Omar Vasnaik, Roman Longoria Bridging the Gap with a Remote User
Acrobat file Presentation Slides   Acrobat file Paper
(Note: This paper was inadvertently left off the Proceedings disc, so is posted here to make it available)
Michael Hawley, Joe Dumas Making Sense of Remote Usability Testing: Setup and Vendor Options
Laura Faulkner Ethnographic Awakenings that Changed Designs
Jay Joichi Using Scriptwriting Techniques to Develop More Engaging and Effective User Scenarios
Dong-Seok Lee, David Woods, Daniel Kidwell Escaping the design traps of creeping featurism: Introducing a fitness management strategy

Experienced Practitioners' Track

This day-long program included five sessions that are geared for practitioners with at least 5-10 years of experience and who desire a deeper level of understanding and discussion. Attendance was limited to 40 people.

Lisa Battle, Rebecca Ray, Karen Bachmann Integrating UCD with Requirements Engineering: Improving Processes, Formats, and Communication
Duane Degler Next-Generation Design: Interacting with the Semantic Web
Dawn Vitale,
Michael Rawlins
Risk-based Approach to Implementing Usability Methods and User-Centered Design Principles
Agnieszka Bojko, Abigail Stephenson A, B, or C? Using Eye Movement Measures to Compare Alternative Layouts and Graphic Treatment Solutions
Donna Tedesco, Tom Tullis A Comparison of Methods for Eliciting Post-Task Subjective Ratings in Usability Testing
Acrobat file Presentation Slides   Acrobat file Paper


UPA workshops provide an active arena for advancements in the field of usability and design. Workshops provide the opportunity for experienced practitioners to develop new ideas about a topic of common interest and experience.

J.O. (Joe) Bugental, Stephen Turner, Stephanie Rosenbaum Overlapping Usability and Market Research: Synergies and Issues
Rich Gunther The Business of Usability: Developing Metrics to Justify Our Existence and Budgets
Workshop Report, Project Website
Natalie Webb, Tony Renshaw Adding Value with Eyetracking
Larry Wood, Thomas Tullis Issues and Best Practices in Card-Sorting
Richard Douglass Tutorial: How to Conduct a Competitive Heuristic Evaluation
Acrobat file Presentation Slides 


2006 Conference Committee

  • 2006 Conference Co-Chairs: Delight 'DeeDee' DeMulling, Carol Smith
  • Conference Advisor: Caryn Josephson
  • Advanced Topics: Chauncey Wilson, Joi Roberts
  • Exhibits: Dave Metropolis-Rundus
  • Idea Markets: Deborah Hinderer Sova, Hank Henry, Cristin Witcher
  • Invited Speakers: Bill Albert, Kate Caldwell, Carmen Gillette
  • Local Liaison - Broomfield, Colorado: Pawan Vora
  • On-site Conference Volunteers: Pam Cote, Mary Pat Laboda
  • Panels and Presentations: Debbie McConnell, Stephen Hatfield, Jean Fox
  • Peer-Reviewed Papers: Charlotte Schwendamen, Satyam Kantamneni, Laura Downey
  • Posters: Merryl Gross, Michael Crowther
  • Printed Program Design: Allen Rotz, Melanie Datz
  • Publicity: Kate Caldwell, Bula Barua, Jennifer Bombach
  • Reviewers: James McElroy, Jerome Ryckborst, Kathy Coats
  • Session Chair Coordinator: Catherine Courage
  • 10-Minute Talks: Chauncey Wilson, Joi Roberts
  • Tutorials: Suzanne El-Moursi, Sheila Carey
  • Usability Fundamentals Panels: usan Dray, David Siegel
  • Workshops: Eugenie Bertus, Lada Gorlenko
  • Web Site: Kelly Berg, Jeremy Harrington, Amanda Nance

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