Bob Schumacher, Managing Director of User Centric, along with Trent Mankelow (Optimal Usability), will lead a workshop entitled "Building a Successful Usability Company" at the 2007 Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) conference. The overall goal of the workshop will be to connect those who are passionate about the business side of usability, to learn from one another's real-life successes and failures, and to share different approaches to difficult business problems. Topics to be covered include how to "win the work," methods to keep clients as well as staff happy, and how to manage growth.
The Future of Usability
Bob will also participate in a discussion panel focused on the future of usability. Along with the other panelists, Bob will share his interpretation of the current trends in usability and the problems and opportunities that he foresees based on those trends. Of particular concern to Bob is the trend for "Usability Specialists" to come from such diverse backgrounds that the title is no longer indicative of specialists' skills and training. This year's UPA conference is being held from June 11th to 15th at the Austin, TX Hilton.
Bob has more than 20 years of experience in corporate and academic environments. Bob has worked in telecommunications, cable, Internet, and travel-related companies; prior to joining User Centric he was a Vice President, for Universal Access, Inc., a public telecommunications network company. He wrote the Ameritech standards for graphical user interfaces and has written dozens of technical and industry articles, as well as lectured, on user interface design. Bob has particular expertise in developing metrics for user performance and then driving those into financial models and business cases. He is the inventor of the controversial Patent 5,933,841 - called "Structured Document Browser", which describes a method of navigating electronic documents. Bob holds a PhD in Cognitive and Experimental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.