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New Board Members

The election results are in and four new members have been elected to the board.  Join us in welcoming: Laurie Kantner, Michele M. Liebman, Julie Nowicki, and Larry E. Wood.  

Laurie E. Kantner

Laurie Kantner is a Usability Specialist at Tec-Ed, Inc. She has designed and administered many usability studies of computer software, hardware, and documentation. Laurie has also planned, written, edited, and managed user training, documentation, and marketing communication projects for print and online delivery.

Laurie serves on the Editorial Board of Common Ground, the publication of the Usability Professionals' Association. Her article on "Following a Fast-Moving Target: Recording User Behavior in Web Usability Testing" appeared in the May 1998 issue of Common Ground.   She is active in UPA conferences, serving as co-program chair for the 1999 conference, Content Chair for the 2000 conference, and conference co-chair for the 2001 and 2002 conferences.

Michele M. Liebman

Michele M. Liebrnan is a General Principal with Edward Jones in their Information Systems Division. Since Michele joined Jones in 1984 as the Project Manager for their first firm wide Office Automation project, she has taken on a variety of roles and responsibilities including participating in the selection of the firm's satellite vendor and initiating the usability process. She was invited to be a limited partner in 1987 and a General Principal in 1993.

Michele holds a bachelor's degree in information technology from Washington University and an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. She has served on the board of Girls, Inc. since 1997.

Michele lives in Kirkwood with her husband and twin 10 year old sons.

Julie Nowicki

Julie Nowicki is the president of Optavia Corporation, a usability research and consulting firm for e-commerce. Before founding Optavia, Julie was Usability Services Manager at Compuware, where she created Compuware's Usability Services group in 1996. At Compuware, her team supported both IT clients and internal commercial software product development. Julie places an emphasis on a process-based approach to user interface design. She has developed and teaches UI design methodology for several corporations, focusing on supporting the full software development lifecycle. Julie’s long-term interest in the usability field stems from the broad scope, depth, and breadth of the profession. While she believes that usability testing is a cornerstone of the discipline, she also emphasizes its role as one technique in the overall 'toolkit" of user-centered design techniques.

Julie's areas of particular interest include object-oriented user interface design, strategic usability planning, and integration of usability techniques into the software development lifecycle. She devotes time to educating and assisting managers in how usability can reduce risk and increase the quality of products.

Julie has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin -Madison. She also holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin Management Institute.

Larry E. Wood

Larry Wood is a professor at Brigham Young University. He has been involved with Cognitive Psychology for 28 years, and has been a computer user since the mid 60's. When the Macintosh was unveiled in the early 80's, he immediately saw the GUI and direct manipulation as major breakthroughs, and began to think about software usability as a significant issue. Shortly thereafter, Larry started teaching a graduate course in Human-Computer Interaction. Over the years, as he has supervised students doing his version of User-Centered Design and has practiced it himself in consulting opportunities, he has developed a passion for promoting and improving it. That has led to research on interviewing and observation techniques for use in "requirements gathering" with users (e.g., Wood, 1996), on the process of interface design (Wood, 1998).

Recently, Larry was appointed to a position working directly under the university Vice-President of Information Technology to promote and implement User-Centered Design across all software development efforts on campus. Thus, he will now have even more opportunity to "practice what he preaches" and to gain an even better perspective on the field as it is experienced by the majority of UPA members.


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