Last week I and a group of Habanero colleagues presented at the monthly VanUE (Vancouver User Experience Group) meetup on how we participated in World Usability Day (WUD) back in November (2010). We outlined our process, our highs and lows, our decision points, our deliverables and our post-event reflections. The slideshow can be viewed here.

In case you don't want to read through all of the slides, here is what we did at a high level: The WUD Vancouver team came together in an attempt to fulfill the WUD 2010 theme (communication) by designing a mobile app that would connect citizens and their local government. The app we created is called PuddleWatch. Its primary purpose is to report puddles for the municipal government to fix and communicate back to the reporter (citizen) the status of the repaired puddles. PuddleWatch's design also incorporated a gaming aspect (à la Foursquare). We produced wireframes, personas, images, and a "Day in the Life" style presentation to tell the PuddleWatch story.

The VanUE presentation was well received and sparked a spirited Q&A session at the end of the talk. Questions ranged from "Was decision making distinct, or did decisions just evolve?" to "Is WUD achieving its purpose?". A brief discussion on last year's WUD event (2009) also took place, comparing the outcomes of the two self-organizing groups of UE professionals and their similarities and differences.

Afterwards, the presenters and the attendees headed over to the Lamplighter Pub in Gastown for snacks, drinks and further discussion. It was great to mingle with so many new and returning VanUE members. The VanUE byline for World Usability Day: "Facilitating communication between citizens and government" attracted a great mix of professionals and opinions, so conversations were lively and diverse.

This year's WUD theme is education. The byline is: Education — designing for social change. More information can be found on the WUD website. It will take place on the second Thursday of November and will hopefully attract another great group of UE professionals. The WUD Vancouver group is self-organizing though, so if you are feeling the pull to get involved this year, throw a note out to the community and get the ball rolling!

I hope to see you all at the next VanUE event!