Kara Pernice

Senior Vice President

Kara Pernice (@KaraAnn) is Senior Vice President at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 25-plus years of business, research, and design knowledge and experience to help organizations to better their UX strategy, increase their UX maturity and derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. 

Research

Pernice is accomplished at evaluating any design situation to determine or craft the most fitting research method, conduct or lead the research, observe and analyze user behavior, and convert this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods, such as:

  • One-to-one qualitative usability tests, and quantitative/ benchmarking testing
  • Eyetracking research
  • Field studies
  • Remote studies and diary studies
  • UX focus groups
  • Heuristic evaluations

Client work

Her client work spans a sundry of businesses and industries. A few highlights:

  • Large-scale intranets for huge European financial institutions.
  • Style guide creation and related research about scores websites designed for people with low literacy, at one of the largest pharmaceutical organizations in the US.

Manage and lead

With extensive executive experience and hands-on research skills, Pernice has derived successful UX strategies and teams at multiple organizations. She envisioned and executed NN/g’s UX Certification Program, which launched in 2014; and was the creator of and remains key custodian of the world-renowned Intranet Design Annual Award. Her many years of design and business experience and her natural empathy help her to effectively manage people, projects and UX programs.

Present and train

Pernice has delivered hundreds of hours of lectures and workshops around the world on a wide range of UX-related topics.

Writing

Pernice has overseen or written many research reports including hundreds of practical design guidelines. After overseeing hundreds of hours of eyetracking research, she coauthored of the book Eyetracking Web Usability.

Research areas

Pernice has researched many different types of applications and with various target users. She has a special affinity for:

  • Intranets and enterprise applications: The Wall Street Journal called Pernice an "intranet guru."
  • Seniors
  • Accessibility
  • Emotion and design
  • Eyetracking

Before joining NN/g, Pernice gained invaluable experience about building and managing UX in an assortment of development environments, and she established multiple successful user experience programs. Since 1991 she has creatively employed usability testing recordings to communicate interface shortcomings and lobby for improved user experience.

A champion for usability, Pernice chaired the User Experience Professionals' Association 2000 and 2001 conferences, served as 2002 conference advisor, and initiated the presentation review committee and chaired it in 1998 and 1999. She has also been a reviewer for the Association for Computing Machinery SIGCHI and other professional associations.

Experience

Experience

  • Lotus Development, Corp
    Usability Testing Manager

  • Interleaf, Inc.
    Usability Manager

  • Iris Associates/IBM
    UI Designer/Usability Manager

Education

Education

  • M.B.A.
    Northeastern University

  • B.A. in Communications
    Simmons College

Books

Books

Reports

Reports

Training Course Instructor

Training Course Instructor

Articles

Articles