Help us promote usability in the Philippines

A month from now, the usability folks around the world will celebrate the 2nd World Usability Day. Here in the Philippines, my buddy Regnard has organized the User Friendly seminar series. In a single day, there will be seminars in various campuses with topics on web, mobile applications, and consumer devices. Ain’t that cool!?

We have a cool lineup of speakers this year. Dr. Espiritu of De La Salle University will talk about usability engineering. As far as I know, De La Salle University has the only usability lab in the Philippines. Dr. Matias, chairman of the UP Diliman Industrial Engineering Department will share her research on ergonomics and will delight us with analysis of popular electronic gadgets like the iPod. This year, we’ll also have April Cabello, a Certified Usability Analyst, present on the usability of mobile applications. Ms. Cabello is a Usability Manager at Globe Telecoms which is the leading and most innovative telecom company in the Philippines.

Aside from these hotshots, my buddies Rey Mendoza (also a speaker last year) and Alvin Tan will also give presentations. Hans Koch and Luis Buenaventura will talk about Web 2.0 and Liza Flores will cover creativity and usability. I almost forgot, Regnard and I will also share what we know and care about πŸ™‚

Please help us spread the word on the usability seminars. I know it is not as funny as the recent PLDT customer service swearing incident but I’m sure this message won’t take up much time and space in your friends mailbox.

As part of my preparation, I have started outlining my presentation and here’s what I have so far:

  • Words are part of the interface. How menu, button names, instructions, error messages affect usability.
  • Who gives a shit on what you like. We all have feelings and personal convictions what makes an interface user friendly.
  • Dumbing us down. Usability is not about treating people as stupid. Or is it?
  • Choice Paradox. Consumers want more and more features yet are always overwhelmed with what we give them.
  • Blank state design. As they say in the movies, first impression lasts.
  • Designers are benevolent dictators. We don’t need to follow the user to become user friendly.

If you have ideas, screenshot, essays, and blog posts that you think I can use, please please give it to me. In return, I will display your name for 30 minutes πŸ™‚

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