Introduction to Volume 15, Issue 1

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We are delighted to publish an essay by Carol Barnum titled “The State of UX Research.” The author discusses the current trends towards faster, informal research studies. She reviews the current state of UX education and questions whether short UX courses are providing students and professionals with the necessary rigor. She also takes a look at how the democratization of UX research and proliferation of online tools is shaping the profession.  

The first article is by Shaimaa Lazem, titled “Championing HCI Education to CS Undergraduates at a Grassroots Level: A Case Study in Egypt.” In this article, she shares research on how to effectively introduce engineering students to HCI, with the hope that they will become familiar with user-centered design principles. She reviews the research and results of a short HCI course introducing the significance of end-users in product design.  

The second article is by Shazeeye Kirmani, Bhavana Gupta, Hagit Vansover, John Glen Arellano, and Zhiya Zhu, titled “Designing with Personas.” The authors tackle their process of creating personas through research and design processes and later implementing those personas throughout their company. The authors’ process includes explaining the general effectiveness of personas as well as providing their strategy in evangelizing the practice to the company.

The third article by Alemu Kumilachew Tegegne and Tamir Anteneh Alemu is titled “SMS-Based Agricultural Information System for Rural Farmers in Ethiopia.” The authors share their design of an SMS-based system of providing rural farmers in Ethiopia with agricultural information relevant to their area. They also investigated the effectiveness and usability of this approach to fully explore the possibilities of the product.

Introduction written with support from Jacob Davidson, Bentley University User Experience Center