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December 2009 Contents

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UPA 2009



Elizabeth Rosenzweig

Elizabeth Rosenzweig is the Founding Director of World Usability Day.

World Usability Day (WUD) 2009, "Designing for a Sustainable World", was a huge success with 146 events in a record 44 countries. The Usability Professionals' Association, primary sponsor of WUD, is proud of the worldwide growth and participation of tens of thousands of people for the fifth annual World Usability Day.

World map showing locations that celebrated World Usability Day 2009

The theme "Designing for A Sustainable World" inspired many event organizers around the world. Events were held in cities such as Dallas, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Raanan Israel; Lahore, Pakistan; Beunos Aires, Argentina; five locations in Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Milano, Italy. And many more.

First time events were held in Minsk, Russia; Talinn, Estonia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Taipei, and Taiwan.

An online conference broadcast from Copenhagen, Denmark focused on Sustainable Design, in the environment, technology, and even government policies for drug users.

Some event highlights include:


WUD Kickoff took place at a hotel in the busy city of Shanghai. The Founding Director of WUD, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, was on hand to kickoff the worldwide day of events. In addition, UPA President, Silvia Zimmermann, UPA Vice President, Dan Szuc, and UPA Past President Whitney Quesenbery, were also present. The evening focused on an exciting student design competition that brought together over 100 people to focus on user centered design.

UPA officers gathered to kick off WUD in Shanghai
Kickoff in Shanghai

Students at Shanghai kickoff
Students at Shanghai kickoff


World Usability Day Seminar: A low-carbon lifestyle through ICT

The Centre for Sustainable Communications presented current research on how different examples of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to save the environment and combat climate change. A list of all Swedish events at World Usability Day is available on WUD's web site.

Other presentations included Improving carbon literacy, whose premise is that people are asked to reduce CO2 emissions but find it hard to understand what carbon consumption really means. For example, it is much worse to take a long distance flight than to consume beef for one year. The seminar presented different techniques and applications used to help making carbon dioxide information usable and understandable.


2009 marked the first year World Usability Day was observed in UAE. The event was the cornerstone of a wide discussion on spreading awareness of a Usable World in the Middle East region in general and in the UAE in particular.


This event had an interesting focus on Sustainability, which looked to change the conversation to " what is sustainability and design?" This event had presentations that looked at sustainability as an environmental problem and a public awareness issue.


This event featured a conference call with the UPA Team at the User Friendly Conference in Shanghai.


A great panel was organized to highlight areas of sustainable design in New York City (NYC). A great example of this is the Highline Park. The public park, which opened in June 2009, is built on a restored section of elevated railroad tracks in NYC's Meatpacking District. In addition to injecting a dose of nature in an urban area, the park promotes reuse and provides communal space. While the land under the tracks is owned by over twenty separate property owners and the NYC government, Friends of the High Line won them over by showing how the return on investment could be higher than development costs.

Other panels included entrepreneurs from Pratt's Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, featuring sustainable businesses such as consulting (Cerca), furniture development (Domestic Aesthetic), and solar/wind energy collectors (SMIT). Learn more about Pratt's Design Incubator at http://CSDS.pratt.edu.


The UPA Chapter here held a daylong event that included a trade show and presentations that focused on sustainability as it related to travel and transportation. It was a full day and a webcast has been posted for those who want to learn more about the activities. Please go to http://drop.io/ixyupd61209.


The South Station train station accommodated this public event. The team had exhibits in the main hall showing examples of how everyday usability affected their lives. Activities were organized around Food, Waste Management, Healthcare, Transportation and Accessibility caught the attention of approximately 1000 people.

UPA Boston at South Station
UPA Boston at South Station

Exhibits at Boston’s South Station on World Usability Day
Exhibits at Boston's South Station on World Usability Day

The UPA is proud to see the worldwide growth and participation of thousands of people for the fifth annual World Usability Day. We look forward to WUD 2010 with the theme of Communication.


Usability Professionals' Association
promoting usability concepts and techniques worldwide
Phone + 1.630.980.4997         office@upassoc.org

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