Research Output

Playing the game: HCI careers in the competency era

  This paper summarises the increasing formalization of HCI-related job-roles in competency frameworks (such as the UK’s Skills Framework for the Information Age – SFIA), and the adoption of these by industry. At present these are mainly in mature areas of HCI such as usability. This trend addresses a common complaint (and one voiced at a workshop at HCI2007) amongst usability professionals that usability does not offer adequate career progression opportunities. Factors that might account for the laggardly response by the usability industry are discussed.
The author’s recent experience as a reviewer of the updated version of SFIAplus v4 is reported here, with examples from this and previous versions to illustrate the process by which the HCI community can influence these role definitions. The conclusion is that, to give opportunities to our learners, to achieve the changes our community wishes to see put into practice, and to make our own work relevant, we all need to play our part in this "game".

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    004 Data processing & computer science


McEwan, T. Playing the game: HCI careers in the competency era. Paper presented at HCI Educators 2009, Swindon. (Unpublished)



HCI competency; SFIA; usability professionalism; HCI education.;

Available Documents