LIS 455 Usability and User Experience Research

This course covers the conceptual frameworks and applied methodologies for user-centered design and user experience research. Emphasis is placed on learning and practicing a variety of usability research methods/techniques such as scenario development, user profiling, tasks analysis, contextual inquiry, card sorting, usability tests, log data analysis, expert inspection and heuristic evaluation. Rather than a Web or interface design course, this is a research and evaluation course on usability and user experience with the assumption that the results of user and usability research would feed directly into various stages of the interface design cycle. Assignments may include usability methods plan, user persona development, scenario and task modeling, card sorting, usability testing project, and user experience research project. The usability test project will use actual real-time cases from organizations in the Greater Boston area. Usability experts and research specialists will be invited as guest speakers to present in class and some will serve as mentors/site supervisors for the usability testing project. Field trips to local usability labs will be arranged. Simmons GSLIS Usability Lab ( will be used as the platform for class projects/assignments.