I drove up to Phoenix for the 4th Annual World Usability Day event last week. Normally, we hold an event here in Tucson, but our generous facility sponsor had a client-conflict and couldn’t host this year.
Luckily, Dr. Theo Mandel is in town and stepped up to help! He put together a team of volunteers, recruited a series of speakers, and publicized the event. There were about 30 people there, most of whom are working in dedicated usability groups or departments. Speakers included reps from:
I spoke for a few minutes about usability here in Tucson, and then they had a keynote speakers from the Metro Light Rail project in Phoenix (grand opening, Jan 1!).
The other main focus was promoting a new Arizona chapter of UPA. There’s a blog at www.arizonaupa.org, and I think they may have a mailing list, too. The challenge is is strictly geographic – a 2-hour drive is just too long to go for an evening program (ok, except for die-hards like me who made the round-trip in one night).
They also had a bunch of door prizes and giveaways from a variety of sponsors (all the ones who were speaking plus TechSmith and a few others). There was food and drink sponsored and prepared by the culinary students at the Art Institute of Phoenix. I bet we had the fanciest appetizers of any WUD event in the world!
I think we’ll be back doing something in Tucson next year, and the Phoenix folks want to do something as well. I hope we can coordinate in such a way that I can attend both.