The U P A voice
Feb 2004 Contents

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Growing and Connecting in 2004

Whitney Quesenbery

UPA President

This January twelve members of the UPA board and staff braved snow and cold (and enjoyed a little Irish music with Minneapolis chapter members) to make plans for UPA in the current year. Our first step was to redecorate the room with flip-chart pages filled with ideas; we then sifted through them for activities and initiatives to benefit individual members, strengthen the organization and help us meet our primary goal: promoting usability worldwide.

It's pretty rare to be in a room with that many people dedicated to usability, and I left the meeting with a sense of excitement about what we can accomplish this year. We set three goals for the year and have specific activities planned to meet each one. Starting with two articles in this issue of the Voice, you will hear more about all of the initiatives. We also welcome your ideas and comments …and hope that you will participate in some of the activities.

1. Focus on the value of UPA, and strengthen and deepen the UPA community

  • Showcase new content from UPA projects, publications and chapters
  • Build international ties – starting with French translations of key Web pages
  • Build a stronger community by finding ways to connect chapters to UPA
  • Focus on chapters and new leaders who have been “in the trenches”
  • Deepen connections with other organizations, combining forces to promote usability to the public

2. Increase the size of the association by both retaining existing members and recruiting new ones.

Size does matter, as a sign of the number of people who are part of this profession; it is also important to ensure UPA represents the full spectrum of usability practitioners.

  • We will reach out to students and to people moving into the profession while also continuing to serve experienced professionals.
  • New forums will create more opportunities for sharpening skills and exchanging ideas with other members, while other new tools will help members network more effectively.

3. Create more effective communications, as well as more opportunities for participation and feedback.

Our two publications are key to this goal. We will build and strengthen these communications platforms:

  • The UPA Voice is now on a regular bi-monthly schedule providing timely content about the association and the profession.
  • User Experience magazine will publish three times this year -- March, July and November-- to continue providing a forum for engaging and significant articles dealing with the broad field of usability and the user experience.

Other initiatives include:

  • A salary and membership survey and analysis, which repeats and updates the one from 2000. This report is still a frequent Web site download, and it's time to update this portrait of our members.
  • New members-only content on the Web site to build our “usability knowledge base”
  • Profiles of usability communities around the world, to create snapshots of the industry and to promote the field

We want to hear from you…but don't be surprised if you hear from us first. We are starting a series of member interviews to understand ourselves better and to continue building an organization that is something we all want to be part of.

New Faces and New Roles for 2004

At the January board meeting, the UPA board of directors welcomed two new (and two re-elected) members and elected officers for 2004.

New board members Dave Mitropoulous-Rundus and Paul Sherman take the reins as co-directors of chapters, continuing the work of Åsa Granlund and Scott Kincaid. Scott moves to a new role as director of membership and sponsors.

The officers for 2004 are:

  • President - Whitney Quesenbery
  • Vice President - Richard Bellaver
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Thyra Rauch

The complete list and contact emails for the board of directors is on the Web site's People Pages. (

Along with the board of directors, there are dozens of people who have been leaders in UPA activities. They lead projects, edit our publications and run the conference. Please join us in saying thanks to all of the 2003 UPA volunteers.

Thanks to 3 people

Finally, I would like to individually thank three people for their contributions to UPA:

Elizabeth Rosenzweig completed a three-year term as president and now turns to new challenges as the co-director of outreach. As president, she took on the task of finding a new management company, a project that led to UPA's signing John Kasper and the team at Solutions for Associations as both the executive director and the conference management company. This sort of work often goes unsung but is critical to an organization's success.

Åsa Granlund was the director of chapters from 2001-2003. When she started her term, there were just a handful of chapters. She announced a goal of seven new chapters in the first year and met it. By the end of last year, UPA had 20 chartered chapters worldwide.

Mary Beth Rettger has been a part of UPA, both on and off the board for many years. She was a director from 1997 to2003 and was president of UPA for three years from 1998 to 2000. She has also been one of the champions of conference workshops, among many other roles.

We continue to look forward to seeing them in many future UPA projects and activities.


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