World Usability Day is next Thursday - and Triangle groups in North Carolina are ready to celebrate! Here's how you can get involved:
a.. Enter the online usability contest! Is there a product that never works the way you expect? What about a product that always exceeds your expectations? Share your joys and frustrations by tagging the product with the usability ticket. Ticket the item, take a digital photo, and post it on flickr (details). Entries must be posted to flickr by 6 p.m. Wednesday to be considered for two $50 cash prizes. Winners must attend the World Usability Day celebration on Thursday (see next item) to receive prizes.
b.. Join us for the World Usability Day celebration from 6-9 p.m. Thursday at MCNC (directions), 3021 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, N.C. A panel of design and usability experts will judge and discuss usability contest entries. In addition, the event will feature a design interactionary, with teams from NC State and UNC having 20 minutes to solve a design problem on stage. The panel will judge that contest as well. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussions. Come early - pizza will be served at 6!
Judges include: Dr. Barry Beith of HumanCentric Technologies, Heather Hesketh of hesketh.com, Beth Khalifa of Gamil Design, Dr. Gary Marchionini of UNC's information science program and Dr. Chris Mayhorn of NC State's human factors program .
Several local organizations are working together to coordinate the event, including Triangle User Experience (TriUX), the RTP chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association, the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Motricity and hesketh.com. The event is part of a worldwide series of usability events on Nov. 3. Events planned in more than 30 countries and 70 locations will promote awareness of the benefits of usability engineering and user-centered design. More information at triux.org (local) and worldusabilityday.com, or contact me at rmccracken at mindspring.com or event organizer Rick Cecil at rick at triux.org.