Connecticut Chapter Usability Professionals - Sept 2009 Newsletter


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Speaker - Bruce Barber, Bruce Barber Productions on Social Media

- Recap of August Meeting: VIMM Expert Reviews
- Tool Tips: ROI

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Connecticut Chapter Usability Professionals - Sept 2009 Newsletter

  1. 1. CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF USABILITY PROFESSIONALS SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 NEWSLETTER Our September Meeting The Impact of Social Media How Business Strategies for Traditional Media Have Changed Our next Chapter meeting will be held Wednesday evening at 6:30, September 30th at the Synapse Group, 225 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT. The speaker, Bruce Barber will share his insights about how social media has impacted traditional broadcast media. Bruce Barber started his radio career on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In 1985, Bruce was invited to help create a new show for WPLR-FM in New Haven. “Smith and Barber” went on to become the top-rated morning drive program in Connecticut, generating millions of dollars in advertising revenues and garnering an extensive list of awards and accolades. Since that time, Barber Productions has created content for Connecticut Public Radio, The Connecticut Speaker: Bruce Barber, Bruce Barber Productions Radio Network, and The Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament. Bruce is currently the host and producer of “The WNPR Health Forum” in partnership with the Yale Cancer Center. He also blogs at “The Real Life Survival Guide” (, an online collection of “Tips for Living”. Expect a lively discussion! Summer’s Over... We have an exciting slate of chapter meetings We plan to be conducting meetings in several planned to help ease you into the fall season. If you locations throughout Connecticut. If your company have ideas or requests for meeting topics - please is interested in hosting - please let us know! do not hesitate to forward to a chapter officer. Michael Rawlins, President, CT UPA PAGE 1
  2. 2. CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF USABILITY PROFESSIONALS SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 September 30th Meeting location: Synapse Group, 225 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT. As is our custom, light refreshments will be available at 6:30, and informal networking will ensue until the meeting commences at 7:00. Recap: August Chapter Meeting collaboration among all of the involved parties.  VIMM’s ideology aims to reduce the visual by Joe Rice, Open Solutions clutter, intellectual complexity, memory load, and Viva la VIMM! motor load in a presentation.  The goal is to present something to an audience (users, The presentation by the CT UPA’s stakeholders, et cetera) that is visually appealing, president, Michael Rawlins, was both intriguing simple, intuitive, and can be used efficiently.  and engaging.  He did a great job of presenting the topic and offered wonderful examples, which In the context of this presentation, the goal, in helped the audience internalize what he was essence, is to make usability issues “usable” to presenting.  For this, we thank him! the stakeholder, i.e. communicate them in such a way that the stakeholder will not only understand There were three major topics covered in the what usability issues exist, but comprehend the presentation: an overview of the VIMM model, risks and potential negative exposures that they how VIMM’s principles apply to communicating may present.  However, this nourishes only part with stakeholders, and the value of expert of a stakeholder’s appetite; in order to completely reviews. satiate the stakeholder, one must also present VIMM’s main covenant is organization; the goal quantifiable data that establishes the product’s being to effectively communicate information in current state (i.e. a frame-of-reference) and can a common language, yielding comprehension and show trends that chart progress. This fulfills the (continued on page 3) PAGE 2
  3. 3. CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF USABILITY PROFESSIONALS SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 requirement for how real return on investment can be figured.  These data can be gathered through expert reviews, which if structured under the VIMM paradigm, should allow for expeditious data gathering, repeatable methods, and peer collaboration. All-in-all, an effective stakeholder presentation should be comprised of scorecards, graphs, matrices, risk assessments, and actions plans.  The plethora of information should provide a stakeholder with everything needed to make a well-informed decision, while not overwhelming or boring them.  Ultimately, the result will be a better product.  Link to the slide deck: vimm-model by Joe Rice, Open Solutions PAGE 3
  4. 4. CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF USABILITY PROFESSIONALS SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 TOOL TIPS DEMONSTRATING RATE OF RETURN ON PROJECTS Meeting Stakeholder Expectations The down economy has presented many challenges for UX practitioners and practice group leaders. Business stakeholders need reassurance that the applications and websites are going to be successful in reducing business risk and failure. Those practitioners who are able to provide their stakeholders with information about potential rate of return (ROI) -- will gain lasting business allies, and receive more attention from stakeholders in the development life-cycle. Human Factors International’s (HFI) ROI Calculators (free resource) provide a good solution. These tools allow UX practitioners and leaders with numbers that illustrate how usability (and improved design) can help the business stakeholders bottom-line. These numbers are often times the key data-points that drive fundamentals of business value from a business stakeholders perspective. There are arguably many dimensions of ROI that interest stakeholders. Although stakeholders trust our design and usability testing abilities -- discussions about rate of return truly resonate them because you are speaking their language. The HFI Calculators are very easy to use -- providing the practitioner with categories of ROI and models of calculations. Broken into categories for example: “increasing a users productivity” and (continued on page 5) PAGE 4
  5. 5. CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF USABILITY PROFESSIONALS SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 “reducing the reliance of a help desk.” These calculators also enable the practitioner to construct four Chapter Officers scenarios -- which allows for conservative estimates and rate of return illustrations. The more conservative the estimate -- the more credible for your business stakeholder. Be prepared for them to ask you how you are arrived at these numbers. Here is where it gets exciting! Show them the numbers -- and help them understand what they are visualizing in the Usability Findings reports (the users pain points). The UX practitioners and leaders who adopt the practice of sharing ROI with stakeholders will gain deeper business relationships and trust from their stakeholders. At day’s end -- it has always been about business. The goal is to get closer to the stakeholders who fund our projects -- and help them understand how to avoid business risk Michael Rawlins ~ President and potential failure. by Michael Rawlins, President, CT UPA Help your stakeholders understand how Herb Wexler ~ Vice-President much it costs to support the application or website via the help desk. Paul Linton ~ Treasurer Provide your stakeholders with an easy to understand ROI calculation. Aneta Hall ~ Secretary PAGE 5