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28 October, 2010

Join us:

UPA Boston is pleased to invite you to its October meeting. Join us at The Boston Globe, Thursday, October 28th for an evening of Ten-Minute Talks. Six speakers will try to beat the clock to present all of their material. Talks are below.

  1. Weird and Wacky: Out of the Box Thinking to get your Team (and users) Engaged.
  2. The Empowering Impact of Mobile Telephones on the Italian Deaf
  3. Smart Home Technologies for the Aging Population
  4. Communicating Game Status
  5. Ending Without a Bang; A Tribute to Jim Staszewski, Usability Hero
  6. The Makings of a Supervillain: a Taxonomy Tell-All

Join us for a tour of the Boston Globe from 6:30-7pm.

Thanks, hope to see you there!
— UPA Boston


Thursday, Oct 28th, 6-9PM
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Refreshments & Networking
6:30 – 7:00 pm – Tour of Boston Globe
7:00 – 9:00 pm – Talks and Q&A

Boston Globe
135 William T Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
Parking: in front & back of the building – OR – 7 min. walk from JFK/UMASS Red Line T stop.


1. Weird and Wacky: Out of the Box Thinking to get your Team (and users) Engaged.
– Theresa Crafts, Fidelity Investments

What do children’s toys have to do with Agile Design? Everything! If you need your users and your team engaged and excited about another design meeting, then being weird and wacky will keep them coming back for more. I will share examples of what we have used to engage our very busy team and user group to gather requirements, draft designs, and finalize the solution that will make the most impactful change.

2. The empowering impact of mobile telephones on the Italian Deaf Community
– Lisa Renery Handalian, Bank of America, Merrill-Lynch

The late 1990s saw many changes in how European Deaf community members interacted with both their hearing and Deaf connections in a remote, synchronous manner. Both provided by the state, French Mini-Tels and Italian TTYs, for example, were cumbersome and non-portable outside the home. Now mobile telephone use has become both pervasive and imminently affordable, many of the conveniences enjoyed by the hearing are shared by our Deaf peers in ways that might not be readily apparent. This mini-talk is an initial exploration / sharing of first-hand observations of Italian Deaf community members whose lives have been transformed by mobile telephony.

3. “Smart Home” Technologies for the Aging Population
– Dharmesh Mistry & Kate Fleming, Bentley University

This paper investigates the history and current capabilities of “Smart House” technologies, specifically as they apply the safety and well-being of older citizens wishing to live independently at home as long as possible. Attention is paid to research being done worldwide, with specific focus on the US, Europe and Japan. “Smart Home” studies and models being developed by Duke, MIT, and Georgia Tech. are explored in greater detail. This paper also reviews some technologies that, while not under the umbrella of “Smart Housing”, nonetheless could have potential benefits in future home elder care.

4. Communicating Game Status
– Elizabeth Hinkelman & Brad Myers, Galactic Village Games, Inc.

In Galactic Village you are an immortal demigod, and you need to keep your people happy, healthy, and thriving. But are they happy, or what? The Galactic Village designers have some ideas about how to convey the status of the little people, and we’d like to give you a peek and get your feedback.

5. Ending Without a Bang; A Tribute to Jim Staszewski, Usability Hero
– Paul Tynan, EMC Corporation

This is a story about how Jim used a classic usability technique to save countless people from the M14 (toe popper) mine.

6. The Makings of a Supervillian: a Taxonomy Tell-All
– Seth Maislin, Earley & Associates

Watch what happens when the one person in charge of all the words makes an eleventh-hour decision to maintain user experience … and catastrophically risks a business-critical, multinational product launch.

Bios (in approximate order of appearance):

Theresa Crafts
Theresa is a Senior Information Architect at Fidelity Investments.  Her background in corporate training, adult education, event coordination and her MBA degree gives her a plethora of ideas to keep hum-drum meetings professionally exciting. For more info visit theresacrafts.info

Lisa (Renery) Handalian
Lisa currently works as a Usability Engineer at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and previously an IA at Fidelity, and a customer experience analyst at Watchfire-Gomez/Keynote Systems. Lisa has lived and worked abroad in Turkey and Italy teaching English as a Second Language and conducting linguistic research within native Deaf communities. One of her proudest accomplishments was participating in the ethnographic study of regional Italian signs for the first Italian Sign Language Dictionary published in Italy and organized by hand-shape, rather than Italian alphabetic order. You can follow her latest hijinks on twitter @LisaHand.

Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh is currently pursuing his masters in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University and is graduating in December 2010. He is currently working as an experience design research intern at Intuit. Before that, he was a research associate at Bentley Design and Usability Center. He is also the President of hFIDO, Human Factors in Information Design Organization at Bentley University.

Kate Fleming
Kate is a Business Applications Specialist for BBNT. She is currently at Bentley getting a MS in Human Factors and Information Design (Class of 2011). She has a BFA in three dimensional Fine Arts from Mass Art, and certificates in Client-Server technologies and VB from BU. Kate is also the retired Director of the Gallery at 38 Cameron in Cambridge, MA.

Brad Myers
Brad is the founder and CEO of Galactic Village Games. His specialties are Java systems architecture, 2D and 3D graphics programming, artificial intelligence, database design, online game design, and general entrepreneurship. Brad has been a professional game developer at Digital Illusions (Orbiter, Sub Battle Simulator) and Strategic Simulations Inc (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance). The game engine he created was used for an entire series of Dungeons & Dragons games by SSI.

Elizabeth Hinkelman
Elizabeth is a researcher in human-computer interaction. In her role as VP of Development for Galactic Village games she conducts usability testing and participates in game design. She has contributed to voice products including the iConverse mobile voice suite and Kurzweil Voice Express, a voice interface to Microsoft Word. Her current interest is gesture and spatial cognition.

Paul Tynan, PhD CPE
Paul has been a human factors engineer/UI designer/User Experience Designer for several decades.  He has designed for users ranging from grandma’s to super IT geeks.

Seth Maislin
Seth is an indexing and information architecture consultant, specializing in the construction of navigable information hierarchies, knowledge retrieval systems, and indexes. He is an industry leader in editorial indexing and search and database keywording.

Seth is an adjunct instructor at Bentley College, Middlesex Community College, and Simmons College, all in Massachusetts. His acclaimed interactive online-learning indexing course is only one of two in the global industry. Seth served on the national board of the American Society of Indexers, including as president in 2006-7. Prior to joining Earley & Associates, Seth worked with a large variety of clients, such as the United Nations Library, Mattel, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and PeopleSoft. Notable former in-house positions include senior integration manager at Terra Lycos, and senior indexer at O’Reilly & Associates. He has written several articles for professional print and online periodicals.

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