Great Meeting – Brave New World: Usability & Web 2.0

For those who missed this Monday’s joint PhillyCHI | UPA Delaware Valley meeting, you missed a good. Jared Spool of UIE spoke on usability and Web 2.0, framing the entire discussion around user experience and the evolution of technology. But you are in luck. We are very fortunate that the talk was captured on video by Natalia. (Thanks, Natalia!)

The officers of PhillyCHI would like to thank Casey, Natalia, and Jason from UPA Delaware Valley for helping put together a great joint meeting. PhillyCHI will be helping out with planning World Usability Day 2007 with the UPA. This year’s topic is Healthcare. If you would like to participate, help plan the event, or simply want more information, you may contact either PhillyCHI or UPA Delaware Valley.

Also, much thanks to the folks at G2 (Refinery) for sponsoring the event. We would not be able to have the quality meetings that we do without the support of corporate and educational institutions in the area.

About ‘Brave New World: Usability & Web 2.0′
Once again, everything is exciting. The advent of social networks, APIs, mashups, RSS, aggregators, and folksonomies promise a world where the information and services we’ve always wanted are delivered right to our browser.

However, delivering on the promise is easier said than done. Moving from a great concept to an exceptional user experience proves to be more of a challenge than many people thought. What works on a small scale is a very different story, when put into production.

As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben pointed out, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Just because we can do all these things doesn’t mean we should do them. In the early 1980’s, the cheap availability of laser printers and digital fonts produced a plethora of documents that more resembled ransom notes than professional publications. We could easily imagine designers going wild with the capabilities of this new technology and not using the restraint necessary to ensure they produce an optimal experience.

In this entertaining and informative presentation, Jared shows examples of the usability challenges we face as the web continues to change and evolve. He discusses the implications of “The Long Tail”, the introduction of a mashup mentality in business environments, and how basic techniques, such as usability testing and field studies, change when social network is at the center of the design.

About Jared Spool, Founding Principal, UIE
If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s probably the most effective, knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. What you probably don’t know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

About User Interface Engineering (UIE)
User Interface Engineering is a leading research company, specializing in helping design professionals produce delightful and enticing user experiences. They work with all of the top organizations in the technology space and help thousands of designers every year. Hosting events, such as the annual User Interface Conference and the brand new Web App Summit, UIE continues to push the envelope of new design practices and techniques.

You can find more information about UIE and learn about their latest research at http://uie.com.