Publication statistics

Pub. period:1995-2010
Pub. count:6
Number of co-authors:20


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Kerry Rodden:
Jens Riegelsberger:
Antonella Pavese:



Productive colleagues

Irene Au's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Robin Jeffries:21
Penelope Sanderson:19
Jens Riegelsberger:18

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Irene Au

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Irene currently runs Product and User Experience at Udacity, a startup focused on bringing higher education online. Irene formerly led the User Experience and Design practice at Google, responsible for the user interface design of Google-branded products. Prior to Google, Irene was Vice President of User Experience and Design at Yahoo, where she built the interaction design and user research practice, and led product and platform design efforts worldwide. Irene began her career at Netscape Communications, where she was an interaction designer and led cross-product design efforts on Netscape's browser, mail/news client, and page editor. Irene holds a master's degree in human-computer interaction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having received two full scholarships to attend the University of South Carolina Honors College, she earned a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering and graduated summa cum laude. Irene also teaches yoga four times a week at a yoga studio in Palo Alto. An avid advocate of Montessori education, Irene is a board member at Bowman International School. She also aspires to make the perfect French macaron.


Publications by Irene Au (bibliography)

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Thompson, Carola Fellenz, Anderson, Richard I., Au, Irene, Ratzlaff, Cordell and Zada, Nida (2010): Managing user experience: managing change. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 3143-3146.

As managers of user experience and design teams we often find ourselves in environments where it is difficult to position the work of our team members. Their roles are often misunderstood and our adjacent disciplines such as product management and development see their work as unnecessary or in some cases are threatened by them. We find that the culture of the company we are trying to deploy UX resources into isn't ready to accept them and we find that our role becomes more that of a change manager than a user experience manager. We have a vision for what the future processes of the company can look like but we find it hard to communicate that vision and engage our adjacent disciplines. What are effective strategies user experience leaders can use to impact change? How can we leverage current business and engineering trends to move corporate cultures in a direction that support our work? What are the potential traps and pitfalls? What does a culture of design thinking really mean in this context? What is a realistic expectation for an end state?

© All rights reserved Thompson et al. and/or their publisher

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Rohrer, Christian, Au, Irene, Darnell, Elissa, Dickenson, Nancy, Evenson, Shelley and Kaasgaard, Klaus (2008): Design, marketing, strategy: where does user research belong?. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 2241-2244.

In this interactive session, a panel of experts will discuss and debate an emerging and pressing issue: To have maximum impact on the user experience, how and where should a User Research team be structured within a corporation whose business depends on the development of successful interactive products through cross-functional collaboration? This has significant implications for organizations such as user experience, marketing, design, strategy, and academic programs preparing students entering corporate environments.

© All rights reserved Rohrer et al. and/or ACM Press

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Au, Irene, Boardman, Richard, Jeffries, Robin, Larvie, Patrick, Pavese, Antonella, Riegelsberger, Jens, Rodden, Kerry and Stevens, Molly (2008): User experience at Google: focus on the user and all else will follow. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 3681-3686.

This paper presents an overview of the User Experience (UX) team at Google. We focus on four aspects of working within Google's product development organization: (1) a bottom-up 'ideas' culture, (2) a data-driven engineering approach, (3) a fast, highly iterative web development cycle, and (4) a global product perspective of designing for multiple countries. Each aspect leads to challenges and opportunities for the UX team. We discuss these, and outline some of the methodological approaches we employ to deal with them, along with some examples of our work.

© All rights reserved Au et al. and/or ACM Press

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Au, Irene (2001): Industry briefs: Yahoo!. In Interactions, 8 (2) pp. 81-84. Citation

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Au, Irene and Li, Shuang (1998): Netscape Communicator's Collapsible Toolbars. In: Karat, Clare-Marie, Lund, Arnold, Coutaz, Jolle and Karat, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 98 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 18-23, 1998, Los Angeles, California. pp. 81-86.

This paper describes the design process used for Netscape Communicator's collapsible toolbars. To meet our design goals, we designed a new widget whose roots came from objects in the "real world" instead of the "software world". The design of this widget illustrates how rapid prototyping and tight coupling between the visual design and interaction design are imperative to a widget's success.

© All rights reserved Au and Li and/or ACM Press

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Sanderson, Penelope, Iozzo, Nick, Buberel, Jason and Au, Irene (1995): The Advising Workbench: Participation-Based Development of a Software Environment to Support Student Advising. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 39th Annual Meeting 1995. pp. 1180-1184.

This paper describes the development, design, and evaluation of the Advising Workbench (AWB), a software development environment being developed at University of Illinois to support students, faculty, and professional advisors in the advising process. A participatory design strategy is being used with human factors design students taking part in the development of the AWB as researchers, designers, evaluators and, of course, as eventual users. Various systems-oriented conceptual tools have been used during the development of the AWB, such as hierarchical task analysis (HTA) and link analysis. Most notably, the AWB accesses University of Illinois course information from the World Wide Web (WWW). The AWB represents a test of many concepts, such as (1) the viability of tying student advising support to sources on the WWW, (2) the effectiveness of a large-scale participatory design exercise with human factors undergraduate students, and (3) the adequacy for naive users of our interpretation of the standard Macintosh interface. The AWB has excited considerable interest and support on campus, and early feedback from field testing is encouraging.

© All rights reserved Sanderson et al. and/or Human Factors Society

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