Introduction to Volume 11, Issue 2, February 2016

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Jim Lewis as the new Co-editor in Chief of the Journal of Usability Studies. Jim comes to JUS with an amazing breadth of experience in usability and user experience research. Currently, Jim is a Senior Human Factors Engineer at IBM, where he has worked since 1981. Jim has one of the most extensive publications records of anyone in the UX field, and recently co-authored (with Jeff Sauro) Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research (Elsevier, 2012). Jim has also served for several years on the editorial review board of JUS. I feel truly honored to have Jim join the JUS team and I am excited to be working with him to shape the future of JUS in the coming years.

We are delighted to publish an editorial by Dan Szuc and Jo Wong on “Making Meaningful Things Together: Working Towards a Mature Business.” In their editorial, Szuc and Wong share their perspective on different ways that politics and egos get in the way of creating great products. They also offer some ideas on how organizations can rethink the way they work, and the amazing results it can have in product design. For example, they discuss how improving communication among team members will help create artifacts that truly connect to the customer. Also, they highlight the importance of sharing observations about customer behaviors among team members and giving people enough time to reflect on their work and what it means in the long-term.

The first article is by Tawhid Khan and colleagues titled “Cross-Cultural Differences in Automotive HMI Design: A Comparative Study Between UK and Indian Users’ Design Preferences.” In this article the authors share their research on how a cultural model can be used in the design of human-machine interface in the context of driving. They found that there were significant differences in the preferences between Indian and UK drivers. For example, what most UK drivers think of as “indifferent requirements” in the HMI, many Indian drivers perceive as “attractive” or “must-have.”

The second article is by Peter Dorrington and colleagues titled “User-Centered Design Method for the Design of Assistive Switch Devices to Improve User Experience, Accessibility, and Independence.” In this article the authors describe how they used a user-centered design approach with ten individuals with complex disabilities who need to use switch devices as part of their daily living. Specifically, the authors describe how they used techniques such as home interviews, content analysis, and affinity mapping as part of the design of switch devices. The results of their research demonstrated that clinical engineers gained unique and sometimes surprising insight into the use of the switch devices. This research has important implications in how engineers design assistive technologies.