Designing for Social Change: A World Usability Day Celebration

Usability Philippines and De La Salle University – Manila celebrated World Usability Day by holding a symposium aptly entitled “Designing for Social Change”. This event was held today, December 2, 2011 at the Waldo Perfecto Seminar Room of DLSU – Manila.

The goal of the event was to bring together a number of professionals to discuss aspects of usability that focus on advocating social change. Around a hundred individuals attended the symposium. The audience consisted of students from DLSU – Manila and other universities and colleges as well as professionals from several IT companies and organizations. I was very fortunate to be invited as one of the speakers in this event.

audience during the Designing for Social Change usability symposium

Having the privilege to be the first speaker, I talked about usability for persons with disabilities. I first discussed the technology that enables persons with disabilities to use the computer and the Internet. Then I explained the major usability and accessibility techniques which make it easier for persons with disabilities to access online content. Being a person with a disability myself, I strongly believe that if providers of online information implement usability and accessibility features in their content, persons with disabilities would be more capable of participating in society and in turn become contributors to social change.

Julius talking about usability for persons with disabilities

The next speaker was Ms. Melissa Limcaoco. She is the head of Digital Media, Smart Communications and the Head of Operations of the New Media Campaign of President Noynoy Aquino. Ms. Limcaoco discussed the strategies on how to effectively use digital media in campaigns and promotions, and the aspects of usability involved in them. Next was Mr. Andrei Gonzales, Communication Designer and Co-founder of Hugo MNL. Mr. Gonzales’ presentation was centered on the human angle of usability. Here he discussed the side of usability that goes beyond online content and applications. Mr. Gonzales also explained the ground-breaking usability strategies implemented by international companies such as Google and Apple. I was truly impressed by the presentations given by the other speakers and I definitely learned a lot about usability from them.

I thank Usability Philippines and De La Salle University – Manila for giving me an opportunity to share about usability and its importance to people with disabilities. To everyone involved in this event, rest assured that I will fully support you as you promote usability in our country.

About Usability Philippines: Usability Philippines is an organization of usability professionals that seeks to advocate the adoption of usability standards in the design of products, systems and interfaces in the Philippines. Check out their site at usabilityphilippines.com.

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