“My job is to inject ‘user medicine’ into the product development process.”
–Tomer Sharon, Bentley ’08, MSHFID, User Experience Researcher, Google Inc.
Tomer Sharon sees himself as bringing “truth to the table” in the new product
development cycle—ideally in time to make a difference in the outcome.
Here he answers questions about usability research and his MS in Human Factors in
Information Design (MSHFID) from the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley.
When you began working in this field, the “usability expert” was a rare commodity. Has that
changed? I think the value of usability research is well appreciated today. I’m fortunate to work for
a company that fully incorporates user experience research into the product development process.
You left Israel to pursue your graduate studies in the States. Why Bentley? The Bentley MS in
Human Factors in Information Design was my top choice for many reasons. I knew I would be
learning from the very best—the people who really pioneered the profession. I would be
working in an amazing, state-of-the-art lab, the Design and Usability Center. And finally,
the program was located within a business school.
Why is Bentley’s business orientation important? A lot of product
development decisions are made by non-technical people. So it’s
equally as important to communicate well with management, sales,
or marketing as it is with engineering. At Bentley, we consulted with
actual clients on real-world problems and learned to understand their
business goals. That experience has been invaluable.
What are the keys to success in usability research? Being able to
inject “user medicine” early enough in the process to prevent
problems from occurring. It is also critical to know what questions
you want answered so that you can design the right research
methodology—Bentley taught me that.
To learn more about the MSHFID or to register for our online
information session, visit Bentley.edu/mshfid or contact Program
Director Dr. Bill Gibbons at 781.891.2926.
©2010 Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts