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World Usability Day in Germany
Adventure Park in the City Hall

by Matthias Peissner
Matthias.Peissner@iao.fhg.de

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.

The Adventure Park offered an ample spectrum. The exhibitors demonstrated extensive applications of usability, amongst others in the field of automotive, medicine, household appliances and electronics. Visitors actively participated in the "Adventure Park Usability", e.g. by operating a high-tech oven, having a go at a driving simulator or viewing websites and evaluating them using the eye tracker and other methods of usability testing.

The message that user-friendly and usable products are for everyone's benefit hit the spot. Simulated barriers illustrated the difficulties physically handicapped and elderly people have in their everyday life and impressed the visitors: eye complaints were feigned with modified spectacles, the immobility of elderly peoples' hands with gloves. Another attraction was a series of short lectures where interested observers could get information about the suitability and user-friendliness of intelligent fridges, spoken dialogue systems or interactive games.

The importance of usability was emphasized during the evening program by the speeches of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Spath, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO) and Klaus Bauer from the Trumpf Machine Tools GmbH + Co. KG. Usable products are innovation drivers and an advantage in competition that should not be underestimated.

"The World Usability Day in Stuttgart was an enormous success," concluded Matthias Peissner from the German Chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association. The Stuttgart City Hall was an ideal location for the event. Numerous helpers as well as the committee in charge of the organization facilitated an unobstructed course of the event. Partners and sponsors had also contributed to the huge success of the World Usability Day in Stuttgart, with both material and financial aid. Matthias Peissner cordially thanked everybody for the striking premiere.

Is it really as easy as ABC? Driving simulator put to test.
Is it really as easy as ABC? Driving simulator put to test.

Lively discussion during the World Usability Day.
Lively discussion during the World Usability Day.

Public Transport in Stuttgart: Accessability is important Der Stuttgarter.
Public Transport in Stuttgart: Accessability is important Der Stuttgarter.

Interested audience during a series of short lectures.
Interested audience during a series of short lectures.

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