April 2005 Contents
Tips for Negotiating
Negotiation is a part of life, though we may not always think of it in
conscious terms. Although this article is written from the perspective
of a consultant bidding on a project, the concepts of negotiation apply
to many situations where you are trying to reach agreement with someone.
By Carolyn Snyder
The Gates: Changing the User Experience of Central
Central Park in February is arguably the time when the park is at its
emptiest, when it sees the fewest users. The sky is often gray, the temperatures
can drop way below zero, even on a sunny day. This year, February was
the month that Christo and Jean Claude choose to mount their latest environmental
installation, the Gates in Central Park.
By Elizabeth Rosenzweig
to Users Can Damage Your Website
The first time I noticed that people tend to say one thing and do another
in a usability test was back in 2000. We had been building a new company
website and testing it with real users brought us an unexpected problem.
All the users liked the new design a lot more than the old one, but nobody
could work out how to use it.
By David Unsworth
The Problem with Usability
Contemporary user testing methods have proven highly effective at identifying
problems in computer interfaces. By directly measuring users’ ability
to complete key tasks, practitioners can expediently uncover what are
often colossal failures of usability that are otherwise difficult to perceive.
User testing, then, affords a strong empirical basis for recommending
that designers make changes to resolve the problems found.
By John Ferrara
Projects and Events
World Usability Day Press Release
(Chicago, Illinois) – The Usability Professionals’ Association
is organizing the first annual World Usability Day on November 3, 2005.
This worldwide series of events will promote awareness of the benefits
of usability engineering and user-centered design. Activities will be
held at the local level all over the world, and will be occurring on the
same day. This year’s focus is e-government, while also including
commercial applications. The theme is “Making It Easy.”
UPA Gains Momentum Across the UK
Face-to-face meetings are a great way to network with other professionals,
to keep up with professional developments, perhaps even to pick up work.
They are also key to building community in the usability field.
By Louise Ferguson
Internet User Experience 2005
In March, people from all over the American Midwest came to Internet User
Experience 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a “mini conference”
that exceeded all expectations. In what should prove to be an annual event,
the Michigan Chapter of UPA co-sponsored Internet User Experience 2005
with several local professional groups.
By Tim Keirnan
Status Report on the Code of Conduct
Last year in this medium of communication I asked if UPA needed a Code
of Conduct. I stated the number of law suits about corporate corruption
in progress at that time. (Since that time we have had WorldCom and a
few more.) The object of my rambling was your Board of Directors thought
we needed a Code of Conduct for UPA and was in the process of developing
By Richard Bellaver
NYC-UPA Talk: Negotiating Usability
Usability professionals may offer great user-centered advice, but what
to do if project stakeholders oppose it? Negotiate, says Mona Patel, a
Jersey City, N.J.–based Executive Director of the user-centered-design
firm Human Factors International (HFI), headquartered in Iowa. She has
enjoyed consistent success, she says, by using a win-win style of negotiation
to make sure HFI’s recommendations to clients get implemented. On
March 22, 2005, Mona gave the New York City chapter of UPA a fast-paced
lesson on how to do the same.
By Alan Seiden
How UX Plays (and Works) Together: A UXnet
Panel Discussion in NYC
UXnet is a new group “formed to help make connections between the
people and organizations that represent User Experience disciplines, and
to encourage interchange and cooperation.” UPA is one of these organizations;
UPA president Whitney Quesenbery is on the UXnet Executive Council.
On March 15, 2005, UXnet held a cross-organizational event in New York,
sponsored by the Parsons School of Design, the Parsons Design Lab and
the UXnet NYC Leadership Council.
By Joy Zigo
UPA Member Interviews
UPA Member Interview with Alain
Robillard-Bastien, M. Sc.
My team and I have been working quite a lot the last few months to evaluate
various solutions and make some tests with colleagues and friends around
the globe, from Quebec City to Hong-Kong, through all kind of possible
and impossible conditions. (Ever tried web conferencing in a gloomy motel
room with a glorious 28.8 connection? Scary...). We also focused on methodological
issues to make sure to have interesting results from this approach.