Hello, I’m Jim Ross, another user experience guy. Over the last ten years my job title has morphed from Usability Analyst to User-Centered Designer to Human Factors Analyst to Design Researcher. But regardless of the title, I’ve done the same things. Although lately I’ve been specializing in the research side of user experience and collaborating with designers.
In short, I like to tell people that I find out what’s wrong with things, what people really need, and then make those things better and easier to use. It’s really about problem solving. Clients come to us with a problem. They either want to fix an existing product (website, application, device, etc.) or they want to create a new product. I conduct research to understand the business needs and the user needs to discover the problems and opportunities, I find out what people really need, I recommend solutions, and then a designer and I collaborate to design the solutions to those problems.
As part of that research, I do things like contextual inquiries, ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups (occasionally), card sorting, tree testing, heuristic evaluation, usability testing, and other techniques.
I’ve been working in the user experience field since 2000 at Bank One, JPMorgan Chase, and Electronic Ink, a design firm in Philadelphia. I received my Masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University.
Publishing and Presenting
I currently write a bimonthly column for UXmatters called Practical Usability. See my Publications page for a list of the articles. I also have presented several times at the UPA Conference on topics such as eyetracking and recruiting user research participants.
Why Another UX Blog?
Yes, part of it was for shameless self-promotion, but also as an outlet for my thoughts. I have a lot of ideas that don’t fit the format of a 2000 – 3000 word article. Those ideas tend to languish around and never get published. The topics of this blog focus on user experience, user research, usability, design, and other related things in that vein. I hope you’ll find them interesting.