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Career Opportunities

Usability Specialist

Usability specialists ensure that technical and other products are easy and efficient to use. They watch and interview potential users to discover their needs and preferences. Web usability involves making web sites easy to use for an end-user, without requiring that user to undergo expert training. In the context of eCommerce websites, the meaning of web-usability is focused on efficiency and in generating sales and/or performing other business. The broad goals of usability are:

  1. To present the information to the user in a clear and concise way.
  2. To give correct choices to the users, in a very understandable way.
  3. To remove any doubt regarding the consequences of an action such as clicking on delete/remove/purchase.
  4. Put the most important things in the right place on a web page or a web application.

Day to Day Duties:

  • Consulting with company managers to assist in the develop of new tools and technologies
  • Doing research and asking questions on these new tools and technologies
  • Talking to and observing and questioning people who are using new products and technologies to find out what they like and dislike about them and what they would do to improve them
  • Writing reports about what is good and bad, what you have learned, and what suggestions you would make to improve any products or services
  • Doing research on new technologies and how people feel about them in order to make any additional recommendations for change

Average Salary: Starting Salary: $57,500. 5 Years Experience+: $89,000. Salary: Based on various websites and resources (ex. Salary.com, PayScale.com, and SalaryExpert.com). Specialty, gender, age, and location made a big difference in earnings.

Career Prospects:
According to US News and World Report usability specialists have a strong outlook. The number of new, complex products is proliferating, and many of them demand a usability specialist.
Key to getting hired is practical experience.

The US Bureau of Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition points out that:

"Employment in computer systems design and related services will grow by 38.3 percent and add nearly one-fourth of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services. Employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also will grow at a staggering 78 percent and account for another third of growth in this super sector. Demand for these services will be spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity of business."

Suggested Minors:

  1. Business
  2. Computer Science
  3. Psychology

Additional Courses to Enhance Skills: 
Additional Business, Computer Science, and Psychology courses

Alternate Job Titles:

  1. Usability Analyst
  2. Usability Consultant