World Usability Day 2013 Highlights

What is World Usability Day 2013, and why is it important? Well, that’s pretty easy to answer. It’s a day  where professional, corporate and industrial people, government and civil leaders and private citizens – from all walks of life – come together to discuss and address how to make technologies integral to daily life. Events are held on November 14, 2013, all over the world, to discuss how to make better living easier, and more practical and efficient.

This year it is focused on Healthcare.  “Whether it’s new medical devices or technologies; drug research, approval or delivery; patient forms or medical record sharing; emergency disaster planning or increasing the functionality of hospitals and everyday healthcare delivery…” (http://worldusabilityday.org/), the goal is to focus on improving and innovating local and global healthcare practices.

This sounds like something to which you’d say “what does this accomplish beyond daydreaming? How is it practical?”

Standardization

In order to standardize the outlook of user interfaces and procedures, as well as improve the usability of technology (and technological devices all around), the first step is going to be to gather everyone in the field; all those who can affect change. Once gathered, they have an opportunity to discuss their concerns, needs and issue.usability standards, especially when it comes to technology in the health field.

In order to solve problems, we need to understand the problems. We need to understand how the people behind the technology think and where they come from.World Usability Day is all about addressing this; using technology to make our lives as great as they possibly can be.

This year highlights not only usability in healthcare but information acquisition as well. It promotes an easier understanding of medical diagnostics. There are hopes for making available various medical technologies (proposed for in-home use). SaaS and cloud networks are the rage as a practical solution that could save millions of lives.  If the technology were user friendly, practical , and cheap enough then it could be mass produced.

This event is a big meeting of the minds – the technologists and the users alike – So how can you get involved?

Of course, the easiest thing for everyone to do is to find an event to attend, and they happen all around the world on WUD.  An intuitive Google map on their site will show you the ones nearest you. You can sign up for their newsletter at the world usability day website http://worldusabilityday.org/. This will keep you updated on all meeting opportunities and  local events.

If you want to go into it full force, you can create an event yourself, and register it with the WUD website so that people may find your event and attend. The site offers ideas for creating events yourself (if you want to get your hands dirty and are willing to take on the challenge).

Beyond attendance and discussion, lies sponsorship opportunities; you can host, or contribute financially to events. This is the easiest yet most passive way to be involved – and still help this important cause.

World Usability Day 2013 highlights the problems, advancements and opportunities in technology and healthcare. It is a critical issue that could drastically improve the lives of the citizens all over the world. If this sounds good to you, get involved!

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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