How Many Usability Professionals Are There?

7 Jan 2008 - 7:07pm
714 reads
Tom Humbarger
2008

Someone asked me recently if I had any market data on the number of
Usability professionals there are in the U.S. (or globally).

It's a hard question to answer since usability professionals fall into
many different disciplines and some professionals wear multiple hats as
noted below:

* usability
* interaction design
* user centered design
* experience design
* information architecture
* HCI
* human factors
* quality assurance
* information design
* electronic performance support system
* audience analysis

I know there are about 2,500 to 3,000 members in the Usability
Professionals' Association and another 4,500 members of IxDA - but I
have no idea about how many usability professionals join this group
since there are multiple competing groups which also include UXNet, HCI,
CHI, STCSIG, etc. And not all usability professionals are 'joiners' and
may not be affiliated with any organization.

The World Usability Day website states that more than 40,000 people from
35 countries took part in their 2006 activities. Using this number and
assuming a 10% to 20% participation factor puts the total number of
usability professionals in the 200,000 to 400,000 range.

Does anyone have any better information or educated guesses?

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager

thumbarger at mycatalyze.org

(310) 426-7875 direct
(310) 291-6168 mobile

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