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Chapter 12. Staffing > The Central Usability Organization Staff

The Central Usability Organization Staff

As mentioned in the previous chapter, the central usability group is a small nucleus of staff members with usability expertise who coordinate usability activities for the company. This central group forms the dissemination point for best practices and success stories and should manage challenges in order to maintain progress toward an optimized user experience. This group rarely includes more than six to ten people. (In large organizations, additional staff members are distributed in project teams.) This central usability team is essential to keeping the institutionalization effort moving forward, staying coordinated, and remaining lively.

Four types of subroles may be needed within this team to complete the centralized support functions: (1) internal consultant, (2) documenter, (3) specialist, and (4) researcher. Similar to the concept of archetypes in mythology, a bit of each role usually exists in every usability specialist, although there are also people who function well in only a limited set of areas. Some people can perform only one of these roles well. Every central organization needs an internal consultant and a documenter, but only larger organizations can afford a specialist or justify much research.


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