UN Initiative

TITLE:  World Usability Initiative (WUI, pronounced “we”)

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Rosenzweig elizabeth.rosenzweig@gmail.com

Steering Committee (in formation): Elizabeth Churchill, Ben Shneiderman, Constantine Stephanidis

The world is changing rapidly, with technology playing a key role in expanding opportunities. The HCI and UX communities have already had profound influence on successful technologies such as mobile devices, but now we seek to shape the social, cultural, economic, and environmental futures by the work we do.

The HCI/UX community has since their beginnings had a huge impact in shaping widely used technologies. Now is the time to link this successful community more directly to global initiatives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. To that end, we propose combining the work of our professional organizations (i.e. SIGCHI, HCII, and World Usability Day) to create a focused worldwide organization to lead researchers, developers and companies to create technology that is user and value centered.  This, the World Usability Initiative (WUI), will be combined with the United Nations work, specifically in regard to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

WUI will provide researchers and practitioners the ability to not only shape and create how people interact with technology, but also influence the development of technologies that are intentionally designed to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Such a goal aligns with the SIGCHI Mission Statement: “ACM SIGCHI is the leading international community of professionals interested in research, education and the practical application of human-computer interaction. We enable our members to create and shape how people interact with technology and understand how technologies have an impact in people’s lives.”  Therefore, it follows that SIGCHI is the proper association to take the lead on this initiative.

We understand that to focus our work on the greater good, we need a strategy that will raise awareness of and increase the level of HCI-UX impact on world technology, products and services.  Our detailed goals and tactics are listed below.

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Bring together the HCI/UX professional organizations into a single focused entity to work with the United Nations, specifically around the human factors issues within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to work on projects that aim to solve the world’s biggest problems.  WUI would be an initiative that is designed to be self-sustaining.  Funding for infrastructure and related projects would come by local organizers getting local funding, a model that has been working for World Usability Day since 2005.

In order to create a successful strategy, we propose these tactical goals:

TACTICAL GOAL 1:

Connect the HCI-UX field to the United Nations by establishing World Usability Day as an internationally observed day, which is listed on the United Nations calendar. To this end, a design challenge will be launched to coincide with World Usability Day 2020 which takes place in November.

TACTICAL GOAL 2:

Create projects within developed and developing countries that connect with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

TACTICAL GOAL 3:

Create an UN-based World Usability Organization (WUO) that will focus on ensuring technology, products and services will be made accessible and usable for everyone.

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