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UPA conference

I made it to Denver this morning (6th airport in the last 5 days) and am looking forward to the UPA conference.

First, I will be learning more about World Usability Day 2006 - November 14th - check out the new website for it. For those of you in northwest Ohio - start thinking about what you want to do for World Usability Day this year. Last year I was in San Francisco - this year I will be home and looking for help to organize something locally.

Second, I will get to hang out with more IBMers - lunch on Wednesday if nothing else. Often the easiest way to find out what my colleagues are doing is to spot them "on the outside". IBM is too big.

Of course, I will also be attending a few days of the conference. My two must-sees: interaction design / agile and the panel on the state of web site usability (I was on a MIUPA / local version of this panel a few years ago). Other sessions: too hard to decide.

Finally, look for me up on stage. I get 15 seconds of "fame" this time, which will be related to something I am very proud of: serving my profession.

Some Cell Phone Owners Spurn Gadgetry

The article by David Twiddy, AP Business Writer, about cell phone simplicity is getting good distribution (Google search on "Some Cell Phone Owners Spurn Gadgetry").

I did not notice the article until I was reading my Sunday morning paper. The bagels taste better when you are reading things like:

If you bring somebody in and they have problems, it's not because they're dumb, but we were dumb with the design.
We believe there's a strong correlation between our standard of success and how usable the products are.

I am sure most of you reading this found the article long before I waited a week for my local paper to publish it. WebWord covered this article already and there are a few more blog entries about the article and usability.

Information experience Labs

Just noticed a few "information experience laboratories" in academia:

University of Missouri-Columbia > College of Education > The School of Information Science and Learning Technologies
The mission of the IE Lab is to improve the users’ information experience in web-based information systems through research methodologies that blend traditional usability evaluation with human information behavior research.
University of Texas > School of Information
The Information eXperience Lab is a research facility designed to study human interaction with recorded and encoded information across a wide range of formats. The lab will enable School of Information researchers to make better assessments, predictions, and designs for the information experiences of the future.

Are there other labs using this label?

It is an interesting mix of "information *" (information architecture, information science, ...) and "* experience *" (user experience, experience design, ...). A few years ago I proposed the term as a way to describe an industry (see comments by Dirk), but the idea did not stick.

I have not seen the term used much outside academia either. A quick Googling yields a few things of note:

Any other important uses of the term "information experience" out there? I am sure there are.

WBGU PBS premieres 'Return On Customer'

Catching up on email on a Saturday morning, I see I missed this from a month ago:

How do companies strike the right balance between maximizing current-period profits and building long-term enterprise value? Join best-selling authors and world-renowned consultants Don Peppers and Dr. Martha Rogers on "Return on Customer" and find out how. This one-hour business primer, based on their new book of the same name, premieres tonight, March 2, at 8 p.m. The program will be repeated at 11 p.m. tonight; 11:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5; 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 10, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 12.

This program illustrates how to grow the value of your business enterprise and your scarcest resource--your customer. "Return on Customer" (ROC) is a metric designed to gauge the rate at which a business does, in fact, create enterprise value from any customer or group of customers.

Dr. Rogers, a former BGSU professor, will be in the WBGU-PBS studio Thursday evening for the premiere.

I hope I can catch it on re-runs. Martha is a local.

I could not find any of details online about the show, but here is a start:

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My Favorite April Fool's Joke

Waterfall 2006 conference:

  • User Interaction: It Was Hard to Build, It Should Be Hard to Use
  • User Stories and Other Lies Users Tell Us
  • User Feedback: Eliminating the Main Cause of Project Overruns

Podcast about UXnet

My first participation in a podcast, about UXnet, with Tim and Tom of Design Critique.

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Face-ism

I was hunting for sites about "innovation" this weekend and stumbled across BusinessWeek's Innovation section. Quite literally, out of the corner of my eye, a familiar face registered in my brain...

Jesse James Garrett on Business Innovation

Jesse James Garrett. It was a nice surprise to see him writing there. After "sticking the pointer up his nose" and clicking, I enjoyed reading about ugly visual design and poor usability being worth $580 million.

Seeing Jesse's photo there, cropped to focus on his face, and then seeing his missing-top-of-the-head-and-open-collar photo reminded me of something I read over the summer about "face-ism".

My local paper reported that Bigger heads lead to better perceptions, research finds. The higher percentage of pixels devoted to the face, the more highly we think about the person. Face-ism is one of those Universal Principles of Design. Visual Framing: Study of Face-ism from the websites of the 108th US Congress (PDF, 300K, Master's thesis, 2003) appears to be the first face-ism study applied to a web site.

Anyway, based on the research, I subconsciously think more highly of Jesse from his BusinessWeek photo than from his Adaptive Path photo. Go figure!

World Usability Day is over

World Usability Day was a big success! The web site hiccupped only a little as we maxed out at about 400 simultaneously visitors (rough count). Parts of the site were dynamic (db-intensive) and we were ready to take those features down if needed to keep the whole site running, but that never had to be done.

Press coverage was more than I expected and now we wait for the stories from each event to roll in. [broken links removed 2006-Sep-16]

I now get to relax and enjoy DUX.

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The last beer of a 36 hour day

World Usability Day has been keeping me busy. I am learning a lot about CivicSpace (see the case study).

The map is our "cool" feature but it has been a challenge getting it to work on most browsers. We are a vicitm of our own success - with so many events, the map is becoming slow.

I will be flying out to DUX in San Francisco just as the New Zealanders kick off the big day. My final "job" will be to help close World Usability Day at the DUX reception, even if it means having to drink the last beer. A dirty job, someone has to do it!

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Tasty experiences

Welcome, Blue Flavor, four guys who list the experience economy as something they believe in. I wonder what these two guys think of this?

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