Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Conference Review: UPA 2007: Part I

UPA 2007 - an overview ...

"The Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) held its UPA 2007 conference at the Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas, on June 11–15, 2007. This conference has a lot to offer, with a blend of

* the inspirational—keynotes and other invited speakers
* the didactic—tutorials, presentations, and peer-reviewed papers
* the participatory—workshops, idea markets, and special interest groups (SIGs)
* the social—cocktail receptions, networking breaks, lunches, and evening fun

This year’s theme focused on Patterns and how they serve as “blueprints for usability.” Conference co-chair, Carol Smith (shown in Figure 1), articulated the pertinence of this theme. “As usability professionals, our ability to observe users and to discover their patterns of interaction is integral to our work. By defining these patterns, we can then leverage that knowledge to create usable interfaces that are familiar and useful to our users.”

Even on the heels of the 25th anniversary SIGCHI conference, which attracted a large number of North American UX professionals, this year’s UPA conference reached a record high of 741 attendees. This makes an exciting statement about the growth that has taken place in our field and industry’s increasing recognition of usability professionals as strategic business partners in the product and service development lifecycles. Also, a conference focusing on patterns that garners this much interest seems to indicate that we are maturing as practitioners. This renewed interest shows we are seeking to learn from our successes, leverage our mistakes, and develop more efficient means of performing our work, with the hope that patterns will help."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]


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