In November 2005 the first issue of the Journal of Usability Studies was published. At that time, the name of our association was the Usability Professionals Association (UPA).
As the scope of interest of UPA’s members expanded beyond usability, the association changed its name in June 2012 to the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) (Dray, 2012).
Now, almost exactly 10 years later, we’re thrilled to announce we are officially updating the name of the journal of the UXPA to reflect our shared, broader interests!
Welcome to the Journal of User Experience!
Why Change the Journal Name Now?
A better question might be why hadn’t we already changed it?
In an analysis of the first seven years of the Journal of Usability Studies (JUS), Dumas and Saparova (2012) reported that usability testing was overwhelmingly the most frequently studied method for the papers published in the journal. If you look at the titles of the papers appearing in JUS in 2012 and a bit after, the vast majority included “usability” in the title.
At the time the association changed its name, the content we were receiving and publishing continued to be heavily oriented toward usability. But since 2013, the content has shifted toward the broader topic of user experience (UX).
Over the past two years, the percentage of papers we’ve published on the topic of usability studies has declined while papers more generally about UX have increased. As we approach the 10th anniversary of our change from UPA to UXPA, it seems like an appropriate time for the journal to catch up with its parent association.
Changing the name of a journal is not a trivial matter. When the Human Factors Society changed its name to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, they retained the name of their flagship journal, Human Factors.
As we complete this transition, we can anticipate that there will be some bumps in the road, but we will strive to minimize their effect on our authors and readers.
What Will Stay the Same?
We will continue to support fee-free publication of papers by academic, industrial, and government researchers on topics that are of interest to the general readership of the journal, for example:
- Comparative studies of UX methods
- Psychometric evaluation of UX metrics
- Approaches to analyzing UX data
- Critical thought and discussion papers
- Design and implementation of teaching and training approaches
- Empirical development and implementation of UX standards and guidelines
We will continue to have a quantitative bias but will also continue to be open to publication of compelling qualitative research. We will continue to publish studies using methods like these:
- Laboratory studies
- Field studies
- Case studies
- Contextual inquiries
- Ethnographic studies
- Model-based evaluations
We will continue using our current submission guidelines, review process, and review criteria.
What Will Change?
By the time you read this, we will have (hopefully) changed our publication and web templates to replace the old name and logo with the new. We will have changed our web content to reflect an increased emphasis on UX-related research and practice, and we will still provide a publication venue for papers focused on usability.
One thing we hope the name change will affect is the implication that the purpose of the journal is only to publish standard usability studies. Especially in recent years, we’ve rarely published the results of standard usability studies because those results are rarely generalizable or of interest beyond a very narrow readership (e.g., the stakeholders responsible for the tested product or service).
Perhaps most importantly, we feel that the Journal of User Experience is a more accurate reflection of the diversity, breadth, and intention of the journal. In some ways this change is bittersweet. JUS has been a part of our lives even before we became the Co-Editors in Chief. The pronunciation of JUS (whether you say /jus/ or /juice/) rolls off the tongue in a way that JUX does not.
That said, it’s past time for the change.
As Percy Shelley (1816) wrote:
It is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
Thanks to the UXPA for paying the bills, providing guidance, and making this resource free to the UX community. Special thanks to Kaitlyn Nguyen for designing the new logo. Continuing thanks to the authors, the reviewers, and the production staff (Josh Rosenberg for web and WordPress and to the newest member of our team, our new copyeditor, Nicole Force).
Dray, S. (2012). Editor’s note: What’s in a name? User Experience Magazine, 11(3). https://uxpamagazine.org/whats-in-a-name/
Dumas, J., & Saparova, D. (2012). The first seven years of the JUS. Journal of Usability Studies, 8(1), 1–10. https://uxpajournal.org/the-first-seven-years-of-the-jus/
Wikipedia contributors. (2022, March 25). Mutability (poem). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 22, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mutability_(poem)&oldid=1079127747