Usability Consultant

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Job: Usability Consultant
Employer: Usability Services (U of MN - Twin Cities)

* Full-Time
* Starting Hourly Rate $54,850 - $60,000 DOQ

The University of Minnesota's Office of Information Technology (OIT) seeks a User Experience (UX) Consultant responsible for collaborating with design, development, and support teams across the University to advance user experience in technology rich environments. This position provides design skill and user experience knowledge to support innovative design projects. This position also manages and facilitates client driven usability projects.

The UX Consultant manages and participates in projects involving design and user experience issues, directs usability student staff, researches issues that arise within projects, and demonstrates an ability to explain the reasoning and philosophy behind design decisions in both mobile and web environments. This position will work with partners to inform/enhance design of critical web pages, partner in design of functionality for systems that are managed by OIT, and be part of a team that advocates for high-quality user experience in everything that we do with a sensitivity to people who have their own vision of what is going to happen.

The UX Consultant reports to the Usability Services Manager in OIT's Collaborative for Academic Technology Innovation (CATI). This position requires occasional re-arrangement of hours and the UX Consultant is expected to work with management to determine how they can accommodate usability projects, design work, and outreach tasks as needed.


* Bachelor's degree and 3 years of related professional experience or a combination of education and experience totaling 7 years
* Experience with web development methodologies (ex: Agile, Waterfall)
* Experience creating usable web and mobile designs

* Bachelor's degree in design-related, communication-related, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), or computer science related field.
* Experience with prototyping tools (ex: Axure, Balsamiq)
* Experience moderating usability evaluations
* Professional experience designing for the web and mobile
* Experience managing projects for a client
* Strong oral and written communication skills

45% - Design
* Conceptualize, design, and prototype user interfaces for use on a range of devices and platforms.
* Involve sponsors and stakeholders in the requirements process to ensure outcomes meet user and stakeholder needs and expectations are controlled.
* Collaborate with development teams to determine user-friendly design solutions
* Author design specifications and create prototypes and quickly iterate design ideas in various levels of fidelity (ex: paper, wireframes, mock-ups)
* Explain reasoning for design choices in a clear way that emphasizes user experience
* Encourage user research and testing when appropriate and apply research/testing findings to the design process.
* Demonstrate creativity in mobile and web designs within the constraints of organizational standards

40% - Usability Consulting
* Work with technical project manager, business analyst, and/or designer to plan for assigned usability projects.
* Prepare and hold kickoff meetings for usability projects. Select and/or design appropriate information-gathering techniques and usability assessment methods to meet the customer's objectives. Identify appropriate evaluator populations for participant recruiting. Identify appropriate evaluator tasks or activities for product evaluation.
* Prepare usability project plans; arrange for participant recruiting; prepare scenarios, tasks, and scripts to meet test requirements; and hold scenario/prototype review meetings.
* Prepare for and facilitate usability tests, terminology reviews, focus groups, card-sort sessions, user interviews, and other information-gathering or usability assessment sessions.
* Debrief usability teams and document results of each participant's test or session.
* Lead usability teams through issues analysis sessions to build consensus about the resolution of usability issues.
* Analyze results from usability evaluations, terminology reviews, focus groups, card-sort sessions, user interviews, and other information-gathering or usability assessment sessions.
* Identify the most important findings and recommendations for addressing them. Prepare executive summary report and detailed results report(s), and present results to customers.
* Stay current on accessibility issues and develop knowledge to share with customer teams when those issues arise in projects.
* Meet with academic researchers about research usage of the Usability Lab, assisting them with designing the research they will conduct in the lab, and training researchers to use the lab equipment

15% - User Advocate
* Promote user-experience framework for design and development at the University
* Stay current on user-centered-design methods and where they fit in the design process
* Encourage compassion among teams for users who have to struggle with bad design daily
* Preparing and delivering presentations about user-experience and user-centered-design

Application Instructions
Please complete the online application and attach your resume and cover letter. Please include salary expectations in your cover letter. Your employment application and/or resume must reflect all aspects of the required qualifications for your application to be referred to the hiring department. Position may remain posted until filled. See job posting at for application and additional details

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This page contains a single entry by Department of Writing Studies published on February 22, 2012 8:28 AM.

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