Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is usability?
Usability engineering is an approach to product development that incorporates direct user feedback throughout the development cycle in order to reduce costs and create products and tools that meet user needs.
Two international standards define usability and human-centred (or user-centered) design:
"[Usability refers to] the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use." - ISO 9241-11
"Human-centered design is characterised by: the active involvement of users and a clear understanding of user and task requirements; an appropriate allocation of function between users and technology; the iteration of design solutions; multi-disciplinary design." - ISO 13407
2. What do usabilty
Usability activities are part of an overall user-centered design approach. They encompass a full range of goals-setting, user and task analysis, interface design, information architecture and usability evaluation activities that go into creating the user experience. The UXPA publishes a poster with an overview of the user-centered design process.
3. What is the UXPA?
The UXPA is a membership association of usability professionals. The User Experience Professionals Association was formed to:
- Provide a network and opportunities through which usability professionals can communicate and share information about skills and skill development, methodology used and/or proposed in the profession, tools, technology, and organizational issues.
- Present the viewpoints of the profession to the public and other interested parties.
- Represent the profession before governmental bodies and agencies.
- Provide the methods and means to increase the members' knowledge of the profession.
4. How many members
does the UXPA have?
The UXPA has over 2500 members, worldwide. Chapters are located in the US, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil.
5. What are the publications
of the UXPA?
The UXPA publishes a quarterly magazine, User Experience and a peer-reviewed Journal of Usability Studies.
Member publications include the online UXPA Voice and UXPA Monthly.
6. What is the typical salary for a usability professional? The average salary of usability practitioners in member survey conducted in 2005 was $78,500. For more information, see the 2005 survey of over 1300 usability professionals
7. What educational
background do usablity professionals have?
Usability professionals come from many backgrounds. Over 45% members surveyed in 2005 hold a Masters degree in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) or Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology or Computer Science.
Other educational backgrounds include: Business Administration or Management, Experimental psychology, Technical Communications, Fine Arts and other Social Sciences.
8. If I want to interview leaders in the usability profession for an article, whom do I contact?
John E. Kasper, PhD
executive-director at uxpa.org
140 N. Bloomingdale Road
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017