This has been running since 2005; each year, on the second Thursday of November, over 225 events are organized in over 40 countries around the world to raise awareness for the general public, and train professionals in the tools and issues central to good usability research, development and practice.
This year the theme is Transportation, with various practitioners and organizations addressing the impact of transport methods and practices on people and on the environment we live in. And while browsing some of this, I found this interesting research report from the UX Alliance on Parking Meters around the world, with a focus on their ease (or not) of operation. Turns out that “… no two parking meters … are completely the same and that the complexity of operating the parking meters varies considerably. There is a world of difference between the auto-detecting parking meter in Tokyo and the complex and error-prone parking ticket dispenser in Amsterdam.” The report, with numerous photos, is quite interesting and insightful about proper design (or otherwise) – recommended reading!