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Career re-orientation towards...ergonomie

monyee marionnaud
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2009
Posts: 11
Hello everyone,

I have been in the developpment zone (.NET) for two years and i'm not liking it that much.
I have decided to take a turn in my career, and after several researches, I seem to have found what i really like...
I would like to become an ergonomist in web sites.
I would like to analyse a client, his demand, and his users, and propose an optimized and ergonomic interface for his web site in function of the ergonomical critera.

But, How can i become an ergonomist ?

Since i only have a masters degree in computer science, do i need to take night courses in this domain ? If so, is there anyone who has done this and knows schools that offer this choice ?

Also, how is the employment market in this domain ? Are there many demands ? Are there demands at all ?

Must i learn all that web stuff (xslt, css, html) in order to be an ergonomist ?

Thanks for your replies,


Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18139
    
  39

monyee marionnaud wrote:
But, How can i become an ergonomist ?


Wow. I didn't even know that there was such a thing. I always thought that website features, including the ergonomics, were handle by (1) product manager, in conjunction with customers, (2) QA, via enhancement requests, (3) support, via enhancement requests, etc.

Henry


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Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 29287
    
140

There are some jobs as a "usability specialist" (fairly rare) or "website designer." Both have website ergonomics as part of them, but not as the whole job.


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Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15665
    
  15

"Only" a Master's degree? That's usually sufficient - even more than sufficient - for business. PhD's are more for scientific or academic endeavors.

Except for Apple and Microsoft (don't laugh), I don't actually know of any companies that keep what you might call on-staff software ergonomists. You'd probably fare best as an independent agency.

Unfortunately, we're in a time where slapping stuff out Fast and Quick with a heavy sprinkling of Pretty is the primary concern, so don't expect an easy time of it.

You might find it profitable to set yourself up as an independent software tester with an accent on the ergonomic aspects. Use that as a springboard. If you build up a good clientele you should be able to slowly work yourself over to what you want.

Never forget that no program is truly ergonomic if it doesn't function properly, and we really do need people to push for both reliability and ease-of-use.

Good Luck!


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
monyee marionnaud
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2009
Posts: 11
Thanks for all your replies.

It's really rare getting to work only on the ergonomic sides of an application. After looking up jobs, most of them ask for capabilities in css, html, and javascript...languages i dont really like.

Changing career is going to be one hell of a ride for me...i'll try looking in another domain. Apparently, in the uk and the us, we can get to work in different domaines without necessarily having a degree in that specific domain....so i'll try my shot again.

Thanks once again
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15665
    
  15

monyee marionnaud wrote: Apparently, in the uk and the us, we can get to work in different domaines without necessarily having a degree in that specific domain....so i'll try my shot again.


I hope so. I've been a statistics course and a couple of electives short of a Bachelor's Degree for about 20 years now and doing some pretty advanced stuff in the mean time.

On the other hand, anyone in the US today would be well-advised to obtain a degree. Things have changed at the entry levels. Unfortunately, since one of the things that changed is massive offshoring, I'm advising people not even to consider an IT career in the US until salaries in Bangalore and Boston become more or less the same. And only then if that allows living above the poverty level in Boston.
Mike Isano
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 144
monyee marionnaud wrote:
It's really rare getting to work only on the ergonomic sides of an application. After looking up jobs, most of them ask for capabilities in css, html, and javascript...languages i dont really like.


Working on the ergonomics of an application is not rare. EVERY app has an interface.

Working on website ergonomics means working with HTML. It could mean moving some interactions to the client side with javascript and Ajax requests to the server. Do you want to work on ergonomics or just talk on ergonomics?



I would recommend becoming a graphic designer/web designer. Become good with a tool like dreamweaver. Don't be afraid of HTML and CSS. You will catch on quick and it's going to be around for a long time. You don't have to program, and you'll be working on ergonomics whether that's in the job title or not.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60077
    
  65

monyee marionnaud wrote:most of them ask for capabilities in css, html, and javascript...languages i dont really like.

Dude. If you don't like working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript forget about working on the web!

That's like being a surgeon who can't stand the sight of blood.


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