Founded in 1999, User Centric grew from three consultants to the largest research and design firm in the US. In October 2012, GfK acquired User Centric which expanded our UX team to include GfK SirValUse (Germany), GfK NOP (UK), and GfK Switzerland SirValUse (Switzerland). Our clients now have access to more than 150 user experience consultants worldwide ensuring small- to large-scale projects are quickly and seamlessly executed. We offer proven data collection methods that allow teams to simultaneously operate, significantly reducing project timelines without compromising quality.
Consultants have advanced degrees in behavioral sciences, human factors, and human-computer interaction. A dynamic organization with a team-oriented approach to projects, all senior staff members (including directors) are heavily involved in project details.
As one of the company's founders, Gavin has been instrumental in shaping User Centric as the premier firm in the industry.
Gavin's 20 years of experience in corporate and academic environments have given him a strong foundation in user-centered design and evaluation. In addition to managing the company, he holds particular expertise in mobile technology, healthcare, and global research projects.
Prior to co-founding User Centric, Gavin was president of an Internet start-up, principal at a web development company, a member of Ameritech's Human Factors group, and Director at another user experience research consulting firm. He is a frequent presenter at national conferences and the inventor of several patents.
Gavin is an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University. He teaches a graduate-level class on Usability Evaluation Methods. He is also a lecturer on faculty at Management Center Innsbruck where he teaches on advanced HCI for their masters program. Gavin recently joined Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine as an adjunct faculty member.
Robert Schumacher has helped User Centric grow from a small, four-person user research consultancy to one of the largest firms of its kind in the world. With more than 25 years of professional experience, he holds several patents and has written dozens of professional and academic papers.
Earlier in his career Bob developed an interest in improving user performance in high-workload environments and spent several years researching, designing, and testing enterprise applications for contact centers, including several Fortune 50 companies.
Bob also edited and contributed to the Handbook of Global User Research(Morgan Kaufmann, 2009). Additionally, he was also CEO of User Experience Ltd. (the first foreign-owned user research firm in Beijing, China), and one of the driving forces behind the formation of the UXalliance(an international network of 25 leading user experience firms). He continues to be invited to speak on user experience and user research at national and international conferences in North America, Europe and Asia.
As of late, Bob has become influential in applying user experience research methods to health information technologies. He has authored several papers on usability criteria in the EHR selection process. Recently published, he co-authored a document that focuses on usability testing and evaluation of EHR systems – Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records [NIST 7804]. Part of a federal effort, the paper guides EHR vendors on how they can approach user-centered design and report usability test findings. He served on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Healthcare and is Co-director of the Program on Usability Enhancement in Health Information Technology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Bob has been actively involved in developing usability criteria for these systems and is often called on to lend his expertise on the usability of this technology.