World Usability Day: what’s your take?

Ok, this is apparently a lazy post since it won’t contain much information. Also, as of lately, it seems like I’m just asking you what you think instead of writing a more detailed post, so bear with me; I’ll write more soon where you don’t have to answer all the time! πŸ™‚

Anyway, here goes:

Without expressing my opinions on it, what’s your take on the World Usability Day?


  • Deborah says:

    I'm leaving now to drive 1 1/2 hours to my very first World Usability Day conference. Workshops are planned for the morning; the afternoon has a series of presentations.

    I'm looking forward to the interaction with usability-focused professionals, as well as meeting with other students to discuss usability and accessibility.

  • Would commenting on some usability concerns I have about the WUD site count?

    I don't know. This is the first I've heard of it. Shouldn't this have been advertised a little more in advance, or was I sleeping?

    Most efforts to bring awareness to the masses about usability and accessibility are generally well intentioned though, so I can't really knock it. Not sure how well guided it is, or has been. I shall poke about on their site a little and see if I can find out.

  • Never heard of it and the website isn't very clear at communicating what it is about, but when one of the first sentences I spot on the frontpage is "Walk your red balloon", I can't help but lol, rofl, lmao and think that's just plain silly. πŸ˜‰

    I don't these such world celebration days very seriously, but it's always a nice way to focus events and advertising more easily. It definitely can't do any harm.

    However, as Frances mentioned, could have used a bit more advertising.

  • Like others have said, I doubt it can do any harm – or at least hope it can't, but I'd not heard of it either and the site does a terrible job of promoting the event. I really struggled to get a handle on what it was all about and where it was taking place.

    I don't go big on these world day events, except for Christmas, which I love πŸ˜€

  • Just a quick question: What type of advertising would you expect to have seen? Since I am tenuously connected to <acronym title="Usability Professionals' Association">UPA</acronym>, I can collect some of this feedback and pass it on.

    This is only the second year. I suspect, since it is volunteer-driven, that many people will know about it some places and others not so much. Apparently New Jersey is the place to be since its governor proclaimed Nov. 14th World Usability Day in the state.

  • @Matthew – I may aswell throw my oar in.

    With initiatives like this I generally expect to see them on the blogs I subscribe to (I follow many people in the accessibility/usability/standards field) or on the mailing lists I subscribe to (<acronym title="Web Accessibility Initiative">WAI</acronym>, <acronym title="Guild of Accessible Web Designers">GAWDS</acronym>, <acronym title="Web Standards Group">WSG</acronym> etc.). You just expect to hear about large initiatives "on the grapevine", so to speak. I wasn't expecting a personalised memo, but just to have come across it during my usual web-wanderings! πŸ™‚

    Having said that – did any of the events make it to upcoming? I rely on that fairly heavily these days for tracking and attending <acronym title="In Real Life">IRL</acronym> events, as do a large portion of the "regulars" I see and meet at UK geeky web events. Getting things listed on sites like this, either by the organisers or attendees, certainly helps get the word out.

  • Frances,

    I don't think the UPA honchos "get" blogs yet. Actually, I think they have come a long way since I started working with them in 2001. But you are right, I would have expected to see some more chatter as well. For the record, my question wasn't at all defensive (text-based communication can be misleading as we all know), I just wanted to get some feedback from someone not named Matthew Oliphant.

    I will pass on the feedback. And apologies to Robert for hijacking his post. πŸ˜‰

  • @Matthew – Ditto. I hope I didn't come over as offensive either! I'm interested in social networks and how stuff "gets out there", so that's why I thought I'd reply. πŸ˜€ (I didn't think you were being defensive, for the record, perhaps I should have dropped you an email.)

    @Robert – Apologies, too.

  • I just heard about it yesterday, and by accident. I promoted it on my site, because as mentioned earlier it can't hurt. And this day in viral marketing, who knows if enough people blog and comment about it, maybe next year will be better.

    I'm in NYC and I didn't even hear about NJ making it official. Nor have I seen any red balloons so far.

    But I guess the best way to promote this is to get some key players in the industry to write about it.

  • Olly says:

    Never heard of it, which probably says enough…

  • Pat says:

    I agree with Olly.. and the website isn't very clear either.. and I'm too lazy to read on what it's about.

    Also, as of lately, it seems like I’m just asking you what you think instead of writing a more detailed post

    I think that's great.. keep asking! πŸ™‚

    Is it me, or is this page's normal fonts (side column) very bold?

  • Kalle Wibeck says:

    I personally think it's a great initiative as long as it's noticed by the masses. Since WUD is a volunteer-based way to promote such a good thing as usability, what could possibly be all wrong with it !?

    As for the thoughts about WUD beeing badly promoted through the blogosphere, a quick technorati search lists at least 497 blogpost linking to the site….

    The Usability grouping at my work obviously noticed this a long time ago and arranged a free half day seminar for our clients and co-workers this afternoon. It was widely appreciated and also a nice way to gather our clients to a less sales-driven activity…

  • Jens Meiert says:

    Then I'm lazy, too: WUD is great. (Yah, it is.)


  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks for your opinions! I knew about this on forehand, but then it slipped my mind and it wasn't till the actual day itself that a friend reminded me about it.

    My take is that while it might not affect a lot companies and how they do business, I think the most important thing is that like-minded people get the chance to meet and discuss topics they care about with peers.

    Then, the outcome of that will change things! πŸ™‚

    Matthew, Frances,

    Don't worry! On the contrary, I love when my comments turn into interesting and respectful conversations! πŸ™‚

  • Jens says:

    I had the opportunity to attend the WUD Conference here in Stockholm. They had some great speakers about usability, not all about IT but still interesting.

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