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Conferences and Events: Past UPA Conferences

UPA 2008: Usability Through Holistic Practice

Many types of professionals touch the user experience of a product. Marketing specialists, graphic designers, computer scientists, business analysts, psychologists, information architects, technical writers and others bring valuable perspectives to usability and user experience. UPA 2008 invites you to share perspectives and learn from the experiences of other practitioners.

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


Keynotes and Invited Speakers

  • How Innovation Works - Carole Bilson Ph.D. (Pitney Bowes)
  • Accessibility In A Post-Guideline Era: A Process Driven Approach To Access For All - Julie Howell (Fortune Cookie)
  • Beyond Shrink-Wrap and Sites: Integrating Usability into Hardware Products - David Aurelio (Bose)
  • Who are We Designing For? – The Generational Dilemma - Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. (Human Factors International)
  • Beyond Web2.0 Skins and Mashups: The More Abstract, Intrinsic Expectations of Our Younger User Base - Patrick Hofmann (Google)
  • Making Emotions Work for You - August de los Reyes and Dennis Wixon (Microsoft)
  • User Experience in China: A Market Snaphot of the Present and a Look Ahead - Jason Huang (TANG Consulting)
  • The German UPA Chapter and the UX Market: Small Country, Many Members - How Typical German Is That? - Henning Brau (Daimler Group Research and Advanced Engineering)
  • The Evil UI Designer: How to Really Confound and Annoy Users - Jeff Johnson (UI Wizards)
  • Ethnographic Research: Bringing You Face-to-Face with Customers in Natural Environments - Kathy Berke (Dell)
  • Modeling Usability, Inoperability, and Harmonization: The New Section 508 - Michael Paciello



Leaders Title
Kate Walser, Duane Degler, Ann Chadwick-Dias, Marguerite Bergel Applied Design Principles for Rich Web Interactions
Nancy Frishberg Harnessing Customer Creativity and Engaging Customers and Clients with Innovation Games
Pawan Vora Design Patterns for Web Applications
Richard Horst, Dustin Chambers Remote Usability Testing
Charlotte Schwendeman, Carol Righi, PhD, Janice Meissner, Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus The 3x3: A Unique Approach to Design Ideation
Mary Beth Rettger Post-its and Affinities: low-tech tools for high-impact results
Jim Hudson, Stefanie Wood Making Memorable Video Clips When you Aren't a Videographer
Jianming Dong, Carol Righi, Janice James, Larry Wood Card-Sorting and Cluster Analysis for Information Architecture Design
Caroline Jarrett Label Placement in Forms (and Other Time-Consuming Forms Controversies)
Yvonne Shek, Gene Smith Accelerator Workshops: How Rapid Facilitation gets things done in days instead of weeks
David Siegel, Susan Dray Skills and Strategies for Dealing with Key Issues in International Field Research
Deborah Hinderer Sova, Dana Chisnell Effectively Recruiting Users as Participants in Usability Research
Jeff Patton A UX Professional's Crash Course in Agile Software Development
Shane Morris Interaction Design Studio
Aaron Marcus Cross-Cultural User-Interface Design
Catriona Campbell, David Bomphrey Combining the Qual. and the Quant. in Web 2.0
William Albert, Thomas Tullis Usability Metrics 101: An Introduction on How to Collect, Analyze, and Present Usability Data
Laura Downey, Thyra Rauch Usability Testing Boot Camp
John Schrag, Ian Hooper Design Essentials for Non-Designers: Methods for Creating Innovative User Interfaces
Susan Dray, David Siegel Understanding Users Through Fieldwork: An In-Depth Primer
Sarah Bloomer, Shane Morris Back to the Future: The Next Wave of UI Design



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.

Leaders Title
Catherine Courage, Stephanie Rosenbaum, Jhilmil Jain Exploring Best Practices in Longitudinal Usability Studies
Mary Beth Rettger Managing a Corporate User Experience Group
Amy Kidd, Jennifer Lymneos Supporting Design by Non-Designers
Whitney Quesenbery, Christy Mylks Models of Healthcare Consumers' User Experience
Sarah Bloomer Managing a User Experience Consultancy


The Idea Market - Afterthoughts

Ever feel that the best part of a conference happens between sessions? In Idea Markets, 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.

Leaders Title
Deborah Hinderer Sova Recruiting participants: a dying art or a re-emerging desirable skill?
Hongzheng Lu How do you help your offshore usability team grow?
Deborah Goff, Christopher Bransfield How do we communicate across disciplines to enhance the user experience?
Daniel Schwartz How is usability best integrated into open source software?
Sharron Rush, Jayne Schurick Are rich media and accessibility mutually exclusive, or inclusive?
Marina Chiovetti Moving towards "usagility"
Lori Anschuetz What are the challenges and rewards of conducting moderated remote usability studies to reach out to more users in more places?
Wendy Castleman, Kaaren Hansen Moving UCD from "nice" to "NECESSARY!"
Carrie Cianchette, Linda Mateos Does user self-identification help or hinder your website?
Jean Foster Building a corporate Fort Knox: user data is like gold so why do we throw it away?
Christa Minks-Brown How can usability be more like play?
Brooke Baldwin Back-end usability
Lynn VanDyke What strategy would you use to integrate look and feel throughout a product line that has been impacted by acquisitions?



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.

Speakers Title
Jana Roberts, Shawn Tafoya, Debbie Martinez Iterative Usability Testing is Successful
Susan J Wolfe Breaking down the silos: When government teams with private industry to optimize the user experience
Amy Anderson, Grace O'Neill Usability Testing to Improve High-Volume Web Surveys
Hallie Wilfert Using Web Analytics to Improve User Experience
Emma Rose, Suzanne Boyd Making government user-centered: Managing UCD projects to promote change
Greg Laugero How UCD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Projects: A 4-Day Plan
Patrick Hofmann Innovations in visual information design and multi-ethnic usability testing: how to create better products and bigger profits
Spencer Gerrol, Vir Amar Dasmahapatra, Kim Snedaker Interdisciplinary Usability: Take the Next Step to Persuasive Design
Barbra Wells Institutionalizing User Experience: A Consulting Challenge
Paul Sherman, Cassandra Swint Moving Users' Cheese: Designing a New Navigation System For An Old Desktop Software Product
Dustin Chambers, Richard Horst The Future of Web Analytics: Inferring User Intent from Session Replays
Tharon Howard Using User-Diaries to Identify Market Gaps
Gregg Almquist, Marc Sill Visual Design and the User Experience: Keys to the Partnership
Filipp Sapienza Working with immigrant and trans-national users
Joan Doutney, Sara Conklin, Adam Armstead Hiding a Paradigm Shift: Maintaining task simplicity in a self-service application
Nunez Loic, Denis Boudreau Ergonomics & Accessibility: WCAG 1.0 checkpoints illustrated by Bastien-Scapin's ergonomics criteria
Tim Harter Using On-site Surveys and Web Analytics with Personas to Inform Business Strategy and Design
Katrina Alcorn How to manage a user experience team (without losing your mind!)
Stan Driskell Spider Controls: A New Paradigm for the Display and Management of Computer Controls
Kate Walser, Whitney Quesenbery, Sarah Swierenga Designing for Cognitive Disabilities
Sareeka Malhotra, Shivam Goyal, Jennifer Kim International Testing - A Multidisciplinary Approach
Elizabeth Benker, Kathi Kaiser They Want My What?! Overcoming User Reluctance to Providing Personal Information in Online Transactions
Robert Bailey, Cari Wolfman, Janice Nall Revising a Homepage: Applying Usability Methods that Guarantee Success
Sharon Laskowski, Bill Killam Usability Performance Benchmarks for Voting Systems
Maggie Reilly, Doug Baker Usability and Organizational Strategies
Whitney Quesenbery, Caroline Jarrett Search is now normal behavior. What do we do about that?
Tom Illmensee Applied Card Sorting: A Case Study in e-Commerce Taxonomy Research
Duane Degler Future Interfaces: Latest in Semantic Web User Interaction
Shawn Henry How New Web Accessibility Standards Impact User Experience Design
Jean Fox, Scott Fricker Beyond Words: Strategies for Designing Good Questionnaires
Gregg Almquist, Chris Whelan, Laura Mason 10 Strategies for Negotiating the Politics of Holistic Design
Wei Zhou, Velynda Prakhantree, Shannon Farrington International User Research in the Product Development Cycle
Barb Hernandez, Josephine Scott, Casey Wright Bringing it All Together - The Answer is A and B
Rebecca Ormsby From Mainframe with Less Pain – Updating the face of Legacy Applications
Jhumkee Iyengar, Samir Chabukswar Moving from Usability Oblivion to a Thriving Offshore Usability Practice
Andrew Schall, Anne Washington Designing a successful eye-tracking usability study step-by-step
Jerome Ryckborst Teach your software developers this Ideation-Design process to reduce your usability work downstream
Eric Dunsker When There's Too Many Choices
Paul M. Linton, Ruth Frank, PhD Elevating Usability in a Large Organization; a Successful Case Study
Michael Hawley Beyond Card Sorting: Methodologies for Re-organizing a Large Informational Site Run Amok
Claude M Steinberg Communication Techniques for Interviewing Expert Users
Emma Rose Design research in developing countries: Creative applications for mobile phones
Terry Fairbanks Use Error Hazards from a Popular Emergency Department Information System
Yu-kwong Chiu Communicative Approach to Designing User Experience
Kuldeep Kelkar, Kelly Braun, Jim Hudson, Naini Mistry, Paresh Vakhariya, Stefanie Wood Rich Man's Problems: Beyond Selling Usability
Martha Carrer Cruz Gabriel Voice Interfaces in Art: An Experimentation with Web Open Standards as a Model to Increase Web Accessibility and Digital Inclusion
Michael Etgen, Mary Burton, Timothy O'Keefe A Tortured Tale of Personas in the Real World
Rachel L Cobleigh Using Instant Messaging to Usability Test an API
Amy Cueva, Chauncey Wilson A Portfolio of Brainstorming Techniques: From the Nominal Group Technique to the Lotus Blossom Approach
Rob Rhyne How to Break Consistency for Glory & Riches
John Yesko The Brand vs. Usability Face-off
Carol Smith Participatory Design at a Distance
Marc Schwarz The Pushed-RITE Method: A hybrid approach for pushing Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation to its practical limit
Nick Serediak, Erin McClennan, Alison Cox Kiosk User Experience: What makes or breaks it
Cari A Wolfson, Robert Bailey, Janice Nall, Sanjay Koyani Contextual Card Sorting (or FirstClick Testing): A New Methodology for Validating Information Architectures
Serena H Rosenhan, Joanna Markel Making Method Work for You: How Remote Contextual Inquiry Got Us Up-Close with Users
Carol Barnum, David Dayton The Impact of Agile on UCD: Mixed Messages from a Before and After Survey
James B Ross, Paul Nuschke Practical Eyetracking
Jakob Biesterfeldt Managing International Research Vendors
Rob Houser Moving the UA into the UI: Best Practices for User Assistance
Ron Sova, Matt Krueger Designing Visually - the Holistic Solution



Speakers Title
Richard Horst, Sharon Laskowski, Sanjay Koyani, Nicole Burton, John Bosley, Sean Wheeler e-Government Usability in U.S. Federal Government -- Perspectives on Past Progress, Current Status, and Future Challenges
Chris Rourke Government Usability Around the World
John W Sorflaten, Jeff Sauro, Michael Rawlins, Linda Chadwick, Javier Broch Winning at the Politics of Usability
Keith S Karn, Alex Little, Greg Nelson, Jeff Sauro, Jurek Kirakowski, William Albert, Kent Norman Subjective ratings of usability: Reliable or ridiculous?
Paul Sherman, Lyle Kantrovich, Susan Dray, Josh Seiden, Patrick Hoffman Future of the UX Industry: Niche or Not?
David Mitropoulos-Rundus, Jeff Johnson, Catriona Campbell, Kerry Bodine, Patrick Hoffmann The State of Web Site User Experience
Steve Krug, Randolph Bias, Carol Barnum Discount Testing by Amateurs: Threat or Menace?
Catherine Courage, Melissa Federoff, Gayna Williams, Scott Kincaid, Kelly Braun Hiring and Retaining Talent in a Hot Market: Best Practices for User Experience Employers
Leonard Conte Workshop Highlights
Aaron Marcus, Tony Brown, Janice James, Jon Meads, Nicholas Simonelli So You Want To Be A Rockstar (Usability Expert), 2.0


Roundtable Discussions

Speakers Title
Assia Alexandrova How can personalization improve the usability of government websites and online services?
Angela Colter How do you determine whether your content is readable?
Caroline Jarrett Using quick personas in Government projects: good idea or too risky?
Jason Rendel, Mark Gallagher Herding Cats: Consensus Building in Federal Government Environments
Shawn Henry What is needed to help usability professionals better integrate accessibility throughout the design process?


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.

Authors Title
Yee-Yin Choong, Theresa O'Connell Planning User-Centered Evaluations for Interactive Information Visualizations
Celeste Lyn Paul A Practitioner's Guide to the Modified-Delphi Card Sort
Carmon Cheng, Jin Li, Catherine Baillie Knock Them Dead Blindfolded


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.

Speakers Title
Trent Mankelow, Robert Schumacher Market and sell it - how to win work as a usability consultant
Paul Sherman, Daniel Szuc, John Rhodes Make Yourself Heard! Selling User Experience in Your Organization
Saul Carliner What Museums Can Teach Us about Usable Design: An Interactive Experience
Virginia A. Lang, David Hirning You Won the Contract/You Granted the Contract...Now What Happens?
Chauncey Wilson EP Town Meeting


2008 Conference Committee

  • 2008 Conference Co-Chairs: Alain Robillard-Bastien, Kate Caldwell
  • Conference Advisor: Carol J. Smith
  • E-Government Chair: Lisa Battle
  • English as a Second Language: Kelly Berg
  • Exhibits: Nicole Tafoya
  • Experienced Practitioner Program: Danielle Cooley, Merryl Gross
  • Experienced Practitioner Topics: Yihsiu Chen
  • Idea Markets: Jerilyn M. MacLaren-Hall, Cristin Witcher
  • Invited Speakers: Dave Metropolis-Rundus, Catriona Campbell
  • Local Liaison: John Whalen
  • Managing User Experience: Rich Gunther, Sandhya Pillalamarri
  • Panels: Eugenie Bertus
  • Peer-Reviewed Papers: Satyam Kantamneni
  • Posters: Kevin Lee
  • Pam Cote
  • Presentations: Bill Albert, Laura Faulkner
  • Publications Advisor: Lyle Kantrovich
  • Publicity: Eva Gaumond
  • Reviewers: Catherine Courage, Rajesh Kalidindi
  • Session Chair: Carol J. Smith
  • Sponsorship: Nicole Tafoya
  • Thirty-minute Presentations: Carmen Broomes, Jean Fox
  • Tutorials: Deborah Hinderer Sova, Hank Henry
  • Usability Fundamentals Panels: Susan Dray
  • Volunteers (On-site): Laurie Bennett, Rich Gunther
  • Web Site - Conference: Amanda Nance, Pete Kinser
  • Workshops: Eugenie Bertus, Lin Min

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