World Usability Day in Switzerland
Keynote Speech on e-Government and Signaletics event
by Silvia Zimmermann
President Swiss UPA
Board Member Swiss CHI
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
Corresponding to the main theme of the World Usability Day 2005, Dr.
Hanna Muralt Muller from the Swiss Federal Chancellery opened the official
WUD celebration activities in Bern by providing the audience with valuable
insights into the success stories and challenges experienced while providing
the Swiss people with a new, electronic e-Government service portal, and
while creating a nationwide style guide for accessibility and usability,
which will be implemented during 2006.
The keynote speech was followed by a marvellous "Apéro"
and a signaletics event. Distinguished signaletics expert Professor Theo
Ballmer who is responsible for many pedestrian guidance systems around
the world, gave an exciting introduction to the field of signaletics and
a guided tour through the city of Bern. The attending usability experts
were highly interested in the tricky challenges Mr. Ballmer's team had
to overcome during the development and implementation phases of the new
pedestrian guidance system.
The activities in Bern were concluded by a usability party in the famous
Kornhauskeller lounge, where professionals coming from the various language
regions of Switzerland discussed their experience and passions in the
field of usability.
The WUD events in Switzerland were a complete success story, not only
because of the public attention we were able to attract, but also because
the local Swiss CHI and the Swiss UPA celebrated the day together. For
the first time since the Swiss UPA was founded in 2003, many members of
both groups attended the same festivities. The events therefore not only
provided an interesting program but also an excellent opportunity for
networking and exchanging experiences among professionals and academics.
And this was one of the ambitions of the WUD 2005 organization committee.
Now that the ice is broken and we all know each other a lot better, we
are very much looking forward to the WUD 2006 where more public information
events are scheduled to be held.