Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Observations from UPA International Conference in Montreal.

I am at the International UPA Conference in Montreal. Because I am serving as Co-Chair, I get to sneak into all the sessions and take a sneak peak at what is going on.

I stepped in on The jigsaw puzzle of intercultural usability tutorial to see the group had broken into teams for a project, one team was speaking in French and one in English, while the presenter, Lada Gorlenko , had a hint of a Russian accent. The teams then came together and shared their ideas with another. This is just one example of how a tutorial can live of up to it's promise.

The next was the Discovering User Needs: Field Techniques You Can Use tutorial by Ellen Story and Kate Gommoll. What impressed me were the shear number of artifacts covering the walls. Some that they brought with them and some that they were beginning to create during the session. If you ever wanted to see what someone else's profile, persona or storyboard looked like, it was all on display at this session.

Finally, Know Thy Disabilities: Beyond Checklist Standards and Automated Tools for Evaluating the Web tutorial given by Nicole Tolefson and Philip Kragnes struck me because of the blending of science, knowledge and true user experience. Philip is an Adaptive Technologies Specialist, who majored in Cognitive Psychology and just so happens to be blind. So when he talks about adaptive technologies he really gets it.

If you are here at the conference, I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. If you couldn't make it, please try to join us in 2006.

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