Jennifer L. Bowie

Usability researcher and designer, technical communicator, researcher, writer, teacher, podcaster,  and digital & print media designer



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Professional Bio:

a picture of meJennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D.

I am a researcher, teacher and practitioner of digital media and usability. My scholarship in technical communication brings together my professional interests: usability and how people use new technologies and media; writing and rhetorical issues within digital media; and how writing and rhetoric are evolving. My work incorporates feminist lenses and methodologies, empirical research, various media and technology, and user-centered design, often overlapping these areas to examine technology and writing from different perspectives.

I have been a usability and user-centered design researcher, designer, and author for more than 10 years. I have experience with several usability techniques, including usability testing, contextual design, and participatory design. In my dissertation work, for example, I conducted a usability testing research with 33 users, all of whom were students, analyzing sex and gender differences in website navigation. These results have been published, presented at various conferences, and have been used to guide the redesign of websites. I am a strong advocate of user experience and user support, with two published articles, two conference proceedings papers, and 16 conference presentations on the topics, along with my blog and podcast, Screen Space.

I am a researcher with more than thirteen years experience in qualitative and quantitative methods. I am CITI certified in human subjects research, meaning I am qualified to conduct ethical research with human participants according to federal guidelines. I have conducted research using a variety of methods, tools, and techniques, including usability testing, contextual inquiry, surveys, interviews, teacher research, case studies, work flow diagrams, assessment, affinity diagrams,  and artifact analysis.

I am the author/co-author of ten forthcoming/published peer-reviewed print and digital journal articles.  I also have published two proceeding articles, seven proceedings papers and abstracts, two collaborative bibliographies, and one book review. In addition, I have written more than 100 various successful documents  including proposals (80% success rate), grants (60% success rate), memos, reports, usability recommendation reports, articles (80% publication rate), abstracts, and more.
In addition, I have four years of experience as the blogger and podcaster for Screen Space: A blog and podcast about users, texts, and technology. In the podcast, I provide training and information on how to design usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and new media for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This iTunes rated five-star podcast attracts approximately 2,000 hits a month and the audience includes truck drivers, librarians, administrative assistants, managers, writers, and homemakers. The associated blog, where I discuss users, technology, and texts, gets over 4,000 hits a month.

I also work in both print and digital document design. I have designed academic, conference, and business websites for 13 years. I have also created and developed course websites and online course material for 34 classes.  My print design work includes a corporate identity for a video production company, a style guide and various publications for petroleum research consortium, and a CD and digihub jacket for a rock band.

I am an award-winning, excellent teacher for twelve years with a 4.6 of 5 teaching effectiveness average. I have taught 59 classes, including 17 graduate classes in writing, document and visual design, electronic writing and publishing, web design, usability and user-centered design, research, and social media. In 2001 I won the Kairos/Lore TA and Adjunct Award for Teaching. I have been an invited guest lecturer in three classes on podcasting, research methods, and web design. In addition, I was the director of three dissertations, two theses, and over 25 student individual empirical research projects.

I am an experienced presenter and speaker; a practiced leader in national and international organizations; an editor of academic writing and media, a reviewer of textbooks, journal articles, and conference proposals; and a mentor of beginning researchers and graduate students. For more details on these experiences please see my CV and résumé.

Beyond all that, I am a runner and triathlete and am currently training for two marathons and a sprint triathlon. I recently took up crocheting again (which I learned as a child) and I now inundate my friends and family with handmade scarves, baby blankets and hats, decorations, and floppy stuffed dragons. When I find the time and location, I will often draw landscapes in pencil or pastels, or perhaps paint them in water color. I am an avid reader, a geek, a beginning violinist, and a very amateur photographer.