Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

Fraunhofer Certified Usability Engineer: Courses in English Will Start in June

Reacting to strong demand from abroad, Fraunhofer FIT will soon offer an English-language version of their professional training program that leads to a Certified Usability Engineer qualification. The one-week basic course focuses on the DAkkS methodology and imparts thorough knowledge of the international usability standards. Fraunhofer FIT's usability training activity is a service process certified by TÜV Rheinland.

The usability of devices, software and services is of increasing importance for many companies: Better usability is promised to lead to higher sales. As a consequence, there is a growing demand for usability expertise. A large number of freelancers and small companies are offering usability services – underlying methodology and resulting quality of these services vary widely. The usability practitioners draw their expertise mostly from training on the job and communication with peers, the report "Usability 2014" says, which was published by German UPA, the German chapter of the international Usability Professionals Association (UPA).

A little under one third of the usability practitioners sampled in the "Usability 2014" report have also been enrolled in a User eXperience / usability professional training program. Of these, almost 50 percent are "Zertifizierte Usability Engineers", i. e., alumni of the professional training program of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT. Since this program – the only standardized one in Germany – was started in 2009, all courses were overbooked. Including 2014, more than 400 Usability Engineers graduated from this professional training program.

In the one-week full-time basic course, a maximum of 16 students will be taught usability know-how based on the international usability standards. The training focuses on the DAkkS collection of methods for designing and evaluating interactive products and their development processes. Substantial professional experience is a prerequisite for admission.

Since the basic course was first offered in 2009, Fraunhofer FIT's professional training program evolved towards a more standardized curriculum and objective proof of the expertise acquired in a three-tier program. An important factor in the certification by TÜV Rheinland of FIT's usability education program is the strict separation of our training activities from the testing and certification activities under the auspices of the Human System Interaction Certification Board at Fraunhofer FIT.

"There is a strong demand for usability specialists. In the German market our professional training program is well established. Now we can transfer our expertise internationally in English-language courses", says Ms. Britta Hofmann, head of the Usability and User Experience Design group of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

Our basic course enables IT specialists, designers and quality management specialists to carry out all relevant user-oriented design activities in a usability engineering cycle. Discussions and dinner talks by usability experts from industry complement and enhance the presentations and workshops by FIT lecturers.

The first two basic courses in English will be held June 8 to 12, 2015 and November 9 to 13, 2015. For additional information and registration visit http://s.fhg.de/UsabilityEngineer