World Usability Day 2014

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World Usability Day Logo

Usability is “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” – ISO

World Usability Day: Hampton Roads

On Saturday, November 15th we hosted our annual World Usability day event at Hatch in downtown Norfolk. World Usability Day ( is a single day of events that brings together communities for our common objective: to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use. It is about making our world work better. Designers, developers, students, researchers and project managers connected all day, learned from one another, and left more motivated than ever.

Felix Portnoy presenting his workshop about heuristic evaluation
Felix Portnoy discussing return on investment and research methods

Felix Portnoy, PhD (Human Factors & Usability Engineer at IBM; Sole Proprietor of UX of A) presented “10 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks! An Introduction to Usability Hacking.” He shared the fundamentals of usability evaluation using low cost techniques that attendees could apply on their own, such as heuristic evaluation.

Bianca Chesimard observing attendees practice asking a client questions about their needs
Bianca brainstorming with one of two groups during her workshop

Bianca Chesimard (Mobile Product Owner at Ferguson Enterprises) presented “Build it: Leverage UX Skills to Make a Product People Will Use.” In the most hands-on workshop of the day, attendees learned some key questions to ask clients and worked in teams to create early concepts of a product clients would love.

Brainstorming and prototyping based on a client's needs
Brainstorming and prototyping

Chandler Turner (President, UX and IA Specialist, Brand Consultant at Accurate Business Communications) presented “Causing People to Take Action on  Your Site With Persuasive Branded Content.” Chandler helped attendees address the answer to three important questions that users will ask when they land on a website: 1. Where am I? 2. What can I do here? 3. Why should I participate?

Navaneeta discussing accessibility
Navaneeta discussing accessibility

Navaneeta Dorbala (Support Engineer at Intergraph) presented “Design for All: An Introduction to Accessibility in Design.” Drawing heavily on Whitney Q’s A Web For Everyone, this workshop offered a hands-on approach to applying personas with special needs to evaluate and improve any website.

Alex describing the need to focus on your process more than the final product
Alex describing how to focus on your process more than the final product in your portfolio

Alex Proaps (Human Factors Psychology Instructor and Research Assistant at Old Dominion University) presented “Create A Kick-ass UX Portfolio and Land Your Dream Job.” Now more than ever, designers and researchers need a portfolio to visually demonstrate their skills to potential employees. Alex shared tips and specific examples to help you build a job-winning portfolio that focuses on your process and showcases your specific skill set.

Books for attendees
Books for attendees

We appreciate all the support we had from the community – thank you to each and every individual who donated time and resources, who shared event info with their networks, and who helped make this a successful event. Thank you to our speakers, attendees, Hatch Norfolk, and our book sponsors.

Thanks to our sponsors

oreillylogo Logo Vertical hatch A Book Apart Logo    Ashgate_logo_red-bk


Post by Alex Proaps. Photos by Alex Proaps and Navaneeta Dorbala.

We’d love to host this event again next year! If you have suggestions for speakers, if you have a workshop you’d like to teach, or if you want to learn more about UXPA Norfolk, please contact Alex at!



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