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CHI-WEB  November 2002, Week 1

CHI-WEB November 2002, Week 1

Subject:

Summary - Recognition of HFI Certification

From:

"Blackwell, Michelle" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Blackwell, Michelle

Date:

Thu, 31 Oct 2002 15:53:22 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

Original inquiry:

How widely known or recognized is the Human Factors International (HFI) Usability Analyst certification within the HCI/usability/human factors/user experience community?

Responses:

1) From N Manoj / [log in to unmask]

Your question is right on target. I'm writing in from India, and I know for a fact that they are the only people in India who offer something 'recognisable' in the Usability domain in India. That said, I have no clue about how valuable their courses, their certification is.

What I do understand is that they're making good bucks out of it all. To appear for the Certification exam, you need to attend five course programs conducted by them (each costing Rs 12,000 !) At the end of it, one is eligible for the exam, which leads to HFI Certified Usability Analyst. The implications of this for a designer (like me) in India are many:

Why is it mandatory to attend their courses, in order to appear for the exam? (you teach, you certfiy - looks like an in-house affair).

The strategy does make business sense, but what of students who wish to learn of Usability at an affordable price?

Ironically, in these times when companies are cutting back on expenses, and trying to build Usability competence as a differentiating factor in their products - the only means available is through the HFI which, as I've said doesn't come cheap.

Then again, for an aspiring Usability professional - there appears little choice on the horizon (in India, I mean), but to go for this certification. Is it a case of swimming with the sharks (!)


2) Ash Donaldson UED [[log in to unmask]]

As far as I know, and the criterion that I use when hiring usability specialists does not, and would not include certification by HFI.  There have been raging debates in the Human Factors/Usability circles for years as to certification for Web Usability/User Centered Design and the results are reflected in the Usability Professionals' Association's findings at http://www.upcertification.org/.  

To summarise, they believe that there can be no certification developed until an appropriate syllabus, based on standards (more than likely ISO 13407 and such) has been developed and approved by the professional community.

At present, there are many worthwhile post-graduate, academic courses in Human Factors, HCI or Cognitive Psychology that you may wish to embark upon.


3) DeeDee DeMulling [[log in to unmask]]

I took the grandfather test and I am a certified usability analyst, but I wouldn't use that as credentials within the community.  I have had occasion to mention it outside our community though.


4) Robert A. Virzi [[log in to unmask]]

The what?


5) Lu, Hongzheng (Cindy) [[log in to unmask]]

Non of my former HF colleages and former colleages got the certificate. I don'think it is well recognized. 


6) Todd Chapin [[log in to unmask]]

Not at all? I would suggest that outside of the HF community, and outside of the group that contains HFI's clients, it is not known. I believe that it is little more than an attempt by that company to make money on an issue that has arisen lately.


7) George Olsen [[log in to unmask]]

Not very. Other than from the controversy about a private company issuing professional certifications.


8) Jim Bunzol [[log in to unmask]]

I have actually contacted HFI to find out how their certification would apply to me.  I let them know that I was a graduate with a master's in HCI and got the impression from them that the certification was for those who were basically working in or around the field, but did not have usability credentials on paper.  I do recall seeing something, either in email or on their website, in regards to belonging to a group and being recognized by others in the field or group as a usability professional.  Personally, I probably wouldn't go and spend the money for a certification when I spent more than enough on a masters.  Just my 2 cents.


9) [log in to unmask]

Läser mail igen den 30/10. Nås ev. under dagen på 0705-397554


10) Gilbert Cockton [[log in to unmask]]

I know about it. As for recognition, well, you get what you pay for.

It's better than nothing, but several top client references would be much much better.

The British HCI Group have been considering certification issues for some time - not an easy area (feel free to help!)

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