Zhengjie Liu writes about usability and user-centered design practice in China, Cindy Lu discusses the opportunities for the usability community there, and others describe the situation in Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand. The magazine also includes features on designing an interface for Chinese migrant workers to fill the communication gap with their children at home, and how user expertise can make RFID technology welcome.
Unfortunately the peer-reviewed magazine (disclosure: my business partner Michele Visciola is on the editorial board) is not online. Printed copies are distributed to all UPA members (I am one of them), but the website only features summaries of the articles of the previous issue.
Some time ago, I raised this with editor-in-chief Aaron Marcus, arguing that the magazine should be fully available online, as the PR benefits would be much greater than the possible reduction in membership. I think there are substantial benefits to be gained for all, if the UPA were to modernise its web presence (its website looks dated, doesn’t work equally well on all browsers, and doesn’t allow for reader participation), develop a real strategic presence online, and become a more active part of the online discussion on usability, user experience and experience design. I believe such a strategy might actually raise memberships, and offset any losses from making the members-only magazine publicly available.
As some of my readers will be going to the UPA’s annual conference in Broomfield (Denver), CO from 12 to 16 June (my partner Michele will also be there), I hope this can be one of the topics being discussed there.