Activities of the Usability and User Experience Community
About the list Rules
The STC UUX Community hosts an e-list for discussion of usability, user
experience and technical communication.
What is the Usability mailing
The Usability SIG mailing list (listserv) is software
that allows any member of the SIG to join a discussion group. Messages
posted to the group are sent to your email address. You can reply to
a message, or start a new topic of your own.
What is the purpose of the Usability mailing list?
The purpose of the stcusesig_l mailing list is to provide
a forum for technical communicators who:
- Have an interest in usability
- Are moving into the usability field from another job
- Want to learn some tips and tricks
- Want advice from people working in the field
Who can participate in the Usability mailing list?
The Usability SIG mailing list is for the use of STC members
and non-members who are interested in usability topics.
Who do I contact to discuss problems or questions
about the mailing list?
Contact David Dick for questions or comments about the Usability mailing list.
What topics are appropriate for the Usability Mailing
Any topic related to usability, user interface design,
usability testing and evaluation, or human factors issues is fair game
for the Usability mailing list. Some example topics are:
- Usability testing
- Consistency in user interfaces
- Icon design
- Web usability
- Layout and design of windows and dialogs
- Task analysis
- User profiling
- How to conduct customer visits
How do I (un)subscribe from the list?
You can subscribe and unsubscribe from the list by submitting your details on
the Usability SIG Mailman page.
Rules of conduct for the list
What are the general rules for email netiquette?
Above all, messages should be private to participants
in the mailing list. Don't forward messages without getting the originators
permission. One goal of this mailing list is provide a supportive environment
for people interested in learning about usability and sharing information
that could help others.
Dont FLAME other users. Think before you write.
Your message will convey your persona. You can argue, be critical,
and express strong opinions, but do not embarrass, harass, or get
into verbal wars. If a message upsets you, take a few minutes to
calm down and then write a measured, clear response.
Don't ask questions like: "Can you send me everything
you know about usability?" Participants in the mailing list
are likely to view this kind of question as a "lazy inquiry".
Use message headers (subject lines) that are brief
Provide some context for your replies. It is very
helpful to extract a small portion of a message and use it in your
reply to set the context for readers.
Avoid using ALL CAPS in message. The use of all capital
letters is often viewed as screaming at a user. Of course, the use
of capitalization is OK for emphasis.
Be professional and careful what you say about other
people in the mailing list. While we ask that Usability SIG messages
are private to the mailing list, it is possible that they could
Be careful about the use of sarcasm and humor. Humor
can be too subtle. Smiley faces may be helpful, but keep in mind
that many people are not up on all the subtleties of smiley faces
(also known as emoticons).
Give credit to all quotes, references, and sources.
Let people know what is your opinion and what is fact, research,
or opinion of others.
Do not flame minor errors like typos or grammar.
Don't be pompous.
What will get me thrown off the mailing list?
There are several things that will get a person thrown
off the mailing list: insulting behavior, blatant adverting for personal
or corporate services, personal attacks, any form of harassment to members,
disregard of members' privacy, or any illegal acts (for example, copyright
violations or libel), or violation of any STC policy. The managers of
the mailing list will inform anyone who is in jeopardy of being thrown
off by a personal email message and will ask him/her to refrain from
any egregious behaviors.
Can I advertise usability services for my company?
No. The mailing list is not for advertising commercial
services. You cannot post messages that advertise consulting or training.
Since this listserv is sponsored by the STC, a non-profit organization,
we must avoid marketing and advertising messages. If you have any questions
about what is appropriate, please send email to David Dick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posting notices about commercial services is a serious violation of
STC UUX policies.
Can I post messages about non-profit courses, non-profit seminars
or conference tutorials and workshops?
Yes, you can post messages about non-profit and conference
events. The messages should be short, list the location of the event
either in the subject line or at the top of the message.
Can I submit job opportunities and course or seminar
Yes, messages regarding jobs related to usability are
welcome and encouraged. Some job messages ask for resumes. Make sure
that you don't try to send a resume with the REPLY ALL button on your
email system or everyone on the Usability and User Experience mailing
list will see your resume. This has embarrassed some people on other
How long can my messages to the Usability SIG mailing
Generally messages should be between 1-3 screens long.
If you have a long message (3-8 screens or so), please alert the reader,
for example, by putting "(LONG)" at the end of the subject
line. If you have something REALLY long like a chapter that you want
people to review, put a short excerpt of your document in your mail
message and invite those who are interested to send you private email
requesting the document.
Can I send an attachment to the list?
Attachments are not permitted on the Usability SIG mailing
list. If you have something interesting, you can post a URL to the document
or ask people to request it from you individually.
Can I use information from the Usability SIG mailing
list in other forums (for example, in UTEST, in a corporate style guide,
in a book)?
This question gets complex since it involves copyright
and fair use issues. The safest guideline here is to always ask permission
from the creator of a message if you want to use any message content
for other purposes (for example, a book chapter, or seminar). Direct
quotes should always receive proper attribution and keep in mind that
the submitter of the message retains copyright. If someone submits a
paper for review, for example, it would be a copyright violation to
make copies of that paper for others at your company. Also, we want
to protect the privacy of people in the SIG and make it a safe place
to get review feedback on ideas, drafts of papers, or course notes.
Are there any problems submitting my messages through
my corporate email?
Some firms are touchy about their employees putting opinions
on the net. If you are sending from your corporate email you should
consider the following issues:
1. Are you representing your company when you submit
2. Do you have the authority to represent your firm
through these messages?
3. Can you use your company or organization's logo or
name on your messages?
4. Would your comments affect any of your company's
relationships with another company (for example, if you mention a
product that your company is about to buy would that cause any problems)?
Some mailing list participants put a disclaimer at the bottom of their
mail messages saying that the comments in the message do not represent
the official policy of their company. Since corporate email is often
considered company property, this could be a touchy issue.