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About Whitney

I'm fascinated by people and obsessed with communicating clearly and bringing user research to designing sites where people matter.

I have written three books, exploring different ways of connecting with people through stories and around the world.

I'm also passionate about Usability in Civic Life. I work with election officials on usability and design of ballots and other election materials. Our usability testing has helped improve ballots and other election materials across the US. And the Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent are helping improve even more.

I work with organizations like Pearson, National Library of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov), IEEE, The Open University, Amtrak, and Sage Software to help them learn about their audience and create better user experiences.

I served on two US government advisory committees:

I have also been president of the Usability Professionals' Association (UXPA), served on the board of the Center for Plain Language, and I'm a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

Photo from Tomorrow and Tomorrow, an opera with lighting design by WhitneyBefore I was seduced by a little beige computer into software, usability, and interface design, I was a theatrical lighting designer on and off Broadway, learning about storytelling from some of the masters. The lessons from the theatre stay with me in creating user experiences.

Some of my favorite productions were Poppie Nongena, a South-African musical theatre hit, Brecht's A Man's A Man with Bill Murray and assisting on Laurie Anderson's United States I-IV. I taught lighting for several years at Bard College, where I developed her skills in on-the-job mentoring.

I was in the first generation of people trained on computerize lighting control boards, and thought that all computers were carefully designed to fit the needs of those who worked with them. My first experience with personal computers was working on a theatrical lighting data management system for the Apollo Theatre in New York.

My early work at Cognetics centered around Hyperties, a pre-Web hypertext program. I earned my credit as a technical writer on the user manual, and designed reference databases, online books, safety manuals and the HP Laser-Jet 4 online documentation. Work with large information sets, especially her work on library reference CD-ROMs for The Gale Group, Primary Source Media and Macmillan Library Reference, gave me practical experience in search and structuring information for easy access.

A few awards and accomplishments I'm proud of are:




Photo of Whitney
"It's exciting when my work changes people's lives for better."


Roles: User exerience research, usability, accessibility, plain language

Goals: Usable accessibility for every product, web site and application

Objectives: Get everyone to listen to the stories that people tell, and use them in their designs


Whitney Quesenbery
78 Washington Avenue
High Bridge, NJ 08829

whitneyq at wqusability dot com
phone: 908-638-5467

Whitney's profile on Linked In Follow @whitneyq on Twitter Whitney's conferences on Lanyrd Slideshare

Whitney is an associate of

Apogee (Hong Kong)

Effortmark (UK)