We are all giants
By Whitney Quesenbery
WQ served on the UPA Board of Directors from 2001-2006, and was president in 2004 to 2005. She was given the UPA President's Award in 2007.
At UPA 2007, Thyra Rauch surprised and honored me with the UPA President's Award. What I said - what I meant to say - went something like this:
Sir Isaac Newton said that if he had reached so far, it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants.
There are, of course, so many giants in our field who have led the way, and helped create this profession.
But I believe that usability - user experience - will go much farther because so many of us have given each other a shoulder to stand on. Lifting each other, we become a community of giants, who reach around the world, and into every corner of human activity.
UPA is a microcosm of that community. When I listen to the stories of our work, I am in awe. Together we are all giants.
When my last term on the UPA Board of Directors was over, I stepped down with both a bit of relief and a bit of sadness. It's a lot of work, but it really is also a privilege. If you look past the little day-to-day kerfuffles, you get to see a field evolving and hear the voices of that change. You get to see the ideas that take root and go further than anyone expected, and the people who rise to occasions they hadn't even imagined before. Newbies taking their first steps into the field, and seasoned professionals taking on new challenges.
UPA is an organization. It has the tangible reality of bank accounts and office staff and copies of the magazine. But it's really an association of people. It's an idea about how my professional work connects to yours…and yours…and yours. Whether you do no more than read the magazine four times a year, or take on leading a chapter, a project or the association we're all in this together. It's our shared idea - products that provide an excellent user experience (and the concepts and techniques we use) - that makes it a reality.
I can't wait to see where we go next.
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