Introduction to Volume 11, Issue 1, November 2015

No PDF available for download.

It is with mixed emotions that I say goodbye to Joe Dumas, the co-editor in chief of the Journal of Usability Studies. This is Joe’s last issue, after 5 years as co-editor. His contribution has been immense and far too impactful for me to describe in a few words. I can simply say that JUS would not be what it is without Joe. He has poured his heart into every issue. He has helped create the platform for the most rigorous UX research in the world, and moved our field forward by leaps and bounds. I want to thank Joe for an amazing five years. I feel very fortunate to have worked with you, and I and will miss our weekly meetings. I wish Joe all the best on the next “issue” of his life.

We are delighted to publish an editorial by Dr. Jim Lewis on “When Perishing Isn’t a Problem: Publication Tips for Practitioners.” In his editorial Dr. Lewis shares his experience with publishing as a UX practitioner. He identifies various extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for publishing as a practitioner. He also recalls a few stories about how he has collaborated with other UX researchers and how that has helped him throughout his career. He wraps up by providing some very practical tips on how to take the first steps towards publishing research.

The first article is by Mr. Keyur Sorathia and colleagues titled “Gesture Selection Study for a Maternal Healthcare Information System in Rural Assam, India.” In this article the authors present their research on the how to select body gestures in the design of a televised maternal health system. The study was carried out in Assam, India with pregnant women in low socio-economic strata with low levels of literacy. In their study they identified the most frequently used body gestures to represent seven computational functions: Select, Pause, Resume, Help, Activate Menu, Next, and Previous. This research makes a positive impact on pregnant women in India who will be using a televised maternal health system. This research also provides a valuable methodology for UX researchers who are evaluating body gestures.

The second article is by Dr. Fabiane Benitti and Mr. Leonardo Sommariva on “Evaluation of a Game Used to Teach Usability to Undergraduate Students in Computer Science.” In this article the authors developed and evaluated a game that teaches usability to computer science students. They include three aspects of usability as part of the game: requirements analysis, prototyping, and heuristic evaluation. Students who used the game demonstrated greater understanding of usability concepts, particularly in the areas of requirements analysis and heuristic evaluations, compared to students who did not interact with the game. This article is significant because it provides evidence for a more effective way to teach usability.