Software usability: courses?

Subject: Software usability: courses?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:40:45 -0500

Bryan Johnson documents << products and have been asked by my
manager to take a more active role in giving usability feedback to our
developers. I thought I'd put some feelers out and see if there are seminars
our college courses that would help me meet this objective.>>

If you're looking for formal courses, try the ones given by Jared Spool and
the gang at User Interface Engineering ( UIE studies have
occasionally been criticized for a lack of scientific rigor, but their
results nonetheless make a great deal of sense to me; even where I have
quibbles with their methodology or results, they still hit the mark more
often than most. If you're looking for a parallel approach, Jakob Nielsen
( does excellent work, and I'm confident his partners meet
similarly high standards. Jakob's also published a variety of books on the
subject, which should turn up in any Web based search (e.g., William Horton's books on designing online information also
have much to say about interface design.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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