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

Third Annual Design Slam – Friday, 1/16

Please join us for the Philadelphia region’s Third Annual Design Slam. Contestants will participate in a fast-paced race to create the best design solution to a “made-up” real-world problem. Awards given to the victors!

———-
Date:  Friday, January 16, 2009
Time:  6:00pm to 8:30pm (design challenge starts promptly at 6:30, please arrive early)
Location:  Messagefirst, 230 N 2nd Street, Suite 2C, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (under the Ben Franklin Bridge)
Phone:  215-825-7423
Parking Info:  http://www.philapark.org/parkinglocator/parking_locator.aspx

RSVP: phillychi@gmail.com
———-

What’s a “design slam”?
During the meeting, participants will be teamed and introduced to a full-fledged hypothetical project, including appropriate client-side deliverables. They’ll then have an opportunity to interview key players on the client’s team. The session will conclude with proposal presentations from each of the groups to the “clients” and the assembled audience.

Then the “clients” team will choose a winner. Members of the winning team will receive a plethora of praise from your peers and an award.

What’s in it for me?
This is a chance for interested IAs, designers, usability practitioners, developers and marketing professionals to get their hands dirty working side by side with colleagues as they tackle tough business problems in a fun and sometimes crazy environment. Knowledge transfer, technique sharing, and a social atmosphere makes this session stand out from the garden-variety “lecture-and-powerpoint” presentation.

Please try to arrive on time. The client team will be introducing the design challenge promptly at 6:30pm.

If you do not want to participate because you won’t be able to get to the meeting on-time or a have severe case of social phobia, fear not! We would like to have an audience during this session to play the role of users, and help choose the winning team.

This idea is shamelessly stolen (with permission) from the IA Summit’s IA Slam. For more information about the IA Slam, visit http://www.e-reiss.com/Seminars/IA%20Slam%20mini-site.aspx

Video-on-demand: World Usability Day 2008 – Scott Page "Making Transit Useful in Philly"

PhillyCHI and UPA Delaware Valley present a World Usability Day recording of, Making Transit Useful in Philly”

Presenter

-Scott Page:
Interface Studio LLC

Making Transit Useful in Philly
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a national movement focused on encouraging growth and development in a way that leverages the value of local transit. In Philadelphia, many rail stations are located in areas that are largely vacant and underutilized. This, combined with a strong car culture, leaves Philadelphia’s rail infrastructure – one of the best in the country – largely overlooked.

Interface Studio LLC, an urban design and planning firm based in Philadelphia, was engaged by Neighborhoods Now to explore the opportunities to transform two under-used rail stations in Philadelphia into active and vibrant neighborhood amenities. The lecture will cover the key challenges to making transit useful in Philadelphia and share the findings of the study which tackles TOD as a far-reaching design problem.