The Certified Usability Analyst Exam
Overview CUA CertificationGoals
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?
(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.
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