Speed Sketching for World Usability Day 2010

World Usability Day 2010 logo
This time last year, I had only been in my job at the EBI for a couple of months. I was still dealing with settling in and figuring out how things work. Even though EBI Interfaces was already going strong then, I was just too busy to have time to do anything for World Usability Day.

This year, however, things are happening…

We plan to host a “speed sketching” event for staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute and Sanger Institute. Roughly following the idea of speed dating or speed networking, everyone can bring along a usability, data viz or UI design “issue”, and in groups of 3, have an opportunity to rapidly discuss and sketch possible solutions.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov 11th, 14:00 – 15:00
WHERE: Room C202/3 shared facilities (next to DiNA)

World Usability Day is an international event organised by the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA). The theme for 2010 is “Communication“.

Now, admittedly, the UPA mean that the day should focus on tools and software used for communication. But they do say…

Communication is key. People need to connect with each other.

Too true. We think that a speed sketching event is a way to bring people together to work on a problem when they might not usually have any interaction. Plus, many of the services and tools developed by staff at the EBI and Sanger Institute are used to communicate scientific information and data.

We hope that the cross-pollination of ideas in this speed dating style design session will be fun, and with any luck, there might be some real breakthroughs! Some of you might have heard of this kind of thing being done at business networking events, and the EBI post docs have held “speed collaboration” events in the past.

So come along armed with a usability issue or user interface challenge from your project, and see what ideas can be generated in a 5-minute burst of brainstorming, discussion and sketching!

We will provide pens, paper, sketchsheets, sweets, etc…

Hope to see you there… I will be the one with a stopwatch and a whistle!

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