Tag Archives: usability

World Usability Day 2011

Whether designing a website, a document, or an application, professional writers have to think about who will use the final product and how they will use it. Is the website easy to navigate? Is an instruction manual readable? Is the interface intuitive? Usability is a key part of the design process, and it is honored each year during World Usability Day.

World Usability Day (WUD) was started in 2005 to ensure that services and products important to life are easy to access and simple to use. This year’s event takes place on November 10 and the theme is Education: Designing for Social Change. Events will focus on how Design Education will help develop products and services that will impact social change.

Programs will examine all products and services used for teaching how usable design impacts the world, whether it’s close at hand (organizations), surrounding us (particular cultures/communities) or from a global view. . . how does something designed in China, Scotland, India or the United States, for example, have impact on other nations around the world? WUD will explore and celebrate Design Education – designing with an intentional outcome of sparking change in how people behave, communicate, and do things in the world; and examining the concept of cultures and how culture impacts usability.

Last year, more than 40,000 people in 44 countries participated in World Usability Day. Here are some ways you can get involved this year:

How do you make things easier through usability and user-centered design?

Communicate for World Usability Day

When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you read, write, or share? Maybe it’s an email, or a newspaper article. Or it might be a text message, a tweet, or a wall post. Tomorrow, on November 11, people across the world will celebrate these and other designs, products, and services that make our lives easier. It’s World Usability Day, and this year’s theme is communication.

People need to connect with each other. We have more means than ever to communicate: phones, Internet, messaging and the printed medium. Technology that facilitates communication between people must be intuitive to use. It should have instructions that are easy to understand, and knobs, dials and buttons that do not require constant tuning. — Article 4, World Usability Day Charter

Advertising, storytelling, style guides—World Usability Day 2010 celebrates all the tools that improve and encourage communication in our daily lives. To get involved, share your experience and find an event near you.

Upcoming Networking Event: Usability & Technical Communication

World Usability Day is November 13 and if you’re interested in learning more about usability and technical communication, there is a great networking opportunity coming up next week.

On Wednesday, November 5, Barb Hernandez, Josie Scott, and Casey Wright of TechSmith Corporation will present the program “Usability Testing: Observation to Analysis”. Guests will be able to experience a live usability test, participate in observation and analysis, and learn what it takes to put together a test and make actionable recommendations.

This is a great networking opportunity for both professionals and students who want to learn more about usability testing and the Society for Technical Communication. Costs are as follows: chapter members: $5.00; students (members and non-members): $5.00; and non-members: $10.00.

The event will be held at TechSmith headquarters in Okemos, Michigan and you can register in advance via email or pay at the door with cash or check. Networking starts at 6:30pm and the presentation will run from 7-8:30pm.

Barb Hernandez serves as the User Experience Manager at TechSmith Corporation and specializes in using User Centered Design techniques to drive the user experience for technology products. She has led the user centered design efforts for cross-functional teams and has been involved in all stages of product development, including investigation and analysis, defining detailed requirements, creating prototypes, running usability tests and conducting usability evaluations. She has worked on the design and usability testing of graphical user interfaces, content Web sites, Web-based applications, and interfaces for hand-held devices including cells phones and PDAs. At TechSmith Barb focuses on helping teams make design decisions grounded in user intelligence.

Josephine Scott serves as Senior User Experience Researcher at TechSmith Corporation. She has provided usability, user experience research, information architecture and user-centered design services for an energy company, a major bookseller, for automotive manufacturers and software producers. She is an active member of the Usability Professionals’ Association, and involved with the Voting and Usability Project. She helped to facilitate a UPA voting workshop in 2004 and a series of other projects for organizations like Design for Democracy and IEEE. She presented a portion of the interactive session, “Recommendations on Recommendations,” with Rolf Molich at CHI 2007. Josephine received her bachelor’s from Michigan State University and a master’s of science in Information Management and Communications from Walsh College.

Casey Wright serves as a User Experience Researcher at TechSmith Corporation, a software design company. She graduated in May 2007 with her M.A. from Michigan State University’s Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing program. Her B.A. is in English, also from MSU. During her graduate study, she worked at MSU’s Usability and Accessibility Center as a usability specialist and graduate research assistant. She has a background in communication and design which has positioned her as a professional technical communicator specializing in human-computer interaction and usability, with specific experience and skills focused on user experience research and design. She is a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association and the Society for Technical Communication.

Call for usability testers

On behalf of a former classmate and colleague:

Local software company looking for people interested in participating in usability testing during the week of week of Aug. 25-29.

Usability tests involve meeting with a researcher one-on-one to give feedback on a software product by trying to use it and answering some questions. Sessions are one-on-one appointments and take about an hour. Participants would be given a $50 Amazon.com gift card as a consideration for their time.

Qualified participants are Mac computers users who have experience with making screen recordings and video editing. Participant must be able to travel to Okemos, MI to participate in the tests.

If you would be interested in participating, please send an e-mail to userexperience@techsmith.com.