Projects: Friends of Usability

Usability Has Ten Friends at Trane Global Controls and Contracting


Judy Kistler-Robinson is a product communications group leader for the technical writing group at Trane Global Controls and Contracting in St. Paul, MN. A strong usability advocate, Kistler-Robinson recently awarded Friends of Usability Certificates to peer employees and management.

As Trane has become increasingly attuned to usability practices and processes, the role of usability has become increasingly prominent. None of the ten employees who received Friends of Usability Certificates are specifically usability professionals, but all have become usability advocates.

They are employed as project managers, marketing and business development managers, technical support, and technical writers. Kistler-Robinson wanted to thank the volunteers in a special way for their extra effort, and felt that the Friends of Usability Certificate would “help make usability prominent and important.”

Of the Trane Ten, nine volunteered to interview technical installers and programmers who had come for technical training.The interview team also established customer profiles and personas from the interviews.

The tenth recipient is the Vice President of Product Planning and Support, who Kistler-Robinson wanted to reward “for being a nice guy who understands the role of usability and its importance.”

Kistler-Robinson reports that all the recipients were surprised, and a few were very proud. The brightly colored certificates are being displayed in cubicles and offices at Trane. The certificates are “the gift that keeps promoting,” Kistler-Robinson said.


Profile by Everyl Yankee, June 2003


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