Fewer than 8,000 UX professionals worldwide are Certified Usability Analysts (CUA)TM


Maddie, Interactive Team


Maddie Farrell, Strategic America project manager and UX specialist, has earned her Certified Usability Analyst (CUA)TM certification from Human Factors International. The certification focused on user-centered design—a strategy for planning and problem solving that helps digital design work better for the end user.

Human Factors International is a training, certification and consulting organization that specializes in user experience design. Their mission is to help businesses make their digital platforms the best experience for their users. By applying user experience (UX) research and design, organizations can help remove obstacles for the end user before the user even uncovers that obstacle, making it easier for them to accomplish the task they set out to complete on a website or digital space. By first understanding a user’s priorities and way of thinking, we as businesses can design to help guide consumers to convert on digital platforms. This can mean making a sale, downloading information, scheduling an appointment or any other measure of conversion.

During her CUA courses, Maddie studied the foundations of UX design, user-centered analysis, the science behind web and application design, and usability testing. Rather than lessons that ask students to recite back learned information, the CUA certification asks course members to apply their lessons to problems they could encounter in their careers. The exam allows the students to demonstrate their mastery of information that centers on research, analysis, design and testing.

“Without user experience, we’re focused on what we think the end user wants to see and do on our websites. But it’s just a guess,” said Maddie. “Now, I have all this knowledge about how to design for users based on how they think and act, so I know how to test and how to improve the design based on that information.”

And when it comes to meeting client needs, this new certification is an important tool for Strategic America.

“UX design benefits the end user. It helps them easily find what they’re looking for without thinking too hard about it. That leads them to a conversion,” she said. “And that ultimately benefits our clients.”