Dear Masaaki, Dear Shino, Dear members of the HCD-NET and members of UPA Japan and dear attendees of today’s event.
On behalf of UPA International I would like to welcome you to your annual forum, which will discuss “Robust HCD” and will help to overcome various complex and difficult issues.
Q1: Please let us know your recent activities and topics of HCD, Usability or UX in your country.
One of my recent topics and activities of HCD, Usability and UX was dealing with the redesign of the Swiss Traffic Management. I helped to design the User Interfaces, which will later be used by different user groups to monitor and steer the entire road traffic in Switzerland. This also includes tunnel remote control management, which needs to take place in case of an emergency, as well as tunnel maintenance. Alongside that I also worked on the development of an industry device selector, which helps engineers to find the best suitable product for their specific needs when they develop and engineer large plants in various industries, such as chemical or pharmaceutical.
Q2: What kind of subjects are you focusing on?
Besides all of the different client projects, I’m also focusing on Experience Design and analyzing the impact that gender might have on usability. Within my day-to-day UPA world, I’m focusing on our Membership Model 2.0 roll out and various other strategic initiatives.
Q3: What do you think of our activities such as starting a certification program of HCD specialists in 2009 and aiming to establish social positions of them?
Certification is important to protect our industry. When you look at the development of our field, evidence suggests that our social positions dilute because more and more people without any previous knowledge or solid education in our field join the market to offer highly complex HCD, Usability or UX services. Because they lack a solid understanding they are not able to deliver high quality services. Consequently, clients are disappointed and misjudge the actual value our field is able to generate. Establishing social positions for our membership for me is a valuable side effect of certification. However, as I’ve mentioned already, the protection of our industry as a whole is most important.
Q4: We are facing a crisis after March 11 when devastating earthquakes and tsunamis hit Japan. Do you have any ideas on how HCD specialists can contribute to overcome this situation?
Japan is facing an extraordinary crisis after March 11 when devastating earthquakes and tsunamis hit the country. My heart goes out to you; your family and loved ones. For those of us outside Japan it is painful to watch from a distance and to not be able to help locally. The UPA has encouraged its membership however, to take the time to make a donation to a relief agency of their choice. If they don’t know where to start, UPA had suggested donating to the Red Cross. We hope that this is helpful.
Going back to your question, HCD, Usability or UX in my mind is much more than simply finding usage issues or designing products and services that are more attractive and simpler to use. Our field has a much broader responsibility that goes beyond the originally defined scope.
HCD, Usability or UX specialists should therefore be encouraged to think outside the box, and create social innovation in service design and in redevelopment with the aim to generate social improvements for the entire country. I personally have no doubt in my mind that the Japan HCD membership and UPA Japan will be able to achieve what is necessary to deal with the current situation.
Q5: What do you look forward to in regards to our HCD activities in Japan? Could you give us any message to revive from disaster?
I look forward to a unified HCD, Usability, UX and Design field in Japan that helps you strengthen your overall position, and helps you in reaching out as strong allies to other social groups in Japan. In my mind there is a strong need for our industry to help revive the country from the disaster. Focusing on the question “What innovations are needed for reviving and redeveloping the country?” might help you to find the tools necessary for overcoming the current crisis. I am thinking of food and water distribution, simplification of transport options, and reconstructions of buildings and areas.
I wish I could be there with you today to further discuss and explore these questions with you. For now, I wish you a wonderful day and a good annual forum and many fruitful discussions.
President UPA International
Silvia’s personal mantra: Enabling success…