Introduction to Volume 6, Issue 2

This is the second issue of Volume 6 of the journal. It includes a farewell from Avi Parush, who started the journal and served as editor in chief for its first five years. He set the bar high for both the quality of the papers and for the positive, constructive, and humane way he treated authors, reviewers, and the UPA staff. Thanks again Avi.

We are pleased to have a stimulating editorial from Misha Vaughan. In it, she describes her personal journey learning how to communicate the value of user experience to internal sales representatives. Perhaps the most important lesson for user experience professionals is questioning the assumptions we sometimes make about ourselves and about what motivates our colleagues in sales.

The first peer-reviewed article, by Carl Turner, focuses on a Balanced Scorecard approach to creating metrics to show the value that user experience provides to an organization. He proposes that user experience professionals go beyond simplified return on investment analyses to quantify the value we add to products.

The second article, by Jen Hocko, describes a case study showing how user experience professionals can smooth the introduction of a new product in an organization. When an organization has purchased a product and attempts to roll it out without any support from user experience professionals, end users often resist or rebel. Jen describes the steps in learning how we can add value to a team managing the roll out.

We are pleased to present the third article, by Brian Wentz and Jonathan Lazar. It is a carefully planned and executed usability comparison of email applications by users who are blind. The test sessions with blind participants provide data showing that they have unique problems with email and calendaring tasks. In addition, there are design flaws that cause minor problems for sighted users but become barriers to task completion for blind users. The authors urge us as a profession to include samples of blind users in our evaluations of products. This paper provides a blueprint for how to include a sample of disabled participants in a product evaluation.