Usability Researcher

Survey consumers on the user-friendliness of electronic products.

What does an Usability Researcher do?

A Usability Researcher studies the interaction between people and electronic interfaces. From the studies, Usability Researchers research ways to make the use of computer programs easier and more helpful to people. They make sure that the products they research are easy to understand, and evaluate where improvements can be done.

Your role as a Usability Researcher in the process of creating an interface starts at the very beginning, in the early stages of research. You communicate extensively with groups of people who use that product or interface, and you find out what it is exactly they’re looking for, what they haven’t seen on the market as of yet, and what pitfalls they’ve had with other similar applications.

You also meet with company personnel on a regular basis, create storyboards to present to a development team, and test out new programs with users. Then you improve, improve, and improve upon what’s already there. Your position is a unique blend of electronics know-how, psychology, graphic design, and engineering. Because of that, your background and education might be very different from those of the Usability Researcher at the desk next to yours.