Following the opening plenary, a reception sponsored by BayDUX and its participating organizations concluded the events of World Usability Day around the world and provided a great opportunity for everyone attending DUX to get together and talk. The hall in which the reception took place was too small to accommodate everyone, so the overflow crowd was in a tent, shown in Figure 1, that was buffeted by a chill wind carrying a spray of raindrops. (Thanks Yahoo! for those umbrellas all attendees received! They came in handy.) The great company made up for being a bit cold, and it was wonderful to be part of this World Usability Day celebration.
The opening plenary set a standard of creativity that was difficult to uphold. The conference sessions on Days 2 and 3 of DUX comprised panels of speakers, each of whom had only five or six minutes to present papers covering often disparate topics. The emphasis was more on ethnography than design and on the practical techniques with which most people are already familiar rather than on envisioning new paradigms. Presentations ranged from great to ho-hum. Some speakers were very engaging and used their minutes effectively, making one wish they had more time; others were boring and seemed to go on interminably. The organizers of this event tried to cram too much content into too little time. As a consequence, coverage of topics was generally superficial, and there were few insights or revelations that might have stimulated thinking among the cognoscenti. I would have preferred to have heard the best speakers—for instance, the very amusing Jared Spool—talk for half an hour and read the rest of the papers on the “Proceedings” CD-ROM. Discussions with many other attendees both during and following DUX echoed this viewpoint.