On November 14, more than 40,000 people celebrated World Usability Day 2006 worldwide. With over 225 events in 40 countries, thousands of visitors to online presentations and over 10,000 volunteers who helped organize and execute these events; we set a new record.
2006 brought an increase of more than 90% in the number of events over 2005 and an increase in the number of attendees at each event, making the exponential growth significant and very exciting. Additionally, the concept of usability was promoted for the first time as a part of World Usability Day in several countries including Paraguay, Iceland, Egypt, Kuwait, and Japan.
The focus this year was on accessibility and “Making life easy”. Of the more than 40,000 people participating in World Usability Day 2006, the largest percentage were professionals involved in usability, design, engineering, technology, research, product development, government and marketing. However, there was strong outreach to general consumers and youth as well. The range of events addressed issues in healthcare, education, communications, government, and more. From the U.S. Census Bureau to voting machine technology, to accessibility regulations and implementation worldwide, the concept of “Making life easy” was fully integrated into the presentations.
The World Usability Day Charter officially launched as part of World Usability Day 2006. The charter addresses key worldwide sectors affected by usability: Healthcare, Education, Government, Communications, Privacy and Security, and Entertainment. The charter received more than a thousand signatures and is gaining support daily. World Usability Day charter http://www.worldusabilityday.org/charter
Walking your red balloon was an international effort to identify products – including maps, road signs, forms etc – that are usable or not usable. The initiative began in London and Auckland New Zealand and inspired people to walk around their communities with a red balloon and photograph or video the products they’ve identified. Hundreds of photos from this initiative and from local events have been placed on Flick’r photo galleries and can be accessed at www.flickr.com/groups/makinglifeeasy and http://www.flickr.com/groups/worldusabilitygallery2006/pool/
Many videos were also taken and can be found on YouTube at
World Usability Day is about collaboration and it is meant to bring EVERYONE interested and affected by usability together. We value the collaboration of our supporting organizations and look forward to enhancing these relationships in future years. These included: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), SigChi, STC, UserexperienceNetwork (Uxnet).
The impact of World Usability Day is created and driven by the tens of thousands of people that participate and volunteer their time, their skills, their offices and more. It is their commitment and energy that makes this a unique event. With all of our creativity, energy, and collaboration, World Usability Day can make a strong impact on society.