Home > Events > An Evening of Short Talks at Mathworks
28 April, 2010

Join us:

UPA Boston is pleased to invite you to its April monthly meeting. Join us at MathWorks, where their Usability team will present on a range of topics including (details below):

1. Migrating a Corporate Intranet to Microsoft SharePoint

2. Lightning Prototyping (or Setting Paper Prototyping On Fire)

3. Active Listening for Usability Professionals

4. The Challenges and Benefits of Multi-Feature Usability Testing

5. Balsamiq Mockups in MathWorks’ Usability Process
**RSVP by reserving your spot here: http://upabostonapril2010.eventbrite.com **

Thanks, we hope to see you there!
— Margy and the UPA Boston Board


Wednesday, April 28th
6:00 – 7:00 pm Refreshments & Networking
7:00 – 9:00 pm Chapter Update & Presentation with Q&A, wrap-up


3 Apple Hill Drive
Natick, MA 01760-2098
Phone: 508-647-7000
Directions: http://www.mathworks.com/company/aboutus/directions.html


 Migrating a Corporate Intranet to Microsoft SharePoint
– Jen Hocko (20 minutes)

Before 2008, Sharepoint was a tool I had to use during a short stint
at a very large company a few years prior, and a distant memory. Then
MathWorks decided that we should evaluate SharePoint 2007, and soon
after, that our Intranet be “migrated” to SharePoint. Since I work
solely on Intranet applications, this project became a large part of
my day-to-day life as a Usability Specialist. As I’ve worked with our
SharePoint Implementation team and people from different departments,
I’ve struggled with many things, and hopefully learned a few things too.
This presentation attempts to capture the most important concepts
I feel that organizations migrating their corporate Intranets to SharePoint
(and Usability professionals in particular) should be aware of.

 Lightning Prototyping (or Setting Paper Prototyping On Fire)
– Will Schroeder (20 minutes)

A team of 10-15  developed multiple competing designs for a feature,
built working prototypes, and tested each with several users – all in three hours.

  • Why did we do it?
  • Did it work (develop serious design candidates)
  • Will it work for you?

 Active Listening for Usability Professionals
– Donna Cooper and Michelle Erickson (20 minutes)

Did you ever think of tuning up your usability skills by improving your
listening skills?  Active listening is an important skill that 
may not
always come easily. To be better usability professionals we 
need to l
isten effectively. We may have to overcome some of our 
natural instincts
in order to listen well.  Find out how to improve 
your listening skills at this
presentation of Active Listening for the 
Usability Professional.

 The Challenges and Benefits of Multi-Feature Usability Testing
– Teresa Hubscher-Younger (15 minutes)

Multi-Feature Usability Testing was piloted during out last release to
improve how we catch cross-feature usability issues. Currently, at
MathWorks, our usability testing often focuses on a single new feature,
working to identify all the usability problems early in 
development to ensure
better quality of this feature. However, we 
found in one particular release that
two new features can 
independently perform well in usability tests, but when
they are 
introduced in the product at the same time, they confuse the user.
Multi-Feature Usability Testing tests the major new features in a particular
release together, trying to identify cross-feature 
usability problems early.
Doing this presented a number of challenges 
and benefits, which will be
discussed in this talk.

 Balsamiq Mockups in MathWorks’ Usability Process
– Rob Nickerson (15 minutes)

Usability teams at MathWorks work among many cross-functional
business areas when generating designs by using traditional methods,
wireframe mockups, and prototypes. Many of those teams are also using
Balsamiq Mockups to streamline the iteration process with developers,
conquer geographic distances between design teams, and facilitate the
generation of true paper prototypes. Rob will share how Balsamiq has
helped MathWorks overcome common usability revision cycles,
empower web designers and developers, and engage even the most
cross-functional of teams in the usability process.

Bios (in order of appearance):


Jen Hocko
Jen has been a web developer, technical writer, and interaction
designer at both large and small organizations. She has an M.S. in
Human Factors from Bentley University, and works at MathWorks,
where she manages a team that focuses on improving the usability of
both custom-built and procured business software.


Will Schroeder
Will has been Principal Usability Specialist at MathWorks
since 2005. Previous indentures include seventeen years designing
and testing hardware and embedded software at Foster-Miller, Inc.
twelve years as Principal at User Interface Engineering doing
consulting and research on hardware, software, and the web.
He has 
designed and implemented an eye-gaze target acquisition
for DARPA (what you see is what you shoot) that worked,
and a 
multi-target tracker that almost worked. He has completed a
Degree in English and Mathematics at Harvard, an MBA
at Babson, and 
A summer course in High-Temperature Corrosion at MIT.
His article 
describing research on water-spray mixing of air and methane
at coal 
faces filled two full issues of the Journal of the Mine Ventilation
of the Union of South Africa. He holds several patents, including
a construction system for geodesic domes and a surface-modeling
used to capture the shape of teeth in the mouth. He has
recently begun writing poetry, but is as yet unpublished.

Donna Cooper and Michelle Erickson
Donna is a Senior Usability Specialist at MathWorks.  She provides
usability support to internal application areas throughout MathWorks
including Sales, 
Legal, and Customer Support.  She has over 20 years
of usability experience.
  She has an MBA from Northeastern University.

Michelle is a Senior Usability Specialist at MathWorks where she provides
interaction design and usability support for data analysis products and helps
coordinate the Usability Peer Coaching Program. She has almost 10 years
of usability experience and earned an MSHFID from Bentley College.

Donna and Michelle have presented the Active Listening seminar to various
organizations within MathWorks.

Dr. Teresa Hubscher-Younger 

Teresa is a Senior Usability Specialist at MathWorks working on improving
the usability of large-scale modeling with Simulink and improving our internal
requirements analysis procedures. Her fields of expertise are human-computer
interaction, educational technology, computer science and software engineering.

Rob Nickerson
Rob is a Usability Specialist at MathWorks, with a focus on customer facing
eCommerce applications.  He has worked as a business
 analyst, consultant,
and web designer in the eCommerce space for over
 10 years, and holds a
degree in Management Information Systems from Babson College.