People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: whitney-quesenbery

World Usability Day 2015: Innovation

World Usability DayNovember 12 is World Usability Day. World Usability Day is a single day of events organized around the world that brings together people from various communities and groups for one common objective: “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.

This year is the 10th anniversary of World Usability Day.  The 2015 theme is innovation.

“Innovation can mean different things to different people but most can agree it includes inventions and changes in products and services that improve a situation or solve a problem in a new way. Innovation in User Experience means that people can do what they need and want to, with technology, products and services that enhance their experience. We are celebrating 10 years of sharing the message that the user experience is a key to making technology work better for people. Innovation also means revolution: 2015 is the year to grow our usability revolution by bringing our message to the general public: No-one should have to suffer through products and services that get in their way. People should not be made to feel stupid by technology.

For those in the NYC area, the NYC User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) has its annual World Usability Day event. Whitney Quesenbery will be one of the speakers. We heard her speak at World Usability Day 2011.

“People do quality checks, but not usability checks.” – Whitney Quesenbery

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Take the Green Elevator…A Recap of World Usability Day 2011 in NYC

“Hi, I’m here for the 6pm World Usability Day event.” After getting my photo badge, I was told “Take the green elevator to the 6th floor.” Not really understanding what she meant, I headed towards the elevators.

Turns out there is a light above each elevator. Saw a red light, then a green light (the doors closed before I could get on). Got on another green elevator. I was guessing that green meant the elevator goes up and the red meant the elevator goes down. It wasn’t until I was leaving that it hit me, the colors represent the stock price changes (green = up, red = down).


NYC UPA World Usability Day 2011

Interesting and inspiring talks on education, design, social change and usability by Mark Randall, Asi Burak, Michelle Mullineaux, Whitney Quesenbery, Katrin Verclas, Irina Lee and Tyler Mintz. Here’s a recap of the NYC UPA World Usability Day 2011 event:

  • “Create, Don’t Hate.” New York – “Create! Don’t Hate. is a Design Ignites Change youth mentoring initiative that guides you through the process of designing of a billboard around the theme of tolerance. “
  • Impact: Design for Social Change, School of Visual Arts – Six-week intensive program with two tracks: 1) social entrepreneurship and educate students on how to conceive, execute and fund their own projects for social change; 2) participate in the development and execution of a team project that addresses a pressing need for a New York City-based non-profit organization.
  • Once you design something, how do you know if the design works? The idea of embedded design. – Mark Randall
  • First Person American – “First Person American focuses on stories of modern immigrants in the US, and explore what it means to be American through the lens of the immigrant in an expressive, personal and narrative style.
  • Games for Change – Development of social impact games like Half the Sky, 9 Minutes and Worm Attack.
  • DesigNYC – “We connect civic-minded designers with extraordinary nonprofits serving the public good.
  • There are a lot of think tanks, what about do tanks. Just start doing. – Michelle Mullineaux
  • People do quality checks, but not usability checks. – Whitney Quesenbery

Well said and so true! Reminds me of our usability study of a library’s new service model – yes, the self check out machines work (quality check) but are they usable and how does the implementation of these machines affect the overall service model of the library and the library user experience (usability check)?


Did you attend or participate in World Usability Day? Please share your experiences & stories in the comments below.