For two decades, The Usability Center @ Southern Polytechnic worked with clients to unlock their users’ experience and build usability into product design. Dr. Carol Barnum the co-founder and director of the center until its close in 2013, led research teams in usability testing, expert reviews, card sorting activities, contextual inquiry, and other user research efforts.
The center’s clients represent many businesses, industries, and government agencies. Projects ran the gamut from software, to hardware, to mobile applications, web applications, websites, IVR systems, e-learning, documentation, and training.
Some clients used the center’s services for a single project. Others returned regularly for more research with the same product or different products. Word of mouth was a great resource for new clients.
Well-known clients include Cox Communications, Comcast, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Delta Airlines, Taxslayer.com, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The center also worked with many small companies, just getting started or new to usability testing and other research strategies.
In June 2013, Carol transitioned from teaching and directing the center to establishing a full-time user research consultancy. At almost the same time as Carol left Southern Polytechnic, it was announced that Southern Poly would merge with Kennesaw State University. The usability center is now closed, but you can still find Carol and continue to benefit from her experience in UX research.
In partnership with Jimmy Ginn, Carol and Jimmy combine 30+ years of user research experience and specialized, personalized services to clients.
Atlanta-based with international reach, UX Firm offers a wide range of user research services, including lab and portable testing options, remote and on-site testing, and many other research capabilities.
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At Southern Polytechnic, Carol Barnum was director of Graduate Studies in Information Design and Communication, with course specialties in Usability Testing, Information Design, Marketing Communication, and Global Strategies in Communication. In 1994 she founded the Usability Center as part of a Million Dollar IBM Total Quality Management Grant.
Carol is an award-winning speaker, writer, and presenter and the author of six books and numerous articles on usability, technical and professional communication, and cultural aspects of communication.
Her latest book is Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set…Test!
Carol is now combining her research and practitioner skills as Director of Research for UX Firm.