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MSU Promotes Accessibility for Everyone

Thursday, December 6, 2018  
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Michigan State University (MSU) held its 16th Annual Michigan World Usability Day Conference on November 8th in East Lansing. The University’s Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC) group hosted the event, which was sponsored by many MSU departments and programs as well as A.J. Boggs & Company (AJBoggs) of East Lansing and TechSmith of Okemos.

World Usability Day was founded to explore ways to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use. It promotes the belief that no one should suffer from products and services that get in their way. This year, nearly 300 gathered, including industry professionals, world-class academics, government leaders, and students. The program workshops explained the progression from usability to user experience and user-centered design. Each year, the World Usability Day community holds over 150 events in more than 40 countries. MSU's event draws speakers and attendees from all over North America.


Sarah J. Swierenga, the Director of UARC said: “We always enjoy hosting this event, which is popular with our IT/UX colleagues.” Erik Dahl of Erik Dahl Design Company in Grand Rapids reminded us to "make stuff that matters" and of R. Buckminster Fuller’s call for us all "to be architects of the future, not its victims.” Richard Bogard, a Senior Software Developer at AJBoggs, said: “The conference helped me to appreciate what it means to focus on usability and how essential it is for some and benefits everyone!”

 

AJBoggs’ Team also learned these lessons:

  • Doing usability and accessibility well requires strong processes and getting the fundamentals right, like listening to your target audience, understanding their needs and how they use the products
  • Don’t start with the standards; start with solid design and user input
  • Products will ease users’ lives when software developers effectively listen and respond to user feedback

About A.J. Boggs & Company

AJBoggs is an Internet product and cloud services firm headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, with offices in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan. AJBoggs offers web, computer security, systems administration, full-text search engine, software development, ehealth, cryptocurrency, enterprise applications, and database management services. Visit www.ajboggs.com for more information.


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