2010 Theme – Communication

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The opposite of usable is useless

World Usability Day Announces Global Partners In Japan, Malaysia, Scotland & the United States

Chicago, IL, November 8, 2010: World Usability Day (WUD), an initiative of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), today announced its six global partner events and one new global sponsor. This year WUD will be kicked off by a global partner event in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday, November 11. Other global partner events are being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Edinburgh, Scotland; Independence, Ohio, and Southlake, Texas. And, the new global sponsor is Bloomberg News Service. Bloomberg is also sponsoring a reception in New York City featuring John Hockenberry, Honorary Chair of WUD.

“This is our first year featuring global partner events,” said Elizabeth Rosenzweig, founder and president of WUD. “We are very excited about this year’s events and are so grateful to global partners like Bloomberg for making many of these events possible.”

WUD has been held on the second Thursday in November for the past six years. Each year events are organized in more than 44 countries around the world to raise the public’s awareness, and to train professionals in the tools and issues central to good usability research, development and practice.

In recognition of this year’s theme, Communication, all global partners will feature communication as the primary focus of their events.

  • Japanese participants will focus on products and services for communication, including cellular phones, groupware, blogs, and office facilities.
  • The MIMOS Test Lab organizing committee in Kuala Lumpur put together an amazing program “Bridging Communication Gaps via Usability”. In this attention age, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Flickr, and MySpace have been primarily popular for connecting people. They use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues, for the co-creation of value.

As such, social media enables billions of people to participate in online social activities, either as a reader, contributor, collaborator or leader. This raises several issues in designing for social media. First, what motivates technology-mediated social participation? Second, how to search for information in social media? Third, how to measure the usability of social media?

Global partner, the MIMOS Test Lab, will explore these issues, including understanding the context of use theory that can help researchers, designers and managers to design and write better for social networks.

Event website broadcast: http://www.mimos.my/technology-for-industries/centre-of-excellence/usability-lab/

· WUD2010 at global partner User Vision in Edinburgh, Scotland will also explore the fascinating usability issues associated with social networking sites, collaboration tools and communication devices. The various activities will include interactive demonstrations, live usability and accessibility tests and workshops. Participants will be among the first to try out the revolutionary interactive Smart Table and road test the latest eye tracking glasses from Tobii.

· Global partner, the Northeast Ohio Usability Professionals’ Association (NEOUPA) will provide unique opportunities for WUD2010 participants, which include a combination of exciting speakers, workshop material, panel discussion and keynotes focusing on the WUD2010 theme, Communication. NEOUPA’s WUD2010 will address the impact of usability across numerous industries and industry providers. Participation includes speakers from Lands End, Medical Mutual of Ohio, American Greetings, ExactTarget, IBM, and more.

· And finally, Sabre, Aquent and other organizations will join global partner DFW-UPA, IXDA, Dallas, TX at their WUD2010 event on the campus of Sabre in Southlake, TX. The DFW-UPA event celebrates Communication Miscues, Mishaps, and Misunderstandings. This cross-organization event anticipates over 600 participants in UX, designers, developers, analysts, and marketers. The event will be broadcast to the UX community through social media, the DFW-UPA website, broadcast emails and Sabre emails.

Event website: www.dfw-upa.org

The UPA was established in 1991 and continues to be the organization of choice for usability professionals worldwide. The UPA holds a yearly international conference (May 2010, Munich), publishes new findings through both the Journal of Usability Studies (JUS) and through User Experience Magazine, and has 50 chapters around the world.

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