And the 2017 UXPA Lifetime Achievement Award Goes To...

Randolph Bias, Ph.D, CHFP!

While we don’t have a gold statue to present, we have something better! Not only will Dr. Bias receive our award at the UXPA 2017 International Conference – he will be onstage, live, being interviewed during the event for our Inside the UX Studio series.

Join host Chris Hass, former UXPA International and UXPA Boston President, for a fun-filled Q&A. This is your opportunity to learn all about this year’s winner.

How did we select the 2017 award winner?

You helped – a lot. The call for nominations went out and our UXPA members flooded our inboxes with great nominees and recommendations. Once the UXPA International Board reviewed all the great nominations and recommendations, we voted and selected our winner for 2017.

Who is Dr. Bias?

Randolph Bias is one of the few people who has worked both in academia and in industry.  Not surprisingly, he has excelled in both. 

In 1978 he received a Ph.D. in human experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, having conducted fundamental psycholinguistics research in reading processes.  Randolph then spent 20 years in industry as a human factors/usability practitioner (Bell Labs, IBM) and manager (BMC Software), and as co-founder and Chief Usability Officer of a small usability lab and consultancy (Austin Usability).  In that time, he was an active contributor to the usability/UX literature, including co-editing two editions of a book (Cost-Justifying Usability, R. G. Bias and D. J. Mayhew, 1994, 2005) that helped inspire and inform a more empirical approach to usability practice.   As a practitioner, Randolph has pioneered three user-centered design methods, (pluralistic usability walkthrough, the HURIE method – Hybrid User Requirements and Interface Evaluation and CMUE – Concept Mapping Usability Evaluation).  

In 2003 Randolph returned to academia as an associate professor in the School of Information at UT-Austin, to help teach the next generation of UX professionals and scientists.  At UT Randolph has had fundamental and applied research funded by governmental agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH), and industry (e.g., IBM, Microsoft).  A current research thread, on the rendering of online text to maximize skimmability, serves as a bookend for his earlier interest in reading processes.  While an academic Randolph has continued his practitioner work, consulting with a wide variety of high-tech companies, which has helped keep his teaching fresh.  When he was in industry Randolph was the research-y guy, wanting not to reinvent every wheel.  Now that he is in academia he finds himself identified as the applied guy.  He says he is just working on the same (research-practice) bridge, but from the other shore.

Last year Randolph and his recent doctoral student, Hans Huang, won the John Wiley Award for the best paper for 2015 in JASIST (the Journal of the Association of Information Science & Technology), for Hans’s work using fMRI data to answer information studies questions.  In addition to publishing free-lance articles in American Baby and Southern Outdoors magazines, and to writing the lyrics to one recorded song (“Peanuts Envy,” with Doug Gillan), Randolph has helped produce two magnificent sons, over 100 less magnificent peer-reviewed publications, and more than a little snippiness about the state of the UX design practice.  He says he is exceedingly proud to have his “utility infielder” UX career recognized this way by the UXPA.

What makes Randolph stand out, even above and beyond his achievements, is his commitment to bridging the gap between academia and practice.  This attitude has informed everything he has done and is critical to our practice.

When is the Inside the UX Studio?

Chris will be interviewing Dr. Bias on Wednesday, June 7th at 7:30 PM during our conference at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.  We will have a cash bar, and plenty of seats. So, come join us for what will be a fascinating interview!