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December 2005 Contents

Special Issue: World Usability Day 2005

World Usability Day in Boston
Boston's little-known secret is that regardless of how renowned its citizens are for their literacy and tech savvy, we find consumer electronics just as hard to use as everyone else. The World Usability Day planning committee knew that as we raised awareness of usability and its related fields we had to communicate a secondary message: "If it's hard to use, it's not your fault."

By Judy Blostein, Chauncey Wilson, Susan Rice, Susie Robson, and Chris Hass

World Usability Day in Brazil
Curitiba, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte were the three cities in Brazil that had events for World Usability Day (WUD) on November 3, 2005. These events marked the formation of the UPA Brazilian chapter. The city of Curitiba participated in WUD by bringing Larry Constantine, IDSA, member of the faculty of the University of Madeira, Portugal.

By Adriana Holtz Betiol

World Usability Day in Finland
In Oulu, Finland, we organized a seminar, "Human technology: integrating usability into software and product development." Oulu is a booming technology city in Finland where Nokia and other IT companies employ thousands of people. To attract participants, we invited two international guest speakers: Erik Frøkjær and Kasper Hornbæk from Copenhagen University. In addition, we had national presenters from research organizations and companies.

By Timo Jokela

World Usability Day in Germany
Enthusing people for usability - this was the main target of the "Adventure Park Usability," Stuttgart's contribution to the World Usability Day 2005. The concept added up, the stream of visitors was enormous. Laymen, experts and media showed great interest in the various lectures and exhibits of the Stuttgart event.

By Matthias Peissner

World Usability Day in Hong Kong
In support of World Usability Day and with the kind support of Global Hand, UPA Hong Kong (HK) conducted a Usability Walkthrough of some strategically critical pages on www.globalhand.org. Matthew Gow, Project Manager of the Development Team at Global Hand, was kind enough to share his perspective: "The closer you are to a product the harder usability becomes. World Usability Day provided the team with a refreshing perspective on a version of www.globalhand.org that is being constructed for release in December 2005."

By Daniel Szuc and Matthew Gow

World Usability Day in Minnesota
What to do? What to do? So many great ideas being generated by other chapters and the organizing committee! So many suggestions to choose from - where do we start? Such an overwhelming assignment: create a mind-blowing event for the first-ever World Usability Day that no one would forget! That was how I felt about it, anyway. Choosing what to do was definitely our most difficult challenge, albeit one I was happy to wrestle with. In the end, we chose two events: a booth at a marketing conference to reach out to a new audience and a dinner with a presentation in order to celebrate with fellow usability professionals.

By Libby Cecchi

World Usability Day in North Carolina
We had nearly 50 people attend World Usability Day here in the Triangle, a great turn-out for the area. For our event, we planned an interactionary design competition between rivals University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University as well as a review of items that had been ticketed as usability violations throughout the week.

By Rick Cecil

World Usability Day in Philadelphia
How will we meet the usability needs of an aging population? How do gender differences impact design perspectives? How do disabilities and functional limitations affect technology use? How do we start preparing ourselves for a design approach that will address these issues? These questions were among the many addressed at World Usability Day in Philadelphia on November 3.

By Casey Malcolm, Andrew Rubin, and Debra Levin

World Usability Day in Scotland
The Scottish chapter of the UPA (SUPA) is one of the newest in the worldwide network, having formed only about a year ago. We have had enthusiastic support from a core group of UPA members and non members attending our monthly meetings but recognised the need to get the word out to a wider audience and show them what good usability can offer. World Usability Day provided the perfect opportunity.

By Chris Rourke

World Usability Day in Switzerland
The Swiss UPA organized two local WUD events in Switzerland, one in Bern (capital of Switzerland) and one in Lugano (Italian speaking part). Besides the two events, the Swiss WUD activities were accompanied by broad media coverage, including a special usability focus in a well established Swiss computer journal, featuring articles on the history of web design and usability, and the importance of user requirement analysis and accessibility.

By Silvia Zimmermann

World Usability Day in the United Kindom
Mouse traps, kettles and baby seats were just some of the products that were put into the spotlight at an open lecture on usability in Loughborough on Thursday 3 November to mark World Usability Day. The day was designed to show everyone how they can improve the usability of products to create a better user experience.

By Amanda Bellamy

World Usability Day in Washington, D.C.
In honor of World Usability Day (November 3, 2005), the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) presented a panel discussion entitled "e-Gov Success Stories from the Nationís Capital." The focus of discussion was the progress to improve usability of products and services within the U.S. federal government.

By David Dick and Lisa Battle

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