Usability in Your Life and in the Products You Use

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Soar Technology in Ann Arbor

How well does your product or website meet your customers’ needs and expectations? Does your product simplify or complicate your client’s workday?

This evening session, open to the general public, will explain this thing called “Usability”. Using a combination of presentations and demonstrations with products ranging from alarm clocks to speeding cars to the high tech hands free voice activated SYNC that was jointly developed by Ford and Microsoft, attendees will walk away with a clear understanding of the value of designing an excellent, compelling, and safe user experience into products. It will also drive home the point that usability is a rigorous design practice that is applied to much more than just web sites.

Usability in Your Life and in the Products You Use is one of many events around the world on World Usability Day, November 13, features speakers from the worlds of software development and technology integration. This event will equip you with an overview of how to listen to your users and find out what they need. It is perfect for people and companies interested in making products that really work for users.


R. Jeffrey Benko, Lead Technical Service Engineer at ANSYS, Inc.

Multi-physics Simulation: More Fidelity, Less Effort
Jeff will speak on how Ansys streamlined the workflow for multi-physics simulation activities, replacing the human-powered, laborious, and error-prone linking of disparate software components within a common user environment.

Rich Sheridan, Menlo Innovations CEO

Widespread Adoption: The Key Metric for Design Success.

Richard will describe the focus and techniques of Menlo’s High-tech Anthropology® team. Sheridan will provide compelling industry examples as evidence of the power of an anthropological approach to design.

Brian Phelps, Tec-Ed

Can I hear you now? Designing the User Interface of a Product that Improves Cell Phone Reception.
A common problem in today’s wireless world is poor cell phone reception in one’s home. Tec-Ed’s client (Nextivity, Inc.) developed the technical solution and sought expertise to design the user interface and validate it with real users.

Paul Green, Research Professor, Human Factors Division, UMTRI; President, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Automotive Human Factors:
What is it, who does it, how do we do it, and what we are working on at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Tom Hodges, SYNC and Digital Marketing Manager, Customer Service Division, Ford Motor Company

Usability in the development of the Ford SYNC:
an in-car communications and entertainment system that allows drivers to bring nearly any mobile phone or digital media player into their vehicle and operate them using voice commands, the vehicle’s steering wheel, or radio controls.

Nancy Shore, getDowntown Program Director

The Commuter Challenge: Competition, Prizes, and Consciousness-Raising about Sustainable Transportation.
Nancy will discuss getDowntown’s Commuter Challenge, a month-long competition that encourages employees to use sustainable transportation. She’ll outline the key elements of success and how these could be used to encourage people to use your product or service.

Although this event is free, please RSVP to to ensure that there are enough food and beverages for everyone.

The Michigan UPA is still seeking sponsors for this event.

One Response to “Usability in Your Life and in the Products You Use”

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