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PhillyCHI March Meeting- Dorothy Danforth: Foundations of a Great User Experience

Our March meeting will feature Dorothy Danforth, presenting on the Foundations for a Great User Experience: Crafting Compelling Research Strategies for New Products and Ventures.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Time: 6:00-8:00 PM  * Meet & Greet from 6:00-6:30 PM *
Location: Tyler School of Art
Room B089
Temple University
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
RSVP: Please let us know you are coming at phillychi@gmail.com.

About the Presentation
User Experience professionals are commonly called upon to fix a problematic design or help drive product enhancements. There is a wealth of research methods to help assess the successfulness of an existing interface. But what about the early phases of a new product or concept? Do these same methods still apply? How can you best tailor your approach to gather useful input when your product and/or company are still in the formative stages?

For this month’s PhillyCHI talk, Dorothy M. Danforth will discuss various low overhead, high-impact research methods available to Web Designers and UX professionals when creating new products, scenarios for when and how to use these methods, as well as general insights on how to get the most out of early stage R&D processes. Some illustrative examples and ideas from past product-concept research efforts will be provided.
Talking points to include:

  • considerations when developing a UX focused research plan for a new product or concept
  • how brand and corporate culture can impact and possibly drive interface decisions
  • how the research process can identify organizational knowledge gaps (and vice versa)
  • integrating UX research within the creative (visual design) and engineering processes

The presentation is open to anyone with interest, but could be particularly helpful for…

  • Web & Graphic designers who find themselves in the “accidental” UX consultant role
  • Product managers who would like some ideas on how to better integrate UX research into their product development lifecycles
  • Early and mid-level career UXD professionals

About the Speaker
Dorothy M. Danforth is founder and principal consultant for Danforth Media (danforthmedia.com), a user experience design consultancy. With more than twelve years in interactive services, Dorothy has provided software design and usability guidance to a number of companies such as Applied Materials, Bath & Body Works, Comcast, Levis, Palm, Pfizer, Radio Shack, Reuters, Toys‘R’Us, and Wharton.

Dorothy has made a career out of working with startups and developing new product concepts. Previous to her work as a consultant, Dorothy was Vice President of Product Management for pcFirst, a PC services startup acquired by FusionOne. She established the Web Services department for Telocity, a DSL provider acquired by DirecTV. As an early “pre-launch” Telocity employee, she spearheaded their usability lab and initiated the company’s web design processes and standards through to the company’s IPO. In addition to her user experience design work, Dorothy has been a founding member of a fine artists’ online collaborative, a web chat service provider, and two volunteer management non-profits.

About Our Sponsors

Graphic and Interactive Design Program at Tyler School of Art
GAID at Tyler School of Art is known for the quality and rigor of its BFA and MFA programs. GAID’s mission is to educate designers who aspire to practice design for communication at the most creative levels of the profession. Tyler’s graduates are working in all areas of the design industry.

The GAID facilities in Tyler’s new home on Temple’s main campus are spacious and state-of-the art. Tyler students have ready access to a rich array of academic courses. The proximity to students from Temple’s many programs in academics and the arts offers the breadth of experience that is essential to the designer’s education. To learn more about GAID, visit: http://www.temple.edu/tyler/gaid.html

Aquent
Aquent is the talent agency for marketing and design professionals. We pair marketing and design specialists with challenging jobs to create inspired, productive partnerships. Partnerships that produce meaningful work for our client companies and the talent we represent. For information about Aquent, please visit http://www.aquent.com/.

About PhillyCHI
PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability, and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI holds monthly meetings and socials to network and discuss current topics in HCI. Learn more at: http://phillychi.acm.org/.

PhillyCHI | CreativeConnects Happy Hour – Wed, March 11

* Please note, our regular third Thursday happy hour will replaced by this joint social. *

Please join PhillyCHI and CreativeConnects for a joint social this month. Pass the word and meet your colleagues for a drink and conversation at Alfa Bar in Center City Philadelphia.

Event Details
Event: PhillyCHI | CreativeConnects Joint Happy Hour
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Time: 5:30-8PM
Location: Alfa Bar, Walnut Room
Address: 1709 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Parking & Mass Transit: There are two parking garages located on 16th and Chancellor St.
The closest SEPTA stop is the Walnut-Locust station.

Invitation: http://www.thebossgroup.com/modules/creative_connects/

Join us for CreativeConnects, a free social event hosted by The BOSS Group for creative, marketing, communications, advertising and web professionals. Come network with colleagues, meet new people, keep up with industry news and get leads on jobs and business opportunities.

No formal program, no RSVP required, lite bites and one drink for the first 35 attendees courtesy of The BOSS Group.

About the BOSS Group
The BOSS Group is, literally, where talent and opportunity meet. It’s where creative and marketing communications professionals come to find jobs and assignments, resources and industry connections, and where clients find the talent that will help them succeed.

We’re committed to meeting the employment needs of employers and individuals with equal success. Our unparalleled staffing expertise for the creative industry and close partnerships with our talent and clients alike offer a true competitive advantage. The BOSS Group is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise.

About PhillyCHI
PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia’s chapter of the ACM SIG-CHI, a professional and academic group for those interested in user experience, information architecture, usability and other related disciplines. Find more information at: http://phillychi.acm.org.

PhillyCHI | UPA Joint Meeting on 2/26 – Angela Colter: Determining Readability

WHEN: Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
* Meet & Greet from 6:00 – 6:30 PM *

WHERE: John M. Huntsman Hall, Room 260
Wharton School of Business
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Map: http://tinyurl.com/av96yb
Parking Info: http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/mapsBldgs/view_map.php3?id=419

RSVP: Please let us know you are coming at phillychi@gmail.com

Determining Readability: Ensuring Users Can Understand Your Content

Organizations spend countless hours and lots of money worrying over the usability of their sites. But this usually means simply seeing if users can navigate the site, operate widgets, and perform critical functions. Rarely do they ever test to see if users can read, understand, and use the site’s content.
This presentation by veteran readability tester Angela Colter, will examine the how’s and why’s of readability testing.

About the Presentation

The newly minted revision of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines include the directive to “make text content readable and understandable.” WCAG 2.0 success criteria are meant to be testable … so how do you test for readability?

This presentation will cover how to determine:
1. the reading ability required by text content
2. the reading ability of users
3. whether or not users understand text content

We’ll talk about readability formulas: what they are, how they work, how to apply them and why many in the plain language movement dismiss them altogether. We’ll also discuss low literacy as an accessibility issue and how to recruit low-lit participants for usability studies.

By the end of this session, you’ll be able to determine the grade level required to understand a sample of text, choose which readability formula to apply, and communicate what the results do — and more importantly, don’t — mean. And hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of why and how to consider
the needs of poor readers.

Do you write text content? Conduct user research and usability tests? Or generally want to make sure that your content is understood by the widest audience possible? Then this talk is for you.

About the Speaker

Angela Colter is a freelance usability and accessibility consultant in Philadelphia.

She has worked on numerous readability projects for the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Justice, and Pfizer. While a senior usability specialist at UserWorks, she was the lead researcher for a Government Accountability Office study on the readability of credit card disclosure materials.

Angela is a doctoral candidate at the University of Baltimore researching how to make search engines easier for users with low literacy skills.

About Our Sponsor

Liberty Personnel Services is a staffing firm formed with the guiding principles of professionalism, integrity and efficiency. We are committed to building long term relationships with our clients, job seekers, and our own employees. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies and small corporations ranging from start-ups to companies over 100 years old. Our proven system enables us to deliver a superior service for both the employer and job seeker. For more information: http://www.libertyjobs.com/.

About PhillyCHI

PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability, and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI holds monthly meetings and socials to network and discuss current topics in HCI. Learn more at: http://phillychi.acm.org/.

About the UPA Delaware Valley

The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) provides networking and professional development opportunities for usability professionals, information architects, designers, and other professionals and students in the Philadelphia metro area, including Philadelphia, central
New Jersey, and Delaware. Our focus is on sharing information about professional
skills and skill development, methodologies, tools, and technologies. Learn more at: http://upadelawarevalley.org/.

Joint PhillyCHI | IDSA Philly Happy Hour – Friday, February 20, 2009

IDSA Philly and Philly CHI invite you to join us for a joint happy hour at Mad River Bar & Grille.

Event Details
Date: Friday, February 20, 2009
Time: 6-8PM
Location: Mad River Bar & Grille
126 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
Website: http://www.maderiverphilly.com
RSVP: Not needed, but nice: phillychi@gmail.com

Mad River Bar & Grille is something different from the Old City lounge scene. There are no ropes or private rooms for bottle service here. Instead, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere with a good-looking crowd of young professionals who are either meeting friends or making new ones seven days a week. Mad River is Old City’s only place with drink specials every day and serves our upscale pub menu for lunch and dinner daily.

Named after a famous ski run in Vermont, Mad River opened on October 8, 2004, and has all the familiar trademarks of this popular East Coast concept, from the copper-top bars to pairs of skis on the wall.

As always, we hope to see you there!

About PhillyCHI
PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s professional group for those interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability and other related disciplines. We meet once a month to network and discuss current topics in HCI. Check us out at http://phillychi.acm.org/.

About IDSA Philly
Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the voice of the industrial design profession, advancing the quality and positive impact of design. IDSA’s mission is threefold:
– Lead the profession by expanding our horizons, connectivity and influence, and our service to members
– Inspire design quality and responsibility through professional development and education
– Elevate the business of design and improve our industry’s value
More information at: http://www.idsa.org

Panel discussion: "User-Centered Design: Keeping It Real"

PhillyCHI’s October 2008 panel discussion on the topic: “User Centered Design: Keeping It Real”

Moderator
-Dave Cooksey:
User Experience Lead, gsi interactive

Panelists
-Steve Cleff:
Account Planner, Avenue A, Razorfish

-Zoey Juhng:
Design Director, Bressler Group

-Michael Summers:
Senior Director, Usability, gsi interactive

-Maria Keares Wyant:
RA, Wyant Architecture