A UCD Project Leader manages a
strategy to ensure that appropriate UCD
activities are carried out. Typical tasks include
staffing, project management, integrating the
efforts of team members, and providing UCD
education to the development team.
When trade press comes knocking, who
better than a member of the core UCD team
to discuss end-user issues? A Total User
Experience Leader provides vision and
has overall responsibility for the total user
experience of the offering. The UCD specialist
in this role leads the multidisciplinary design
team and works with project and executive
management to ensure a relentless focus
on producing an offering with a superior
total user experience.
An HCI Designer understands the classes
of users being designed for. The individual in
this role uses human-computer interaction
skills to analyze tasks, conceptual models,
and user expectations. He or she applies this
information to the initial design and prototyping of the user interface, and works with a
User Research Specialist to refine the design
and all aspects of user interaction through
iterative testing with users.
A User Research Specialist applies a
range of techniques to carry out and interpret
user studies. These techniques may include
traditional usability lab methods, as well as
other approaches such as decision support,
anthropological observation, or user data
collection using trace code in working
prototypes. The resulting recommendations
and data enable rapid iterative design of the
product, and help to preclude problems
before they become embarrassing or
expensive to fix.
The underlying look and feel of the offering is
largely in the hands of a Visual or
Industrial Designer, who creatively
applies artistic, modeling, and design skills.
The designer is responsible for the overall
appearance, layout, and balance of the
offering, including the consistent visual
signature of the marketing, packaging,
and product design.
A User Assistance Architect defines
and recommends appropriate information
and delivery mechanisms for the offering
based on the needs of all users. He or she
designs information to guide users that is
unambiguous, consistent, and easy for users
to understand and operationalize. This type
of material may include online help, tutorials,
publications, classroom materials, wizards,
and messages.
The Next Step
Anyone, anywhere: Anywhere includes a wide
variety of places where people speak a
diversity of languages and bring different
cultural backgrounds and expectations to
their applications. An Internationalization
& Terminology Specialist ensures that
applications are not just translatable to the
languages that users require, but that local
idioms and standards are honored and
reflected in the total user experience, and that
the language and graphics presented to the
users are consistent with their expectations.
How to Apply
Send your resume (text file or Microsoft®
Word file, please) to [email protected]. In
your e-mail, please reference source code
687 and specify the position that you are
interested in (e.g., HCI Designer, Industrial
Designer, etc.).
Our multidisciplinary teams include other
professionals, such as marketing specialists
to establish a compelling Ease-of-Use
message in the marketplace; accessibility
personnel to design alternative assistive
interfaces for users with special needs;
service and support specialists to look at
issues of ease of maintenance and life cycle
management; and technology architects with
the relevant programming or engineering
skills to implement the total user experience.
UCD Roles at IBM
To learn more about Ease of Use and
User-Centered Design at IBM,
please visit ibm.com/easy.
IBM is committed to diversity in
the workplace and is an equal
opportunity employer.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2001
IBM Corporation
Ease of Use
MS 9446
11400 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78758
Printed in Canada
All Rights Reserved
DB2, DB2 Universal Database, IBM, the IBM logo,
Make IT Easy, NetVista, ThinkPad, ThinkPad TransNote,
Tivoli, WebSphere, WorkPad, xSeries, and zSeries are
trademarks or registered trademarks of International
Business Machines Corporation in the United States,
other countries, or both.
User -Center ed
Microsoft is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the
United States, other countries, or both.
Lotus and Lotus Notes are trademarks of Lotus
Development Corporation in the United States
and/or other countries.
B e c au s e we M a k e I T E a s y T M
User-Centered Design at IBM
Easy-to-Use Products
Don’t Just Happen
At IBM, our commitment to User-Centered
Design (UCD) helps us to create easy-to-use
product offerings and solutions. Ease of Use
is central to our focus on the user's overall
experience. With our approach, multidisciplinary design teams use a range of
specialized methods to:
Gather user input and convert it into a
complete solution design
Design the total user experience —
everything the user sees and touches
Involve users in all phases of design
and development
Manage user-driven projects that
ensure user satisfaction
Create productive and delightful
user experiences
By validating and formalizing our UCD
approach with thousands of customer
engagements, product development, and
internal tools, we have proven it to be a
remarkably effective and practical
development strategy.
Commitment to Ease of Use
IBM's UCD-focused infrastructure demonstrates a serious commitment to Ease
of Use. We've had great success at
integrating UCD methodology into our
company. Some indications of our
determination to achieve and promote a
vigorous UCD focus include:
A vice president of Ease of Use,
Ease-of-Use champions, and a UCD
advisory council drive IBM’s UCD
An annual Ease-of-Use conference is
open to both IBMers and our customers.
A web-based resource of UCD tools and
information helps UCD practitioners to
manage projects using UCD methods.
Three comprehensive UCD courses are
used to train our practitioners in IBM's
enhanced version of UCD.
Monthly technical-update
teleconferences provide continual
professional development for our
UCD practitioners.
I t ’s a m a t t e r o f p r i n c i p l e s .
UCD Opportunities at IBM
IBM influences the world. From banking to
insurance, from utilities to schools — IBM's
products and services are widespread. IBM is
the world's largest information technology
company, with over 321,000 employees
worldwide. Many of these employees benefit
from a share price that has increased nearly
800% between 1993 and early 2001.
UCD specialists work on products and
solutions across multiple divisions and
locations throughout the U.S. and the world.
Globally, we have approximately 450
dedicated UCD staff.
At IBM, we have many exciting opportunities
for UCD professionals. We invite you to
consider joining our team! For general
information on a career or internship at IBM,
please visit ibm.com/employment.
Areas of Opportunity
Because of the company’s size and
product diversity, IBM can extend career
opportunities to UCD professionals in
the following product areas.
IBM is the world's largest hardware
company and, according to
International Data Corporation, the
number one server vendor in the world.
The IBM ^ family offers industryleading performance; an example of how IBM
servers outperform the competition in nearly
every industry benchmark. In addition to
servers, we design and manufacture personal
computers and options, microelectronics,
storage systems, and printing systems. IBM
computers range from WorkPad® devices and
ThinkPad® notebooks, to NetVistaTM desktops
and xSeries and zSeries enterprise servers.
Our U.S. development locations include
Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, New
York, North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont.
All of the Fortune 100 companies use
IBM's database products. Over 90% of
the world's major corporations rely on
IBM's premier hierarchical transaction and
database management system, Information
Management System (IMS). IBM develops
applications and middleware including
database solutions, such as DB2®; Lotus
Notes®, with over 60 million users worldwide;
Tivoli®, with a range of products to manage
e-business infrastructure; and WebSphere®,
with over 30 industry awards for scalability,
capability, and Ease of Use. Our U.S. development locations include California,
Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
and Texas. Internationally, major software
locations include Ontario, Canada;
Boeblingen, Germany; Hursley, England;
and Yamato, Japan.
IBM is the world's largest IT services
company. We signed over USD10
billion in services contracts in the first
quarter of 2000, with a total backlog of
USD87 billion. The IBM Global Services
portfolio includes business consulting, IT
consulting, business transformation services,
e-business services, strategic outsourcing,
and total systems management for clients in
UCD in Action
a wide variety of industries, as well as internal
applications. Our U.S. work locations include
Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
York, and North Carolina. We also have a
strong presence in Sydney, Australia and
Ontario, Canada. Assignments may involve
travel to customer sites anywhere.
IBM Research is the world's leading IT
research organization, with more than
3000 scientists and engineers at eight
labs in six countries. For the eighth consecutive year, IBM received the most U.S. patents
— 2886 patents in 2000 — topping the next
closest competitor by more than 850 patents.
We received the 2000 National Medal of
Technology for our advances in storage
technology. This marks the seventh time that
IBM has received the nation's highest award
for technological innovation, more than any
other company or organization. Our research
division conducts basic and applied work in
all areas of human-computer interaction.
Studies range from hardware ergonomics of
new technologies to ethnographic research
on the impact of technology in work and
home settings. Our U.S. research sites are
located in California, New York, and Texas.
To see examples of our innovative hardware products, visit ibm.com
and take a look at our wide range of hardware products, such as
ThinkPad models and the new NetVista X40i all-in-one desktop. UserCentered Design was central to these efforts. For example, a UCD
approach to ThinkPad's design has contributed to improved customer
satisfaction, yielded widespread attention through industry awards, and
increased market share growth.
After being criticized by the trade press as being "powerful, but
not pretty," the DB2 Universal DatabaseTM team began to apply
the User-Centered Design process to the product's development.
The result? Quotes from the trade press like: "A fresh new
interface that's right on target" (PC Week) and "Universal
Database breathtaking for its enormous leap into Ease of
Use" (InformationWeek).
A team of IBM UCD consultants worked with First Chicago NBD to
provide an enterprise-wide, "remote expert" videoconferencing
solution that resulted in an intuitive, easy-to-use set of mortgage
applications that helped First Chicago NBD reduce costs and
leverage their traditional delivery channels.
We embraced the challenge of seamlessly translating handwriting
to a digital device. A multidisciplinary team conducted over 3000
user-hours of research around the world as part of a continuing
UCD approach to automating paper-based forms. The research
team diagnosed key user frustrations with integrating traditional
paper-based materials into digital productivity tools. The result is
the ThinkPad TransNoteTM, a device that enables exceptionally easy
note taking, storage, retrieval, searching, and information sharing.
UCD Roles
at IBM
At IBM, we are committed to Ease of Use and
have created practical User-Centered Design
tools and methods. But these are of no help
without people with a wide variety of skills
who bring a sound, multidisciplinary
approach to our development teams.
We currently staff our development efforts
with the roles on the following page.