User Experience Researcher, Usability & Accessibility Center Michigan State University

Michigan State University

Michigan State University is seeking candidates for the position of User Experience Researcher at the Usability & Accessibility Center. The position is full time, annual year, fixed-term starting April 2009 or as soon as possible thereafter. Salary is commensurate with experience.

The University: Michigan State University (, with over 46,000 students, is one of the largest public land grant universities and has the distinction of belonging to the Association of American Universities (AAU).  MSU’s mission of teaching, research, and outreach is supported by the university’s diverse employment base of approximately 11,000, including 5,000 faculty and academic staff and 6,000 support staff.  MSU is composed of 17 colleges, including three medical schools.  It houses the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.  The campus is situated on 5,200 acres in a park-like setting.

Usability & Accessibility Center (UAC): The goal of the UAC is to develop and disseminate innovations in theory, research, and technology in order to enhance usability and accessibility in Web and information technology applications. The UAC serves external clients and MSU faculty, students, and organizations through consulting, collaborative research, publications, and sponsorship of workshops and conferences. Its state-of-the-art testing facility is a resource for undergraduate and graduate courses and curriculums. The UAC actively participates in local, regional, national, and international usability and accessibility communities of practice.
Duties: The user experience researcher will be responsible for

  • Conducting user analysis, research and testing, summarizing results, and making recommendations.
  • Evaluating Web interface designs for usability and accessibility,including website accessibility compliance inspections, user interface heuristic reviews, competitive analyses, and formative and summative usability evaluations.
  • Analyzing results and preparing reports detailing the outcome of user experience evaluations with quick turn-around times.
  • Presenting findings with actionable recommendations to clients.
  • Creating information architecture documentation (site architectures, process flows, wireframes, etc.).
  • Creating and/or revising web-based user interface prototypes.
  • Identifying opportunities, writing literature reviews, and assisting in the preparation of proposals for external grants in the areas of human-computer interaction, accessibility for persons with disabilities, and information communication technologies.
  • Assisting principal investigators in conducting empirical research studies, analyzing data, and writing grant reports.

Professional Qualifications (required):

  • Master’s degree in human factors, cognitive psychology, human-computer interaction, or related field.
  • At least two years of proven user research/usability experience.
  • Expert knowledge of Section 508 standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
  • Strong technical and analytical skills.
  • Experience conducting user experience evaluations.
  • Empirical research experience, including publication in professional journals or technical conference proceedings.
  • Demonstrated expertise in quantitative data analysis, including SPSS and MATLAB.
  • Experience using eye tracking equipment and software.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision and in team environments.
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational, and interpersonal communication skills.

Professional Qualifications (desired):

  • Knowledge of user-centered design methodologies, user interface design principles, best practices and standards.
  • Working knowledge of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and VB.Net.
  • An understanding of issues in structuring and communicating information on the Web.
  • An ability to analyze technical and scientific information and translate it for the intended audience.
  • Experience with usability testing tools.
  • Experience with online website survey tools, including Zoomerang, phpQ, or Survey Monkey.

To apply, please send a letter describing your interest and pertinent qualifications, resume, and the names and contact information of four professional references by March 13, 2009. No phone calls please.
E-mail: , Director, Usability & Accessibility Center
Mail: Usability & Accessibility Search Committee, Michigan State University, 93 Kellogg Center, East Lansing, MI 48824
Fax: 517-432-9541

Review of applications will begin after the application deadline and will continue until the position is filled.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer

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