UPA Publications

User Experience Magazine: Volume 6, Issue 1, 2007

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Volume 6, Issue 1, 2007

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Feature Articles: Usability Around the World: World Usability Day 2006



Press Release

40 countries and 40,000 people participate in World Usability Day (February 15, 2007)


Feature Articles: Usability Around the World: World Usability Day 2006

A World Usability Day Case Study: Conducting Multinational Expert Reviews
By Simon Herd, Maura Vij and Tjeerd de Boer
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As products and services become increasingly global, brands must reflect cultural differences across many diverse markets. Effective usability services across target countries provide the means for brands to embody the local customer experience and to take this into consideration when developing an interface intended to work globally.
On World Usability Day 2006, the User Experience Alliance ran an ‘Expert Review around the World’ to raise awareness of usability as a global matter. In this article, we discuss the process and benefits of this review and how global usability services can deliver real business benefits and make a significant impact for local users.

World Usability Day 2006: Forty Thousand People Hear How to Make Life Easier
By Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Caryn Saitz
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World Usability Day 2007 was a bigger success than we dreamed: on that day, we had 40,000 people all around the world thinking about usability. In addition, the global media reported on many of the 225 events and activities held all around the globe. These events varied from exhibits and activities in public venues such as museums and malls, to placing red balloons on city streets.


Design Competitions Succeed in Spreading the Usability Message
By Joi L. Roberts
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Technology has become a way of life, but sometimes at the cost of ease of use. We come across so many products and systems at offices, banks, restaurants, theaters, and even in our homes. Yet may people wonder "Why doesn't this work right? What am I supposed to do with this now?“

World Usability Day was for everyone who has ever asked these questions.On this day, participants around the world learned howthe User Experience industry is "Making Life Easy" in sectors from healthcare to food to home appliances to communication to government.

In places likeAtlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, North Carolina’s Research Triangle area and Hyderabad, India, students and industry professionals sought to make a tangible difference. The World Usability Day planning committees in each of these locales organized design competitions to identify existing systems that are poorly designed or to design new systems that maximize usability. Focus areas includedentertainment, finance, tourism, relationships, communications, and work. Such design competitions offer submitters exposure to their peers and experts in the industry.


Creating a Global Team and a Global Infrastructure
By Daniela Marghitu and Raymond Van der Zalm
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Building on the success of last year’s World Usability Day global event and its central Web site, an international interdisciplinary volunteer team was formed early in the year, on a small budget, to start formulating the strategy for the World Usability Day Web site 2006. With the understanding that in 2006 the Web site was the key platform for communicating internationally, the aims of this team site were to develop a universally usable centralized tool clearly reflecting World Usability Day—educating people about usability, accessibility, and new Web-based technologies for global communication; and for sharing professional and every day usability experiences. The site needed to be highly accessible and, at the same time, vibrant, professional, and engaging for all users.

English was the official language used for communicating among the World Usability Day Web team members, event organizers, and users; however, we also needed to address multiple languages and times of day.  Interdisciplinary teams are widely considered to be central to the success of complex professional projects, but building and holding together such a team is never easy.

The World Usability Day 2006 Web site team included experts from the usability and accessibility, computer engineering, information technology, education, and marketing fields. Add to this diversity several major locations (Sydney, Australia; Auburn, Alabama; and Bellingham, Washington, USA) and we had another level of difficulty. The challenges and issues that arise when people work together from diverse parts of the world are common to many global teams, and the lessons learned in the process of creating the World Usability Day global team and platform can be carried through to other projects.  



One Day Around the World: Good Signs and Future Challenges
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Editor's Note by Aaron Marcus, Editor in Chief and Elixabeth Rosenzweig, Guest Editor


A Recipe for Usability
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The View from Here by Rahel Bailie

Wii Usability Woos Non-Gamers
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What’s News by Tema Frank

Book Review: It’s Show Time!
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Reviewed by Aaron Marcus

Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
by Stephen Few
O’Reilly Press, 2006

Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten
by Stephen Few
Analytics Press, 2004

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