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Usability Test Engineer Job

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Date: Jan 8, 2018

Location: Renton, WA, US

Company: PACCAR

PACCAR’s Embedded Engineering department, which serves both Kenworth and Peterbilt, has an opening for a usability test engineer (sometimes called a user acceptance test analyst, or user experience researcher).  In this position, you will have the opportunity to start at the ground level in helping establish a UX team within PACCAR supporting interface designs on heavy and medium duty trucks.  You will help define test protocols and methods, establish testing facilities and procure the needed tools.  You will then transition to the primary role, which is actually conducting research studies to evaluate in-vehicle display products and other interfaces associated with PACCAR products.  Realize that there is little to no work anticipated for desktop, mobile phone, or web based HMI.  This role is focused on ‘while driving’ interfaces and there-by the associated concern related to driver distraction.  The position ideally would be filled with someone experienced in the domain of UX specific to the automotive application.  Assumed familiarity with a variety of areas:

  • usability testing
  • contextual inquiry
  • heuristic evaluation
  • survey methods and questionnaire item creation
  • benchmarking
  • driver distraction and automotive HMI design guidelines and regulations
  • prototype development and usage in testing (both hardware and software)
  • data capture technologies


    The role will have a fair degree of independent work and yet also need collaboration across multiple PACCAR facilities as the UX expertise and industrial design talent is distributed vs. centrally located.  Effective communication of usability test results will be a critical skill, as you will need to inform PACCAR leadership and remote design teams of your findings.



  • Utilize usability evaluation tools and human factors based research methods to assess the user experience of in-vehicle interface designs from both on-road and lab-based user tests. 
  • Create and document test methodology procedures, and establish associated infrastructure necessary for usability testing of various in-vehicle systems.  Testing locals will range from desk-top based prototypes, full cab driving simulator studies, and on-road evaluations in actual vehicles. 
  • Assist in the preparation of prototypes of the test article, which might include working closely with the interaction designer and software implementation team.
  • Handle all logistics aspects of performing user testing. Responsibilities include developing usability test plans and scripts, recruiting / scheduling participants, conducting data collection, data reduction / analysis and reporting of the results. 
  • Collaborate with User Interface Designers, Industrial Design, Vehicle Integration Engineers, Software Engineering, Product Planning, and Project Managers.
  • The position will require a fair amount of independent work and travel between multiple PACCAR locations is expected. 


Required / Desired Skills and Experience

  • Proficient in multiple user research methodologies (primarily usability testing on prototype interfaces, but also heuristic evaluation and expert reviews; contextual inquiry; surveys; and; benchmarking).
  • Proficient in all aspects of usability testing (i.e. methodology and metrics development, recruiting logistics and scheduling, results analysis, and results communication.).
  • Understanding of in-vehicle display technology, associated HMI, and the typical automotive product development lifecycle.
  • Usage of software prototyping tools (such as: Balsamiq, Axure, HTML, etc.) 
  • Familiarity with common design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.   And skills in typical office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Visio, etc.
  • Ability to support hardware prototyping functionality (integrating software interfaces onto target hardware, controls interaction functionality, etc.),
  • Experience with a variety of usability data collection research tools (such as Morae, Web-based survey tools, remote user testing, video capture, automated data collection, etc)
  • Familiarity and/or experience with other research tools such as occlusion goggles, eye-tracking systems, ISO lane change task simulator, driving simulators, etc.
  • Keen ability to identify issues and problems with interface designs; generate appropriate proposed solutions while understanding constraints of the system or program scope.
  • Familiarity with in-vehicle specific interface design principles and practices.  Including SAE, ISO, NHTSA and other applicable recommendation sources.
  • Ability to handle diverse assignments concurrently, and with various levels of initial definition.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including good interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively cross-functionally and cross-culturally.
  • Experience desirable in applying the user-centered design methodology (sometimes called Design Thinking, or Human Centered Design).
  • Comfortable interviewing and observing people in many different situations, approaching / communicating with strangers, and also putting them at ease.
  • Proven track record of consistently producing deliverables that are well-written and contain helpful information, providing solid and actionable recommendations.
  • Proven ability to synthesize a lot of information and distill it into meaningful data
  • Solid project management and planning skills.  Should be self-directed with effective time management skills.
  • Experience in the heavy truck industry desirable, especially first hand driving knowledge.  Having a CDL would be beneficial for truly understanding the users being designed for and tested. 


Education Requirements

  • BA/BS or MA/MS in behavioral science or closely related discipline.  Qualifying fields include but are not limited to: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Factors, Usability Engineering, Psychology (Cognitive or Experimental), Interface Design, or Computer Science.
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience in Human Factors as a Usability Analyst, Usability Support Analyst or similar role in a professional environment.  Automotive based experience highly desirable.
  • Certification by a professional standards organization in this discipline is desirable.  (i.e. CPUX, CUA, CPE, etc.)

Nearest Major Market: Seattle
Nearest Secondary Market: Bellevue

Job Segment: Product Development, Engineer, Embedded, Developer, Graphic Design, Research, Engineering, Technology, Creative

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