IBM User Centered Design

Paul Rand's Eye-Bee-M Rebus Logo, 1981
Paul Rand’s Eye-Bee-M Rebus Logo, 1981

I joined IBM at a time when a serious interest in human factors and usability was just properly getting started. This was around the time that IBM released the OS/2 Warp operating system.

IBM gave me a solid, theoretical, foundation in User Centered Design (as a process) and a grounding in Common User Access (CUA); the basis on which all modern user interface controls are formed today.

I was User Centered Design Team Leader for various middleware products developed at the IBM Hursley laboratory including WebSphere MQ, CICS Connectors, etc… This role involved:

  • Competitive analysis
  • Benchmarking
  • Requirements gathering
  • Design iterations
  • Design validation

Managed the IBM Usability Lab for a couple of years:

  • Facilitated decisions support centre sessions with users/customers
  • Hosted formal usability testing for other groups within IBM and other external organisations