MSUToday
Published: Nov. 3, 2011

Staff profiles: JoDee Fortino

Contact(s): Erica Shekell Office of Communications and Brand Strategy erica.shekell@cabs.msu.edu

JoDee Fortino is organizing the largest World Usability Day gathering in the state.

"This week is crunch week," said Fortino, lab manager in Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting.

World Usability Day is about making the world work better. It was founded in 2005 by the Usability Professionals' Association to emphasize the importance of ensuring that services and products were easier to access and simpler to use.

"It's helping companies or persons to look at their devices, their websites, and make them usable for everyone," Fortino said.

World Usability Day takes place on the second Thursday of November; this year, it's Nov. 10. More than 200 events are being organized in more than 43 countries to raise public awareness and train professionals.

The theme of MSU's conference – the state's largest, Fortino said – is "Making Social Media Work for You." About 250 to 300 people are expected to attend the event, which will include speakers from ForeSee Results, General Motors, Detroit Medical Center, TechSmith Corp., Deque Systems and MSU.

"It's about getting information out to their employees, getting it out to their constituents, getting it out to consumers, using all different types of social media," Fortino said.

In addition to organizing the conference, Fortino's job responsibilities in UARC include recruiting participants for user evaluations and focus groups and developing the budget for UARC.

"My favorite part of the job is working with blind and low-vision people," she said. "When we bring them in for the user evaluations and they use screen readers to look at a website, I am totally in awe of how much more insight they can give than someone like me. It's just amazing."

MSU's World Usability Day is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10 in the MSU Union. Registration is $30, with lunch included. Registration is open online until Nov. 7, though requests received after that date will be honored whenever possible.

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Click to enlarge

JoDee Fortino, lab manager in Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

JoDee Fortino, lab manager in Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

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