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Elizabeth's Usability Background and Work Activities

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How I got involved in usability

I discovered this field kind of by accident, after having been a programmer for several years. My favorite part of software development had always been designing and testing the screens, menus, and user entries so that they made sense from the user's perspective.

I didn't know it was a serious professional specialty, however, until the spring of 1982, when I attended a conference with the intriguing title of "Human Factors in Computing Systems." That first conference on HCI exceeded all of its organizers' expectations and drew a standing-room-only crowd of 900 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The conference incited what is today the premier society in HCI, ACM SIGCHI. SIGCHI's annual conferences now draw 2500-3000 people from all over the world, but SIGCHIers still speak of the original conference — almost reverently — simply as "Gaithersburg." Fortunately for me, it was in my local area and seemed relevant to my work, so getting approval was easy.

 [image of light bulb] The light bulb, so to speak, went on.

Administrative information


Work Experience

Professional Affiliations


Current and most recent work projects

Important previous projects



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Copyright © 1997-2007, Elizabeth A. Buie. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to print this page or link to it, as long as such use is personal or educational and is not for commercial gain or profit.
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Last updated 6 October 2007