User Vision was for the second year in a row, privileged to be chosen as a partner organisation for World Usability Day 2011, one of only six organisations to be selected worldwide. This year’s theme was Education: Designing for Social Change and attracted User Vision’s largest attendance to date.
This year’s WUD saw over 120 attendees sign up for the event and enjoy a wide range of activities from trying their hand at collaborative paper prototyping, exploring the differences between reading articles on the iPad and traditional newspapers and taking part in a live link up with Napier Universities Interactive Communications Environment (ICE) lab to try out the shared interactions with the ‘meeting room of the future’.
We even took the chance to get users to test our own sites information Architecture to inform us of how we can improve ourselves in our site redesign.
This year also saw a special discussion led by Jonathan Hassell on the new British Standard 8878 – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of practice using the BBC MyDisplay customisation tool as an example of using BS8878 in a real project environment.
This event proved one of our most highly popular activities, with people coming from all over Edinburgh and the surrounding area to attend. The talk stimulated a high degree of informative discussion around the area of accessibility.
The aim of most if the activities held at WUD is to allow users hands on interaction with the technology and to experience the methodology used in testing.
One particular task looked at the effects of collaborative paper prototyping – where our attendees could assist the design of a new theoretical supermarket website. T
he results were then used to be able to show a visual display of the evolution of the design through iterations of user’s ideas.
Some of the events we showcased looked at some of the cutting edge technology used in the world of UX, including eye-tracking and measurement of user arousal.
This technique measures the intensity of the sub-conscious emotional impact (arousal) an image produces on the viewer.
The investigation looked into the types of images that have the most impact and if certain brands have more emotional impact when viewing luxury sports cars.
In a similar study, we also looked at the effect of users emotions (through facial recognition) on responses to advertising materials.
This used cutting edge emotional recognition technology to determine a user’s emotional state during their viewing of various advertisements.
Results showed which adverts elicited a more positive response than others will be the preferred ones how much of each emotion (happy, surprised, angry, disgusted, afraid, sad) was expressed throughout the watch time.
A number of other demonstrations also looked at the difference in reading patterns and eye gaze as users looked at article on the iPad as compared to the newspaper, compared the effectiveness of QR and AR technologies in offering new interactive advertising opportunities and also investigated the effectiveness of advertising in social media alongside a comparison of the established Facebook and the new Google +.
This year’s event was once again a huge success, thanks to the hard work of the User Vision team, but primarily to the guests who visited our WUD open day bringing with them there curiosity, questions and willingness to try their hands at all the interactive demonstration on show.
We would like to say a special thank you to Jonathan Hassell for attending and giving his insightful and interesting talk and also to extend our thanks to all that supported and attended the event this year, we hope to see you next year – from all of the User Vision Team.