I wanted to give the Membership, Sponsors and Friends of the Triangle User Experience Professionals Association a mid-year update on the activities and accomplishments of the first half of 2012 and provide a glimpse into second half of 2012.
A lot has happened in the first half:
- Our Name has Changed. The Triangle Usability Professionals Association (UPA) is now called the Triangle User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). This change does not affect membership or sponsorship privileges or fees. It simply makes our professional organization more relevant in the shift in market focus from usability to total user experience. This is happening now primarily due to the acceleration of consumer driven IT both outside and now inside the enterprise.
- Increased Membership. Our active membership continues to grow, approaching 300.
- Improved Financial Strength. Our bank balance and, therefore, the financial stability and viability of our organization is at an all time high.
- Evening Webinars now Available. User Interface Engineering (UIE) granted us permission to rebroadcast their live Virtual Seminar Series, normally broadcast live Tuesdays 1:30-3 p.m., enabling us to prescreen and select the best webinars, with our membership input, on the days and times that work best for our membership. We will continue to host some broadcasts live. The overall result has been more than doubling the attendance at these webinars.
- Launched the Triangle UXPA Book Club. The book club had its first book review events in Durham and then Raleigh in June discussing the book Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski. The club was launched through the online social media “Meetup” and has attracted over 50 registrations, mostly UX/UI practitioners not currently engaged with the Triangle UXPA, which has extended our reach into the broader UX community.
- Consolidated 3 Operational Applications. We replaced 1) the membership management & payments processing application, 2) the website & events management application, and 3) the email marketing & communications application with a single integrated system. We then migrated all membership, sponsor, contact, event and historical information from the old applications to the new system. The new integrated cloud-based SaaS system is now fully operational and has lowered our overall monthly data processing costs.
- Simplified Event Logistics. Capstrat graciously agreed to host most of our evening events and SAS to host most of our daytime or larger evening events, simplifying event logistics and providing a more predictable positive event experience for our members.
- New Sponsor. Atlantic BT became our newest sponsor of the Triangle UXPA in June.
- Student and Academic Memberships. A Student Membership fee was introduced in June at half that of the standard membership ($15). UIE webinars remain free for students. The Academic Professional Membership was set at the Standard Membership fee ($30).
A lot more is coming in the second half:
- Carol Barnum Workshop: UX Tune-Up July 18. Carol is an award-winning author and speaker and has published six books. Her newest book is Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set … Test! She has been an invited speaker at conferences around the world. Carol is a founding editorial board member of JUS (Journal of Usability Studies), an STC Fellow, a Rainey Award recipient for Excellence in Research, and a Gould Award recipient for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication. The Triangle UXPA offers this workshop to our membership at a 70% discount off the standard rates, but register by Thursday July 12, before the rate goes up.
- Guest Lecture: Affordances and their Importance to UX Practitioners July 26 (Co-Sponsored with Bloomberg). With several decades in the business, Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla know a lot about user experience. In fact, this talk is based on a chapter in their recent publication, The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. This new book is a comprehensive, practical field guide to understanding, assimilating, and applying the complete interaction design discipline. Rex and Pardha will discuss the different kinds of affordances and how they help in designing for a quality user experience. Anyone interested in designing a quality interaction user experience should attend.
- Designing for the iPad. Panel Discussion with local experts on their experiences and plans for designing for the iPad September 13. This should be a great community event.
- Tomer Sharon (Google) Workshop: Silver Bullets for Getting Buy-in for UX Research October 17. This half-day workshop provides strategies and tools for getting stakeholder buy-in for UX research. During the workshop we will learn tried and tested techniques, hear success and failure stories, practice and role play, and share insights with other workshop attendees. Registration is not yet open for this event. More details to come.
- World Usability Day 2012: Usability of Financial Systems November 8. We are working on an exciting presentation with one of our local leading financial institutions. More details to come.
- Jeff Gothelf Workshop: Lean UX: Getting out of the Deliverables Business November 15. This is a full-day workshop. User experience (UX) web design has traditionally been a deliverables-based practice, defined by wireframes, site maps, flow diagrams, content inventories, taxonomies, and mockups. But that tradition is not the best way to serve the user. In this workshop, you’ll learn that UX is about the experience, not the deliverables, and that as a UX designer you need to focus on the user and not the documentation. By applying a set of lean design practices and principles, you’ll learn how to keep the user’s needs first and foremost. Registration is not yet open for this event. More details to come.
- UIE Virtual Seminars. One webinar will be presented each month through the end of the year.
- Triangle UXPA Sponsor Drive. In August, we will begin a sponsorship drive to enlist additional local companies and organization to sponsor the Triangle User Experience Professionals Association. If you or your company/organization would like to become a sponsor of the Triangle chapter of the UXPA and take advantage of the sponsorship benefits, please contact Mona Singh or Don Sugar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to take this opportunity to also thank the members of the 2012 Triangle UXPA Executive Council for making this all possible. We are an all volunteer organization with regular full-time day jobs.
President: Richard Phelps
Secretary/Treasurer: Don Sugar
Event Director: Andrew Wirtanen
Event Director: Adam Rogers
MarCom Director: Cindy McCracken
MarCom Director: Dorian Van Gorder
Membership Director: Mona Singh
Social Director: Jake Geib-Rosch
We are currently recruiting for an additional Event Director, given all the events in the planning stage for the balance of 2012 and beyond. If you are interested, please contact me directly and get to meet with the leaders of the Triangle UX community.
If you have any feedback, comments, inputs or suggestions for the Triangle UXPA please contact me.
Richard Phelps, Ph.D.
President, Triangle User Experience Professionals Association