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Some thoughts on World Usability Day

Yesterday was “World Usability Day.” This is sad. Here’s why.

We denote particular days for two reasons: To commemorate something (Martin Luther King’s birthday, for example), or to bring attention to a cause not otherwise in the public eye. “Usability” falls into the latter category. Alas.

Let me share an inconvenient truth.

My family has no clue what I do for a living (even though I wrote a usability book). I can live with that. But I’m not alone: I hear the same story from many of my colleagues around the world. And here’s the rub: If we, as experts in some esoteric corner of interactive life (UX, IA, CS, whatever),  are unable to communicate what we do to others (our spouses, for example), how can we ever be expected to communicate our message to the business community (the folks who pay for our services)?

I firmly believe that the day we no longer need a “World Usability Day,” the world will be a much better place.

Do you want to change the world? Do you think usability is important? Then TODAY is the day to do something, a day that has no special significance whatsoever.

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