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August 2004 contents


E-bill usability
People are increasingly relying on web channels to check on their billing relationship with companies, but not all billing applications present information that’s easy to navigate and action. Based on recent work on an eBill application, this article discusses the issues and findings to consider when presenting online billing information.
by Daniel Szuc and Gerry Gaffney

User-centered deliverables

As usability professionals, how often do we consider our own audience, the people we need to make our recommendations happen? Does one set of documentation meet the needs of all members of an interdisciplinary team? Probably not. This article looks at the different audiences for documentation and how one company meets their needs.
by Frederick Beecher

Ode to Balloon Help
Can beauty be found in a humble software usability feature? It certainly can, when the feature elegantly supports both novice and experienced users. You may smile, but it can be argued that Balloon Help is not only one of the most ubiquitous implementations of modern technological performance support but it is also one of the most underappreciated.
by Thomas B. Cavanagh

Tools and programming languages for creating interactive prototypes
The first in a series of articles exploring the ways practioners go about making effective prototypes. This article presents just one method - the use of HTML and JavaScript.
by Amanda Nance


UPA News and Projects

Voting and Usability Projects: How You can Participate
It's an election year in the US. If you are interested in the usability of voting systems, there are many ways to get involved: helping collect sample ballots, as a consultant to elections officials, as a poll worker, joining the Verified Voting TechWatch program.
by Josephine Scott

Why would anyone want to be on the UPA Board of Directors?
Are you thinking about running for the UPA Board of Directors? This article looks at some reasons why people join nonprofit boards, and explains what's involved in serving on the UPA board.
by Richard Bellaver, Nominations Committee Chair

UPA Membership Survey

During the spring the UPA surveyed a small random sample of the membership via phone, asking why they joined UPA, what benefits they derive from UPA membership, how we could increase the value of their UPA membership, and other questions. Find out what we learned.
by Paul Sherman, Director of Chapters

UPA Leaders Share Experiences
A recap of the first annual UPA leadership day

UPA Post Conference site
Go directly to the UPA Post Conference site. This year is bigger than last. Go there to remind yourself of what you learned from the speakers, peruse the results of the Idea Markets, and look over the materials we've collected so far.

Usability in the Enterprise
Join this UPA project to identify the independent factors which contribute to the "user-centeredness" of an organization, and measure its impact on business performance.

Events and Calls for Participation

UPA 2005 Call for Participation

If it's not posted by the time you read this, it will be soon. And mark your calendars for June 27 - July 2, 2005 in lovely Montreal.

6th NIST Industry Usability Reporting Project Workshop
The NIST IUSR Project created the Common Industry Format (CIF) for reporting on summative testing. The goal of this workshop is to define and clarify types of usability testing and reporting techniques, as they are used for different goals during the requirements, design and development life cycle, and to identify best practices in communicating test results.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 By W3C
"The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has
released an updated Working Draft for the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines 2.0, Version 2.0. This draft widens the range of technologies covered and simplifies wording. Review comments are welcome and should be sent to:

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