World Usability Day 2005, Hyderabad, India
World usability Day was celebrated on 3rd November at ISB auditorium, Hyderabad, India. November 3rd has been declared as the World usability day where organizations and practitioners all over the world engage in a campaign to create awareness of usability of products and services that we consume on a day-to-day basis.
This is a world wide self-organized event with the goal to promote the fields of Usability Engineering and User-Centered Design. The theme for this year is "Making it Easy". This event was observed across the globe spanning 70 locations in 30 nations. The event at Hyderabad was organized by UsabilityMatters, a not for profit organization founded by Mr. Kaladhar Bapu, head of Usability group at M/s Cordys. The group has members who are practitioners of usability from the domain of manufacturing, services, architecture, fashion design and software.
The event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of ‘Good Design for Better Living’.
The event was marked by participation of people from industry, academia and NGOs. There was a daylong seminar and an exhibition. Entries received from worldwide for the ‘Bad Design Competition’ and for the ‘International UMO Cartoon Contest’ were on display during this event. Exhibits were selected from winning entries out of about 100 bad design entries from India and out of about 250 cartoon entries from various countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Romania, Brazil, Ukraine, etc.
Mr. Kaladhar Bapu read out the report of the Usability Matters. Usability matters is a not for profit organization formed by enthusiastic practitioners from several domains - Product design, architecture, software, animation, film production etc. This is one of the unique movements to extend usability beyond the domain of software. Unlike organizations of this kind usability matters is visualized to be driven by volunteer groups. The movement gained its movement in August with interest generated by informal groups to come together.
The World Usability Day gave this informal group a chance to organize itself for accomplishing the following
- give the practitioners a forum to share knowledge and strengthen practice in the industry.
- create awareness to make a usability aware society. Unless users deny bad products good products will not emerge.
- provide usability courses in educational institutions in and around Hyderabad to start with which produces the future talent for the industry
- voluntarily drive projects with public interests. here I would like to point out that the group has volunteered to take up challenges of improving manhole designs following the fatal accidents few months ago. Working with NGOs would be an important agenda.
Mrs K Ratna Prabha, IT secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh inaugurated the event. In her inaugural note she emphasized the need for creating awareness on user-friendly products and services in the industry and public services. She commended the initiative and extended her support on behalf of the government for future initiatives.
Mr Kedarnath Udiyavar, Executive VP of Polaris and President of HYSEA gave the keynote address. In his address he congratulated the movement for having taken the lead in placing Hyderabad in the global map on a concept, which has been evolving. He also highlighted the need for management to pay adequate attention and dedicate resources on usability for gaining competitive edge. He later inaugurated the exhibition.
Prof. Ravi Poovaiah from the Industrial Design center of IIT Mumbai, educated the audience on the various design models. He shared with the group some of the cutting edge creative solutions developed by the students of IIT in making technology user-friendly.
Prof. Anirudha Joshi of the same institute enthralled the audience with insights on the evolution of usability as a profession. He demonstrated the various challenges ahead for practitioners in the Indian context and the need to generate knowledge from the Indian context.
Prof. Pramod Shinde, principal of SV College of Architecture emphasized the importance of Aesthetics and advised consumers to boycott ugly products.
Mrs Rajeshwari Pingali, who represented the NGO perspective to the event, shared her experience in designing the Computer On Wheels (COW) project. She emphasized the challenges involved in taking technology to the grassroots.
Mr Ravi Krishnan, Design head of Trina, an elearning firm based in Hyderabad, spoke about the small steps required to bring about fulfilling experiences in products and services. Through visual documentation of day-to-day living experiences in apartments of Hyderabad he demonstrated the lack of sensitivity with the producers and buyers as a stumbling block in building a usability aware society.
Prof. Ravi Pooviah announced the winners of the bad design contest and the International cartoon contest. The entries were received from all over the world. Kazanevsky Vladimir from Ukraine won the first prize, Masoud from Iran and Alexandrov from Russia won the second prizes, Sanketh from India, Fan Lin Tao from China and Josip from Croatia won the third prizes in Cartoon category. Ten bad design winners were also announced.
The entries were shortlisted prior to the event by Legendary artist & cartoonist Dr. Bapu and the editorial team from Times group, hyderabad is the jury behind selecting winning. Each of the winners were given cash awards
Mr. Gaurav Kumar Singh of Cordys walked through the usability process adopted in the company.
Ms Reshma Parveen, a student of NID, shared her research on the usability issues in railway stations.
Another student, Ms. Kranthi, discussed her ideas to improve the quality of work place in call center organizations.
Mrs. Suvarna from HR of Cordys compered the event.
Mr. Shyam Sundar from the usability group of Cordys gave the vote of thanks.