About

Professional Graduate Programs Advisory Board


The Professional Graduate Programs Advisory Board provides guidance on curriculum and instructional matters for the Professional Graduate Programs in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE).

Board Members

Sabina Alteras-Honig

Jenny Blackburn

Suzanne Boyd

Charlie Claxton

Rebecca Destello

Carla DiFranco

Jennifer Duncan

Kelly Franznick

Julie Kientz

Arnie Lund

Doug Pyle

Darrel Rhea

Candace Soderston

Jan Spyridakis

Jennifer Turns

Skip Walter

Carolyn Wei

Mark Zachry


Sabina Alteras-Honig

Sabina Alteras-HonigDr. Sabina Alteras-Honig possesses 17 years of industry experience and leadership in successfully applying human factors and usability principles to UI design, development, evaluation, task analysis and work process improvement, with particular expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods. She received her PhD in Industrial/Organizational psychology, specializing in human factors, from the University of Connecticut. Her academic interest in human-computer interaction, cognitive processing and mental workload was complemented by 9 years of consulting for NYNEX Science & Technology and Bell-Atlantic, and 5 years as a senior requirements and data analyst within the Verizon IT organization.

Her work at NYNEX, Bell-Atlantic and Verizon included ethnographic research of telephone company technicians in their work environment, survey design and data collection, design and development of collaborative online communication tools for trainees, heuristic evaluation of proprietary software applications used by technicians and customer service reps, and exploratory data analysis and data mining. Sabina led a team of researchers to develop statistical predictive models of customer satisfaction and intent to switch services, which demonstrated an increase in accuracy of prediction of over 75% over the current algorithms in use previously.

As a senior usability engineer at Dell, Inc. Sabina led usability research for the consumer software organization. In this role she designed, executed, and managed heuristic analyses, competitive product evaluations, lab-based studies, contextual inquiries, focus groups and developed large-scale surveys. With an interest in innovation and thinking 'outside-the-box', she studied the current state of consumer software usage, satisfaction and preferences, leading to new, eye-catching and innovative UI desktop elements.

She is the principal and owner of Alteras Consulting, having consulted on a variety of usability initiatives which range from enterprise software applications, web-based training programs, transportation research, corporate, and health-care websites. Currently she is a User Experience Researcher at Microsoft, Inc. responsible for usability research on products targeted for IT system administrators. She is an instructor for the HCDE program, teaching Usability Testing.

Jenny Blackburn

Jenny BlackburnAn alumna of the HCDE program, Jenny Blackburn has spent the past 10+ years working with industry-leading companies to create user-centered programs that result in shipping great experiences. Currently she leads user research and concept development for Amazon shopping. Previous experience includes three years as an independent consultant, and 6 years as the director of usability at Getty Images.

Jenny is passionate about user-centered methods and the impact that they can have and loves sharing this passion with others. She is an occasional part-time lecturer for HCDE 517, Usability Testing, and has taught as a consulting instructor for an international usability certification organization.

Suzanne Boyd

Suzanne BoydSuzanne Boyd is Founder & Principal Consultant of Anthro-Tech, Inc.—a user-centered design consultancy focused on government agencies, nonprofits and organizations with a social-impact mission. Anthro-Tech is one of the leading user experience firms in the Northwest. Much of their work focuses on websites, web applications, software systems and internet business strategy.

In addition to her considerable experience helping dozens of state and federal agencies with e-government strategy and initiatives she has also had the opportunity to work with a number of other exciting organizations to transform how they engage their audiences. From the largest private foundation in the world to a small group of developers working to create a cutting-edge application, Suzanne and her team get to collaborate with great clients on interesting projects.

Suzanne Boyd teaches at the University of Washington as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Human Centered Design & Engineering Masters Program. Suzanne's professional experience with large-scale UCD redesigns, web applications and customized training has made her a sought after authority on the subjects of user-centered design, usability and organizational change. Suzanne has a keen interest in connecting the academic world with industry practitioners in the UX community.

Charlie Claxton

Charlie Claxton

Charlie has a long track record of driving creative initiatives as an original founder of Produxs. He successfully envisioned and delivered numerous consumer and corporate experiences for companies such as Expedia, Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing, Qualcomm, T-Mobile and Microsoft. Charlie is also an advisor to several companies including the VC funded software security firm SourceClear.

In 2012 the Puget Sound Business Journal honored Charlie as one Charlie as one of Seattle's 2012 "40 Under 40." He was chosen from a field of more than 400 accomplished nominees for this award, which recognizes individuals "under the age of 40 who [are] center stage in our business community, working hard to drive the economy and demonstrating dynamic leadership.”

Charlie has a Master's degree in Technical Communication from the University of Washington Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.

Rebecca Destello

Rebecca DestelloWith a mixed background in web development, design, and user research, Rebecca is inspired by the use of technology to improve people’s lives and the world around them. She is a constant learner and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others to help them achieve their very best.

After completing her Master’s Degree in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington, Rebecca returned to HCDE as an Affiliate Faculty member, teaching graduate students in user-centered design, usability testing, and web design. Prior to that, she received a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, with a focus on design, printmaking, and art history, also from the University of Washington.

Carla DiFranco

Carla DiFrancoCarla DiFranco is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, where she works on the compatibility team in the Operating Systems Group. Her training is in language and translation (BA in German Philology from Ohio State University, MA in Technical Translation from Kent State University, ABD in Translation Studies at SUNY Binghamton) and her career experience has evolved over time from German to English patent translator, translation and localization project manager, translation and localization tools development, to her current role managing core Windows features at Microsoft. She has taught as an adjunct lecturer at NYU for the Translation Certificate Program since 1999 and at the UW since 2004; she has taught HCDE 512 and 514 for the HCDE Masters program

Jennifer Duncan

Jennifer DuncanJennifer Duncan is a founding member of the Boeing Information Technology (IT) usability group which began in 1993. She led the team that established user-centered design services and the usability lab within IT. Jennifer is a user experience specialist and also the resource manager for Usability Services. As resource manager, she engages with new customers, creating awareness of the benefits of UCD, defining support requirements and coordinating resources.

Jennifer leads the effort to incorporate user-centered design into Boeing IT's software development process and leads the Usability Service's Center of Excellence. The Usability CoE provides the infrastructure for improving usability maturity throughout Boeing. The CoE includes a library of best practices, a Usability Special Interest Group, web-based tutorials on user-centered design and other information that supports UCD methods. Jennifer is leading efforts to incorporate usability as a measure of software quality within IT including ensuring that usability is a criteria for software purchase and software supplier performance management.

Kelly Franznick

Kelly FranznickKelly Franznick is founder and CEO of Blink, a user experience research and design firm. At Blink, he manages company strategy and engagements with clients that range from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to starting Blink in 2000, Kelly led user-centered design projects at E-Lab (acquired by Sapient Corporation) Lexant, and Immersant. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University's Design School where he studied industrial design and human factors. He also holds a Master of Design degree, specializing in Human-Centered Design, from the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Julie Kientz

Julie KientzJulie Kientz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. She is also Director of the Computing for Healthy Living and Learning (CHiLL) Lab and is active in the University of Washington's Design Use Build (DUB) Group alliance. Her research interests are in the areas of human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and health informatics.

In particular, Kientz is interested in determining how novel computing applications can address important issues in health and education and evaluating those applications through long-term real world deployment studies using a balance of qualitative and quantitative methods. Her most recent research involves the design and evaluation of computing technologies to support parents tracking the developmental progress and health of their newborn children, individuals with sleep disorders, and families with children with autism.

Kientz received her PhD in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and her BS in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Toledo in 2002.

Arnie Lund

Arnie LundArnold (Arnie) Lund is a Senior Manager of User Research for Amazon Alexa. Before that, he managed GE Global Research's HCI and Collaboration Laboratory. He began his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories in applied research. Arnie received his BA in chemistry from the University of Chicago, and his PhD in experimental psychology from Northwestern University. He is a member of the SIGCHI Academy, and he co-chaired the CHI conferences in Los Angeles ('98) and Florence, Italy ('08). Currently he serves as the Communities Chair for CHI 2011. He is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and recently completed his term on the Executive Council of HFES where he was responsible for the first ANSI HCI standard. He has also served as president of the board of directors for the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics. He has more than 20 patents and patents pending, and has published widely in the areas of natural user interfaces and emerging technologies, and UX management. He is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Speech Technology, the advisory board for the Journal of Usability Studies and his book Leading User Experience: Essential Management Skills for UX Teams (Morgan Kaufmann) was published in Spring '11.

Doug Pyle

Doug PyleDoug Pyle has been a user experience professional for more than 11 years. He graduated from the UW in 1998 with an MS in Human Centered Design & Engineering, and in 1999 he started the user research group for microsoft.com, MSDN, TechNet, and Microsoft Press. In 2004 Doug moved to Greater China to manage UI Design & IA for Global Sources. Since then, he has worked for Google focusing on Ads and Search, as well as the Microsoft Robotics startup group, focusing on user experience planning. Doug is currently the Vice President of the Puget Sound chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association and is a past president of the UW chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. He is currently the User Experience Research Manager for Chase.

Darrel Rhea

Darrel RheaDarrel Rhea is the Founder of Rhea Insight and a seasoned facilitator of strategy development for senior executive teams around the world. Darrel trains and coaches leaders to use customer-led innovation and design to build platforms for organic growth. He focuses on enabling more reflective, creative and empathic thinking, and on developing the capacity to generate profound insights that transform perspective and drive innovation.

With over 30 years of consulting to Fortune 1000 companies, Darrel is the former CEO of the global innovation consulting firm, Cheskin Added Value where he built a successful organization renowned for delivering proprietary insights and go-to-market strategies for the world’s top corporations. Added Value has 23 offices in 14 countries. He has helped many organizations build innovation, design, research and user experience departments, and has led scores of major innovation initiatives. His clients have included Microsoft, HP, Adobe, Autodesk, Motorola, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Milliken, Kohler, 3M, AT&T, American Express, and Electrolux.

He is the Vice Chairman of The Design Management Institute (DMI), the leading international authority on design management and leadership with members from more than 40 countries. Rhea is also Chief Design Officer of The Technology Reserve, where he is designing a new global platform for sharing IP assets to transform the economics of innovation. He is on the board of Mattson & Company, the largest independent food innovation consultancy and premier developer of new products for the food and beverage industry.

Candace Soderston

Candace Soderston; Photo by Genevieve Ruth PhotographyCandace Soderston is an independent consultant, with a career of experience on the frontier of technology, researching, developing, and applying best practices in user experience. She started her career at IBM where she worked for over 2 decades as an individual contributor and manager in human factors, focused on user requirements, software and hardware user interface design, accessibility, and ergonomics. During her tenure, she managed a corporate-level user experience team responsible for launching user-centered design into the product development process applied across all divisions. During her last 9 years at IBM, she integrated the focus on user-centered design and accessibility into the Personal Computing Division, and worked on the ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkVision, ThinkVantage software and options portfolios.

Candace moved to Microsoft in 2005, where she worked for the next 5 years, managing user experience research and design teams for Exchange & Outlook Web Access, and SQL Server (where she launched the focus on accessibility) and did research for the Office Labs team to yield insights for future offerings (post 2010).

Most recently, in 2011/2012 she worked at the University of Washington on a grant from the Kuali Foundation in the role of user experience architect for the user interface framework of their community-sourced middleware platform for Java applications. Candace studied at the University of New Mexico (BS) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where she earned MS and PhD degrees in Communication (this was before the term "HCI" became widespread—the program was described as "Communication in technologically-mediated contexts").

Jan Spyridakis

Jan SpyridakisDr. Jan H. Spyridakis is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, College of Engineering, at the University of Washington. She has a PhD in Educational Curriculum and Instruction and has received six teaching awards from the University of Washington, the College of Engineering, Educational Outreach, the Society for Technical Communication, and IEEE. She has published over 100 articles about empirical studies she has conducted as well as articles about conducting, refining, and interpreting research for practitioners. She has received seven publication awards for her research, and has been appointed to two journal editorial boards, one journal review board, and as a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. She has developed and taught courses on research methodology, and international communication, style in writing, and introductory and advanced technical communication. She directed the Engineering Writing Program from 1983–1991. Her research focuses on assessing the effect of document and screen design variables on comprehension, perceptions, and user behavior; the refinement of remote user assessment methods; the development of an Open Source toolkit to support remote user assessment; and international technical communication. She consults with organizations and companies regarding their communication needs.

Jennifer Turns

Jennifer TurnsJennifer Turns has extensive experience researching varied issues in engineering education, with specific emphasis on the people at the heart of the engineering education system. She is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering and the J. Ray Bowen Professor of Innovation in Engineering Education. Much of her work has focused on student development as engineers—how to help students come to see themselves as engineers, appreciate their preparation for engineering, and integrate their educational experiences in service of future engineering activity. A particular thread of this work (supported through an NSF Career Award and a more recent follow-up NSF award) has involved extensive research on how these outcomes (identification, preparation, integration) are supported when students engage in construction of professional portfolios. Dr. Turns has also studied issues related to the teaching of engineering, with specific emphasis on how teachers think about their teaching activities (i.e., through studies of engineering educator decision making and engineering educator concerns). This work, which was part of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, has significance for supporting practicing teachers as well as preparing future teachers. Dr. Turns has also studied engineering design thinking. Dr. Turns has a background in industrial and systems engineering and cognitive and learning sciences.

Skip Walter

Skip WalterSkip has over 40 years of experience in executive management, executive consulting, software engineering, product development, high technology mergers and acquisitions, organizational development, joint venture development, designing, architecting, producing, and delivering software solutions for the legal industry, publishing industry, health care industry, multi-national Fortune 500 companies, high technology startups and wineries. He was the Vice President of Engineering for Aldus (now Adobe) Corporation known for PageMaker software. He was the Father of ALL-IN-1, Digital Equipment Corporation’s $1 billion per year integrated enterprise office automation system. Skip was the founding CEO for Attenex achieving a cash flow positive state within three years. Attenex was sold to FTI Consulting in 2008 for $91M. Skip has raised more than $25 M in new venture funding for software companies in the office automation, medical, and legal industries. The products that Skip designed, created, and developed are used by over five million customers. Skip teaches Human Centered Design in the UW HCDE program. Today, Skip is on the Board of Advisors for Blink Interactive and Medify. Skip consults with medium sized wineries on direct to consumer and direct to trade marketing (including social media and social commerce).

Carolyn Wei

Carolyn WeiCarolyn Wei is a user experience researcher at Microsoft. She studies consumers and enterprise users in the lab and in the wild. She received her PhD in Human-Centered Design and Engineering (then known as Technical Communication) at the University of Washington in 2007, where she studied technology use in digitally emergent settings.

 

Mark Zachry

Mark ZachryMark Zachry is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. He has taught in the field since 1994. Prior to that, he had worked for seven years as a communication specialist in Arizona, primarily in the aerospace industry (Honeywell), but also in an early computer-based training company that developed technical training courses for such clients as Motorola. He continues to periodically engage with industry as a consultant, working with such clients as BP and Microsoft. He was also involved in the successful launch of a web technology start-up company in the early 2000s. He was the founding director of a usability research and evaluation lab at a university prior to coming to University of Washington, and has since been the interim director of UW's Laboratory for Usability Testing and Evaluation. As a researcher, his primary areas of inquiry have been communicative practices in the workplace, usability, and the design of technologies to support collaborative work online. Professor Zachry served for five years as editor-in-chief of Technical Communication Quarterly. He has developed and taught more than a dozen different courses, but his areas of specialization are usability testing, user-centered design, and theoretical foundations of the field.