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UPA 2008

April 2008 Contents

Personas and Diversity

As a company recognized by a number of publications and organizations for its ongoing commitment to a diverse workforce, Wachovia promotes diversity as a business imperative critical to the company's success. On Wachovia's web properties, the company tries to appeal to diverse segments through images of people of different races, ethnicities, and ages, reflecting the company's customer base. However, a recent usability test revealed that working off such demographics alone is not enough to translate diversity, and that building personas is the key to creating, not just representation, but relevancy.

By Yun Zhou and Cliff Anderson

Thumbnail: Sharon Laskowski

The usability of voting systems is something almost all usability practitioners can get excited about. It's interesting, it's important, it's in the news, it's challenging.

Sharon Laskowski has been lucky to be in on this effort from the very beginning. Her team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) was tasked with doing major research and coming up with standards for these systems through the Help America Vote Act, passed by the US Congress in 2002.

By Cliff Anderson

Competition on World Usability Day 2007: Are you the world's best expert reviewer?

A world wide expert review competition sponsored by Intuit and Infosys Technologies Ltd. was hosted by the Usability Professionals' Association, Bangalore on World Usability Day, 2007. The purpose of this competition was to expose all to a simple, yet powerful usability technique: heuristic evaluation. It also served to gather data to define heuristic expertise standards at a global level. This is critical as this popular and valuable technique is used by 76% of the usability community (UPA Survey, 2005) and it shows a cost-to-benefit-ratio of 1:48 (Nielsen, 1994). By defining these standards we can ensure that evaluations are of a certain standard.

By Shazeeye Kirmani, Shanmugam Rajasekaran, Deepa Bachu, Muthukumar and Amit Pande

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