The Certified Usability Analyst Exam

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The Certified Usability Analyst Exam


Overview CUA Certification


Measures practitioners’ factual knowledge of current User-Centered Design (UCD) domain in 4 competency areas:

• User Experience Foundations

• User-Centered Analysis

• Application and Web Design

• Usability Testing

Assesses UCD practitioners’ ability to apply proven techniques, practices, methodologies, and tools to common UCD problems

Provide a level of basic certification of UCD. The CUA is not intended to replace or compete with academic degrees earned in the field of Human Computer


The CUA exam was designed to gauge knowledge and performance, and not to be a “final" exam of the HFI 4-pack courses


About the CUA Exam Format

Administered online via a Web browser

Open book exam

100 total questions

2.5 hour time limit for English speaking test takers (4 hours for those not fluent in English, please request a time extension if applicable)

Divided into four parts:

Research/Foundations - 10 items

User-Centered Analysis - 26 items

Application and Web Design - 38 items

Usability Testing – 26 items

All questions are multiple-choice with 4 available responses and 1 correct answer


About the Integrity of the CUA Exam

A unique exam is created for each test taker by randomly selecting equivalent items from a larger database of questions

The order of selected test questions is randomized within each of the 4 test sections


Preparing for the CUA Exam...

The exam is challenging

Those who have the best chance of passing the exam on the first attempt typically have:

A few years of practical experience in user-centered design

Taken all of the most recent 4-pack courses

Prepared for the exam by organizing their course materials

Done some individual or group review


Sample CUA Exam Factual Question...

The menu design above appeared on one version of the IBM

home page. What type of content organization scheme does this menu best represent?

(A) Task-oriented

(B) Audience-oriented (C) Chronological (D) Topical


This menu reflects actual user


Sample CUA Exam Application Question...

As a Certified Usability Analyst, you were recently asked by the product manager of a customer service Web application to

attend a meeting with the design team. The purpose of the meeting is to finalize a usability test plan in preparation for an upcoming test with actual customer service representatives. The current focus of the discussion centers on conducting the pilot test. Which one of your colleagues is NOT offering sound


(A) Marie: “Before the pilot test, I think we should identify which one of us will be responsible for tracking time”.

(B) Rick: “Before the pilot test, I think we should get with the legal department to determine if we need to ask participants for informed consent”.

(C) Treye: “For the pilot test, I think we should recruit actual customer service participants so we can gather some initial usability data”.


Pilot tests should focus only on the test protocol and materials, not actual


Upon Completion of the Exam...

The final page of the exam indicates whether the examinee passed or failed and shows the percentage of correct answers for each section

HFI does not provide questions or answers as test questions are proprietary

If a passing score is achieved, examinees receive a CUA certificate and electronic emblem

Two attempts are included in the exam fee. If an examinee does not pass the first attempt, he/she will be contacted to schedule the second attempt


About Initial Pass/Fail Rates...

Typically, 80% of test takers pass the exam on the first attempt

Typically, those who fail the exam and review their materials pass the exam on the second attempt


Recent Feedback About the Exam...

Feedback from those who have passed describe the exam as a good or excellent measure of their knowledge

Feedback from a PhD-level, UCD Manager at a large, Midwestern software

development company said that those who recently passed the exam were more effective in their role as UCD practitioners, compared to a group that did not pass the exam.


Thank You!

HFI – New York, NY Five Penn Plaza 23rd Floor New York, NY 10001 Phone: (212) 835-1699 E-mail: Corporate Headquarters 410 West Lowe Fairfield, IA 52556 Phone: (800) 242-4480 (641) 472-4480 Fax: (641) 472-5412 E-mail: HFI – London, UK Clerkenwell Workshops 31 Clerkenwell Close London EC1R 0AT

Phone: +44 (0)207 209 3430


HFI – Africa

UX Best Practices Pty Ltd. 119 Witch-Hazel Avenue HFI – Mumbai, India

Unit 602, 6th Floor

Hincon House Tower B 247 Park, LBS Marg

Vikhroli (W), Mumbai 400 083 Phone: +91 22 4017 0400

HFI – Singapore

HFI – San Francisco 425 Market Street Suite 2200

San Francisco, CA 94105 Phone: (415) 955-2734




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