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Usability Professionals' Association
Southeast Michigan Chapter (MI UPA)
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Michigan UPA Wins the International UPA Chapter Award

Each year, the International UPA Board of Directors evaluates and gives a single award to the chapter it feels has demonstrated the greatest works in a year. The criteria include events, topics, attendance, collaborations, and contributions to their community of user experience professionals. At the 2007 International UPA conference that was held in Austin Texas, the Michigan UPA won this prestigious International UPA Chapter Award.

In less than five years, the Michigan UPA has made many moves to grow and expand its visibility and influence for the entire state of Michigan. Following are notable accomplishments in 2006.

Program content:
The Michigan UPA gives their practitioners and the general public what they need. They extend beyond web sites and beyond software to cover hardware and cognition. Following is a sampling of event topics from 2006:

? A Survey of User Interface Prototyping Tools
? Transforming Data into Design
? Live Website Evaluations
? Driver Distraction Research
? Obsession: Finding the Sympathetic Heart of Design
? Card-sorting technique
? Usability Labs Today

LOCATIONS:
The Michigan UPA has always worked hard to rotate event locations so that each part of the state receives either a local or "drivable" event. Each of the six events held in 2006 was held in a different location.

EVENT ATTENDEES:
The Michigan UPA has grown from a chapter whose events drew between 8 and 24 attendees. In 2006, the chapter never had fewer than 46 attendees at an event, and they exceeded 300 at one. They attribute this success to program selection and successful collaborations. The only thing that keeps the low end of our attendance range down is their commitment to covering as many parts of the state as they can each calendar year.

COLLABORATIONS:
The Michigan UPA collaborated with chapters of STC<
www.stc-sm.org>, ACM SIG-CHI <www.si.umich.edu/mochi>, Universities such as Michigan State University Usability & Accessibility Center <www.usability.msu.edu>, University of Michigan School of Information, Washtenaw Community College Internet Professional Program <http://inp.wccnet.edu>, and numerous businesses to offer events.

The Internet User Experience Event: <www.internetuserexperience.biz>
The Michigan UPA has been a primary sponsor of IUE since its inception in 2005. This event established itself as solid and annual in 2006 with 3 days of tutorials and practical presentations, including a series of "Before-After" web site examples that captivated practitioners from all over.

World Usability Day for Michigan: <www.usability.msu.edu/conf2006.asp>
The 2006 event was, for the second year running, spearheaded by the Michigan UPA and Michigan State University's Usability and Accessibility Center. It attempted to reach out to practitioners, academia, and the general public, with sessions such as "Live Website Evaluations" as well as current interest topics such as "Driving with Distraction". The all-day event drew over 300 registrants.

As a final note, the community of User Experience and Usability people
in Michigan need the services of the Michigan UPA now more than ever given the currently tumultous economic times in this state, and the Michigan UPA is committed to providing networking opportunities and job posting opportunities for prospective employers
and employees.

Congratulations are in line, and this coming November will mark the Michigan UPA's fifth anniversary...which means a celebration is also in line!

The Michigan UPA (miupa.org)

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