World Usability Day New England 20079 November 2007
First, and most important, kudos to Sarah Horton of Dartmouth College, and Steve Fadden of Landmark College, who pulled together a fabulous, memorable program for WUDNE2007. Ben Schneiderman, founder of the HCILab at UMD College Park, was our keynote speaker, and he remained throughout the entire day to participate — his work is remarkable, and if you haven’t read Leonardo’s Laptop, you should.
A few takeaways from the day:
Five years ago, it was all about what computers can do. Today, it’s about what *we* can do using computers.
Acceptance of universal usability is a slow process. (This I simply do not understand.)
Kurzweil, Dragon, and Inspiration are important tools for many students with learning / mobility / sensory disabilities
Also, a comparison to note. WUDNE began at 9 a.m. with coffee and snacks, there was a keynote by one of the most well-respected scholars in the field of human/computer interaction, we had a team of experts who literally ‘wrote the book’ on universal usability (Sarah Horton from Dartmouth and Pat Lynch from Yale), a pair of folks from Fidelity who are involved hands-on with one of the largest financial-management web projects in the world, as well as a panel of students who are consumers of assistive technology, and Steve Fadden, PhD, director of research and a professor at Landmark College. We had a few posters, lunch was catered by Panera, break with cookies and coffee, and we wrapped it up at 3:30 p.m.
Compare that to one of the west-coast WUD events, in Seattle. Started at 3 p.m. (well, the proper program didn’t really start until 6), had a couple of two hip young speakers, a panel discussion, and then a beer party.
The important thing underrepresented at WUDNE? Young industry up-and-comers.
The strength of WUDNE? Scholarship.
The important thing underrepresented in Seattle? Scholarship.
The strength of Seattle? Young industry up-and-comers.
Something to chew on.