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SIGCHI Chapters and World Usability Day

Make a difference. Get involved in the upcoming World Usability Day, which is November 14, 2006.

World Usability Day 2005, sponsored by the Usability Professionals Association (UPA, www.upassoc.org), saw more than 115 events in 35 countries around the world. Universities and community colleges, usability labs, companies large and small, and local chapters of UPA, STC, and other organizations participated to raise awareness of usability issues and solutions. The organizers of World Usability Day 2006, scheduled for November 14, seek even wider participation from individuals, companies, and organizations like SIGCHI.

World Usability Day is not about preaching to the choir: we already know the benefits of making products usable. But too many consumers quietly accept unusable products as the norm, as something about which they can do nothing. But they can do something, and World Usability Day allows us to share our experiences, tools and techniques, and hopes and promises, with people who might not know that usability is their right.

“World Usability Day was established to focus people on the problems and subsequent solutions related to usability. We want to raise people’s awareness of how much these problems impact all of us,” says Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Director of World Usability Day. “The challenge of World Usability Day is not small; it is to change the way the world is developing and using technology. It is not just for the developers, designers, product managers and the like, but for the everyday person, who has to use technology or who is not able to use technology because it is too hard to use, too expensive, or because the technology is not accessible.”

While World Usability Day is envisioned as a global event, it is essentially a series of many local events that engage local audiences, with local publicity, and with local organization. ACM SIGCHI encourages its members and chapters to volunteer their time to make World Usability Day 2006 a success, worldwide. If you are a SIGCHI chapter leader, why not plan a local World Usability Day event for your locale? Even better, why not partner with other related organizations in your area to broaden your event’s appeal and increase participation? Many locales have active chapters of SIGCHI, UPA, STC, or HFES. If you have a UXnet Local Ambassador in your area, work with the LA to coordinate efforts (http://uxnet.org/locales.html). Consider the synergy that can result from a combined event. You can make a difference.

For more information about World Usability Day 2006, see www.worldusabilityday.org and Elizabeth Rosemzweig’s impassioned Challenge for Everyone, www.upassoc.org/upa_publications/jus/2006_august/rosenzweig_wud_challenge.pdf.

For ideas on the kind of events you can organize, see the list of last year’s events at www.upassoc.org/worldusabilityday/2005events.html.

If you need help identifying or contacting other related organizations in your area, contact VP for Chapters Apala Lahiri Chavan

Please join SIGCHI in supporting World Usability Day 2006.

 

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