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The UPA is dead, long live the UXPA!

June 20, 2012

Recently the UPA (Usability Professionals Association) announced that it is changing it’s name to the UXPA (User Experience Professionals Association).

You can see the announcement letter from the president here – An open letter to the User Experience Community

The UPA has long been criticised as being a relic of an old school mentality that ‘Usability’ is a something separate to of the broader UX design discipline. Largely this has just been because they haven’t wanted to change the name of a well cognised professional organisation. None the less this has still led to them being seen as outdated by other groups such as the IxDA (Interaction Design Association). Or in competition with HCI people.

This has also been part of the ongoing conversation about defining User Experience Design, what fits under this umbrella term, or that you can’t design an experience – just the interactions.

Is this change a sign of the UX discipline starting to mature, or just simply a cynical land grab from professional bodies? I’m curious to hear other peoples’ opinions about this.

Although I’ve been an active member of the IxDA for a while (I run the Brisbane group and have been to some of the conferences), I’ve never had much to do with the UPA, other having paid the membership fee for one year and feeling like I got a huge amount out of it.

Does anyone else have any experiences with them?

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