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August 2009 Contents

UPA Job Bank

UPA 2009


UPA Membership Value Survey Result Preview

Rich Gunther

Rich is principal at both Ovo Studios and The Usability Team, and has been in the usability field since 1998. He serves on the UPA Board as Director of Members and Volunteers, as well as on the UPA Conference Committee as Student Volunteers Co-Chair and Managing User Experience Co-Chair.

In 2008, the Usability Professionals' Association deployed a survey to their membership to assess what parts of UPA membership were the most valuable, as well as which needed improvement. This survey sought to evaluate the UPA membership model, and also included an assessment of UPA's offering in comparison to similar professional organizations. While the full report is still in development, here are some highlights of the results:

About the Respondents

  • There were over 150 respondents, evenly split between male and female, with over half of the respondents residing or primarily working in the United States.
  • Nearly 75 percent of the respondents identified themselves as full time employees (as opposed to consultant, self-employed, or business owner).
  • The level of experience reported by respondents was very broad, though 50 percent of respondents reported having between 5 and 15 years in the field of usability and user experience.
  • Over 50 percent of respondents reported holding a Masters degree or higher, though the disciplines in which they held their degrees were very disparate.
  • The respondents represented a good cross-section of job level, title, vertical market, and specialization.
  • A majority of respondents felt that the business climate for usability services was improving, and would continue to improve for the next 12 months (this survey was deployed from November 2008 to the end of March 2009).
  • Respondents reported a vast array of user experience methodologies that they perform as parts of their jobs, with the most reported methods being "Usability Testing (informal)," "User Research (e.g. interviews and surveys)," "Prototyping (wireframes or low-fidelity)," and "Heuristic or expert reviews".

Membership Characteristics

  • 92 percent of respondents identified as members of UPA International, with nearly 60 percent indicating that they paid their own UPA dues.
  • 30 percent of respondents indicated that they belong only to UPA, though nearly 50 percent reported belonging to another HCI society (ACM-SIGCHI, BHCI, CHISIG).

About Membership Value

  • Most respondents reported that UPA was important to their professional development (55 percent responded a 5 or higher on a 7point Likert scale question).
  • Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the latest usability research findings are important for their work (58 percent responded a 6 or higher on a 7point Likert scale question).
  • Respondents were somewhat satisfied with the usability information UPA provides (average of between 4 and 5 on a 7point Likert scale question).
  • The most used benefit of UPA membership, as reported by respondents, was User Experience Magazine, followed by the UPA Monthly, the UPA Website, and local chapter membership.
  • In a free-form response question, most cited the annual conference, networking opportunities, UPA publications, access to information from the website, and access to the UX community as key benefits of UPA membership.
  • In a free-form response question, most respondents cited the usability and content of the website and "e-Blast" messages, support for local chapters, and improving relations with the international usability community as key areas for improvement for the UPA.

The full results report will be announced to all members through an eBlast from the UPA Office.


Usability Professionals' Association
promoting usability concepts and techniques worldwide
Phone + 1.630.980.4997         office@upassoc.org

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