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Welcome to the Usability Body of Knowledge

People getting things done

The Usability Body of Knowledge is dedicated to creating a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the usability profession. Such a collection of knowledge for the usability profession will necessarily be broad and inclusive in scope, because our profession is inherently multidisciplinary and draws on a wide range of other practices.

The Usability BoK is derived from published literature, conference proceedings, and the experiences of practitioners accumulated over many years. It is a guide to existing resources, and will evolve as the practice of usability evolves.

Explore the content that is available, and then consider volunteering to add more content!

What you will find in the Usability BoK

Major topic areas include:


This section of the Usability BoK presents descriptions of methods, including procedures, resources needed, outcomes, appropriate uses, benefits, and costs. These descriptions will form the core of a knowledge base that defines our field and will help communicate usability methods to clients, project managers, and team members. Usability practitioners will also benefit from cross-referencing of related methods and pointers to outside resources for more details.


This section of the Usability BoK presents patterns, principles, and guidelines on interaction design, information design, graphical design, and interface design, which have evolved over time from foundations in HCI and other design disciplines.

Managing UX<

As our profession has matured, we have developed common strategies and approaches for dealing with organizational challenges, from marketing usability to integration with existing processes to managing a large and diverse usability department. This section of the Usability BoK presents these practical guidelines using a "Question and Answer" approach.

Other useful sections

What is Usability?<

A brief introduction to the subject of usability, how it relates to other User Experience disciplines, and how it relates more broadly to other professional disciplines.


Definitions of common terms related to usability and user-centered design. You may also note that certain words on this site have a light underline. Hover over them - they allow you to see glossary definitions without leaving the page.

© 2010 Usability Professionals Association