WNYC's John Hockenberry to Chair World Usability Day This Year's Theme: Communication

Top Quote Renowned Journalist John Hockenberry will serve as the 2010 chair of World Usability Day. Hockenberry is an ideal choice for this year's World Usability Day's theme: Commujnication. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 09, 2010 - Boston, MA - John Hockenberry, an American journalist best known for his work on NPR, serves as Honorary Chairman of this year's World Usability Day (WUD) 2010. Hockenberry will be the keynote speaker for the New York City chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association's World Usability Day event, Thursday, November 11 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the New York Institute of Technology and is open to the public.

    WUD's mission is to ensure that products and services important to human life are easier to access and simpler to use.

    Asked for his thoughts on communication and usability, Hockenberry said, "The essence of good design is communication. Our relationship with objects and systems is a measure of how well they communicate our needs and feed back information. Usability is all about widening the channels of information so that our tools are designed to function effectively over the widest possible lifespan. Distinguishing between short-term individual wants and long-term community needs is the intelligent alternative to the prevailing strategy of growth for it's own sake. The alternative to usability is uselessness."

    Hockenberry has won four Emmy awards and three Peabody Awards. In early 2007, he accepted a position as a Distinguished Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab. He is the co-host of the daily, new morning drive news program, The Takeaway, co-created by Public Radio International and WNYC and editorial partners, the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Radio Boston. He is a contributing editor for Wired magazine, and Metropolis magazine and was named a contributor to a new magazine from Condé Nast entitled Portfolio.

    Each year, on the second Thursday of November, events are organized in more than 44 countries around the world to raise the public's awareness, and to train professionals in the tools and issues central to good usability research, development and practice.

    WUD was founded in 2005 as an initiative of the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA). It is about making our world work better, about "Making Life Easy" and user friendly. Technology today is too hard to use. A cell phone should be as easy to access as a doorknob. In order to humanize a world that uses technology as an infrastructure for communication, education, healthcare, transportation, government, entertainment, work and other areas, we must develop these technologies in a way that serves people first.

    The UPA was established in 1991 and continues to be the organization of choice for usability professionals worldwide. The UPA holds a yearly international conference (May 2010, Munich), publishes new findings through both the Journal of Usability Studies (JUS) and through User Experience Magazine, and has 50 chapters around the world.

    Contact: Judith Eckles
    judithe ( @ ) sagefrog dot com

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