What is UI-SIG?

The Portland User Interface Special Interest Group is a group of internet, software and product development professionals who meet monthly to learn more about usability and user experience. Each month, we invite a company to present their Web site, product or application at our hands-on round table review meeting.

The group has been reviewing interfaces since Fall of 2001 by Frank Spillers, MS a leading Usability consultant, Cognitive Scientist and founder of Experience Dynamics. To date we have reviewed over 80 interfaces including financial web applications, healthcare websites, accessibility sites, kiosks, peer-to-peer applications, Human Resources web applications, education websites, web analytics applications, Intranets and products like GM’s OnStar, Intel’s Home Media Center, Drupal Content Management System and more.

The meeting offers a venue for guest companies to tap the minds and experiences of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals who focus on the user experience.

The group is attended by organizations including Xerox, Regence, Standard Insurance, Hewlett-Packard, ColumbiaSoft, First Tech Credit Union, Intel, American Airlines, Microsoft, GE Healthcare, WebTrends, US Bank and others in addition to user experience professionals in start-ups, advertising firms, Web design agencies and independent usability consultants.

Would you like a complimentary group usability review at our monthly meeting?

Contact Frank Spillers at (503) 978-9183 x100 or email Frank at admin@portlandusability.com and get on our list for next month!

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who has an interest in understanding the strategic value of usability as relates to marketing and design strategy on your website, software application or product. The group is attended by senior managers, marketing, development, consultants and usability specialists.

Why people Attend--in their own words:

(based on a 2002 survey)

  • "Hear other opinions/perspectives on user interface design".
  • "Insight into good user design techniques & principles".
  • "We as a company were able to have completely unbiased feedback provided to us on how our website did, or did not portray the messages and capabilities we hoped it did".
  • "Good case studies".
  • "We received multiple suggestions from pros regarding how we can improve the usability of our site".
  • "Our website was being evaluated. The comments gave us a fresh perspective on our site".
  • "There was a lot of feedback and interaction, which meant that even if only 1/2 of it was new and only 1/2 of that was "good" - it was still worthwhile".
  • "It's always good to see how different people analyze the same problem and learn from the different approaches. Also, meeting other local individuals in the UI field has been good".
  • "Hands-on education about website usability, using a live example and a room full of knowledgeable folk".
  • "Networking and collegial discussion".
  • "It gives me an opportunity to check my thoughts against others in a collegial environment".
  • "Range of opinions is good. People sharing knowledge. Variety of projects reviewed".

Previous websites, applications and products we have reviewed include:

  • Ecommerce websites
  • Healthcare information website
  • Healthcare products and services sites
  • Local government information websites
  • Linux software application
  • Content management tool
  • Human Resources legal information website
  • Accounting management application
  • Telematics automotive interior
  • Environmental products and services site
  • CD-ROM
  • Video streaming services website
  • Education website
  • Professional organization site
  • Oil company intranet site
  • Disability and Accessibility information site
How to Join

There are two ways you can participate:

As a Guest:

  • Guests are companies who volunteer to have their website, application or product reviewed by the group.
  • The cost of the review is currently FREE.
  • Since our meetings are now online, guests are welcome from anywhere in the United States or Internationally.

Next step: Guests can express interest in having their product reviewed by filling in the form on the right of this page.

As a Member:

  • Members or contributing reviewers participate in the hands-on, round-table peer review of the guest company’s website, application or product.
  • The cost of membership is currently FREE.
  • Contributing Reviewers are made up of professionals all with an interest or direct role in User Experience and Usability. Members include: Usability Engineers, Usability Managers, Developers, Flash Designers, Graphic Designers, Human Factors Engineers, Interaction Designers, Marketers, Presidents/ CEO’s, Product Designers, Product Managers, Project Managers, Technical Writers, User Interface Designers, Usability Consultants.
  • You may contribute to the meeting or listen as a “fly on the wall”.

Next Step: Reviewers are our members. Join the list to be notified of the next meeting by signing up .

How It Works

There are 5 basic rules to our meeting that have kept us successful and relevant:

Note: The meetings are held online using screen sharing and a phone conference line.

  1. Learning orientation — both guest companies and members learn from the interaction.
  2. Peer environment — the meeting is informal and offers a chance to compare what you know to your peers.
  3. Open and informal — you can either contribute or listen. Of course, it’s nicer to hear from everyone.
  4. No pitches — this is a professional meeting, there is no pitch for any product or service. (Email sign—ups are used only to remind you of meetings).
  5. Easy access — the meeting is free for guests and members! No formal membership requirements are necessary. What we all get out of these meetings is learning.

(The meeting is sponsored by Experience Dynamics. If you’d like to sponsor or contribute, get in touch).

What to expect:

Guests request to have their website, application or product reviewed by the group.

  • The guest company chooses 3 tasks to review.
  • The group spends 90 minutes reviewing the business objectives and tasks.
  • From the group review, the guest gets a free usability review (called a Heuristic Evaluation) and the group gets to learn from peers and sharpen their skills.

Next step: Guests can express interest in having their product reviewed by filling in the form on the top right of this page. Since our meetings are now online, guests are welcome from anywhere in the United States or Internationally.

Usability 101

Usability usually refers to websites and software but is applicable to any technological product or design that a human needs to understand and interact with.

The objectives of usability are:

  • Making navigation intuitive
  • Increasing understanding
  • Shortening the complexity and time to accomplish tasks
  • Reducing the number of mistakes made
  • Reducing learning time
  • Improving user satisfaction with a system
  • Improving marketing communications with the user interface
  • Increasing the effectiveness of advertising and branding
  • Increasing the sales and revenue potential of a product or website

Read more about the Science of Usability.Registering adds you to our mailing list. You receive an email reminder monthly. Privacy is guaranteed 100%. No exceptions. This is a professional organization.

Be our Guest! Ask how you can have your website usability reviewed.

Contact Information:
For questions, press or to arrange a free review of your Web site, software or product contact:

Frank Spillers

Chairperson and Founder
Principal & Co-CEO
Experience Dynamics
503.978.9183 x100

Our Guests

The following companies have participated as guests-- they have offered their Websites, applications or products to be reviewed by our group.

iPhone application social networking
Health information in-store kiosks
Requirements gathering software
Viiv Media Center home entertainment system
Open Source content management system
Social web browser
Peer-to-Peer file sharing software
Web Analytics-online marketing
OnStar automotive telematics display
Web analytics application dashboard
Web analytics application dashboard
Human Resources Web site
3D drug design software
Healthcare website
Accessibility (section 508) website
Technology website
Higher Education website
Retail website
Professional organization website
Technology product website
Technology website
Medical Content Provider website
Document Management software and website
Student Portfolio websites
Intranet Usability
Web Application site tools
E-commerce Website
Online Social Network & Reputation Management Web Application
Human Resources management Web Application
E-commerce Website
Online Collaboration & Productivity Application
www.gallup.com Polling data & consulting
Nonprofit website
Advanced Science and Technology applied learning (Univ of Nebraska)
Health and fitness website
Ecommerce sports clothing website