World Usability Day Sparks Academic-Industry Conversation about Creating Engaging User Experiences

The 10th Annual Michigan World Usability Day (WUD) Conference was held on Thursday, November 11th at Michigan State University (MSU). Hosted by MSU Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC), the event attracted approximately 150+ attendees representing organizations from government, academia, and industry. The purpose of WUD is to draw attention to the work people are doing to ensure that technology products and services are easier to access and simpler to use. The Michigan event was one of 133 events held in 40 countries around the world.

The event featured five talks, each of which was centered on the theme of “engagement.” Topics included engaging users on mobile devices, leveraging incentives and rewards to create engaging user experiences, building a culture of usability and user experience in the workplace, and thinking critically about how to make mobile content accessible for everyone.

A lively conversation thread was hosted on Twitter using the hashtag #MiWUD. An estimated one-third of the attendees tweeted during the sessions, expanding WUD’s reach to over 44,000 accounts Twitter accounts and generating more than 450,000 impressions. In addition to seasoned usability/accessibility practitioners and IT professionals, WUD attracted a significant number of Michigan State University undergraduate and graduate students who used content from WUD to complement their classroom learning.

World Usability Day was made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of TechSmith, Michigan Usability Professionals Association, and MichiganCHI as well as UARC’s partners at Michigan State University, including the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Department of Media and Information, Information Technology Services, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and the Office of University Outreach and Engagement.

Visit MSU’s Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting website for more information about WUD 2014 and updates about the 2015 conference. You can also view the Twitter hashtag #MiWUD for inspirational tweets and photos!

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