14 June 2007

Daily reporting from the UPA annual conference (3)

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Patterns
Yesterday the regular annual conference of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) started.

Jakob Biesterfeldt (User Interface Design, Germany) and Robert Gillham (Amberlight, UK) continue their reporting from Austin, Texas:

‘The conference started off with keynote speaker Bill Buxton from Microsoft Research. Trying to pinpoint the object of design, Bill stated that “we are deluding ourselves if we think that what we design are the things we sell. Instead, we must design the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender and the value and impact that they have.” When we design interactive products, we should not start with screenshots of any kind, but rather sketch out storyboards that illustrate the user experience. We should put great emphasis on the transition between the states that you would typically see on screenshots. Arrows as used in page flow diagrams should be much more elaborate, indicating the dynamics of transitions over time.

In the afternoon, Susan Dray and David Siegel reported from their experiences in intercultural usability studies and gave away some tips for overcoming cross-cultural challenges, something many American participants still seem to find scary – so our International Usability Partners network definitely does make sense.

The UPA is by the way planning to bring its annual conference to Europe within the next two or three years.’

Amberlight (UK) and User Interface Design (UID) are founding members of the International Usability Partners (IUP). The IUP are a network of independent usability companies who provide usability services worldwide, based on a common understanding of best-of-class quality and methodology.

On Thursday Jakob and Robert will present the paper “Guidelines for Successful Recruiting in International Usability Studies” exchanging experiences from numerous usability studies across borders, cultures and languages. Their ideas on successful recruiting in international usability studies are available here.

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