User Centric Consultants Presenting a Variety of Topics at UPA 2009

March 24, 2009

One of the usability industry’s premier conferences, Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) International Conference, will be highlighting four User Centric presentations this year.  The topics covered by the consultants include design, healthcare usability, and focus groups. 

Presentation abstracts:

"Designing for the fast and furious: Using performance metrics to redesign expert user applications”

Robert Schumacher, PhD, Managing Director & Wendy Yee, PhD, Director

Many “business critical” software applications can be found in hospitals, call centers, moving vehicles, handheld formats, and any other work environments where users must rapidly and successfully use them for specialized activities. These applications are often designed for expert (or at least well-trained) users and tend to reside on the opposite end of the spectrum from consumer-facing applications.
Instead of being “walk up and use at your own pace,”  expert user applications usually reflect “train extensively and use quickly.”  Therefore facilitating “optimal” user performance is a key objective of user interface designers who work on expert applications. The design of expert user interfaces also relies on an examination of performance metrics.
In this tutorial we will be exploring practical approaches for gathering and applying performance metrics that can be used to guide and influence the redesign of expert user applications.
Participants in this tutorial will:

  • Learn about the challenges of designing applications for expert users, especially user groups who must use job-critical applications to meet specific time- and performance-related criteria
  • Explore specific approaches for collecting and analyzing key types of performance metrics
  • Discuss how the redesign process shifts when it focuses on key activities that are tied to these key metrics
  • Participate in fast-paced analytical and creative exercises that highlight different options that UX researchers and UI designers have when designing for expert users and performance outcomes
  • Examine potential design outcomes for performance-focused applications, including examples from redesign projects

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"Communicating Usability Findings Through Effective Infographics"

Aga Bojko, MS, Associate Director

Information graphics (infographics) are visual representations of data or knowledge.  This session will present effective ways to communicate usability findings through infographics. We will discuss when and how to use heatmaps, click maps, flow charts, bar graphs, line graphs etc. to make your usability report both easy to understand and compelling.

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"Prescribing Methodologies: Three Healthcare Usability Case Studies"

Korey Johnson, MS, User Experience Specialist & Melinda McElheny, MS, User Experience Specialist

Healthcare is a field with a growing need for usability practitioners, from evaluating medication labels to testing injection devices. In this session, attendees will examine three real-world healthcare usability problems. The focus will be on the methodologies chosen, challenges faced, and lessons learned including how the approaches can be used for applications beyond healthcare.

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"Using Alternative Focus Group Methodologies to Capture User Experience Data"

Korey Johnson, MS, User Experience Specialist

Traditional focus groups are often used to gather qualitative user experience feedback, but sometimes the data gathered in these groups is insufficient. Certain constraints may also preclude the use of traditional focus groups. Using case studies as examples, this session will describe three alternative focus group methodologies that can be used to gather qualitative user feedback in such situations.

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This year's UPA conference is being held from June 8-12 in Portland, Oregon.

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