Here at Cornell, we have a usability group of about 15 people that includes librarians, developers, designers, and other staff. We serve as a centralized resource for usability testing for new or returning websites and other development projects. A few of the members have 10% of their time formally allocated to usability work, while the rest treat it as regular committee work. For many of our new projects, the developers and designers involved also serve in the usability group; since there's so much overlap, we're able to ensure that usability testing is kept a significant component of the development process. I think it's been a successful approach, and the team has done a lot of good work over the last few years.

-- Matt

Matt Connolly
Software Developer, DLIT
Cornell University Library

On Oct 30, 2013, at 11:24 AM, Andrew Darby <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hello, all.  This is perhaps a bit off-topic, but I was wondering how many
> of you have a dedicated usability person as part of your development team.
> Right now, we have a sort of ad hoc Usability Team, and I'd like to make a
> pitch for hiring someone who will have the time and inclination to manage
> this effort more effectively.
> Anything you'd care to share (on-list or off-) would be welcome.  I'm
> especially curious about whether or not this is a full-time responsibility
> for someone in your organization or if it's shared with another job
> function; if you find this position is working out well or you wish you'd
> spent the money on more robots instead; where this person resides in your
> org chart; what sort of qualifications you looked for when hiring; etc.
> Thanks,
> Andrew
> -- 
> Andrew Darby
> Head, Web & Emerging Technologies
> University of Miami Libraries