By Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo

CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Tharon Howard has been named to EyeGuide’s advisory board. EyeGuide is eye-tracking technology designed by researchers at Texas Tech University and developed by Grinbath LLC.

Howard is program director for the Master of Arts in Professional Communication program at Clemson and director of the Clemson Usability Testing Facility and the Multimedia Authoring Teaching and Research Facility. Howard’s teaching and research involves improving the ease of use and the user experiences of such communications technologies as websites.

He is also the author of several usability books, including “Design to Thrive: Creating Social Networks and Online Communities that Last.”

In addition to conducting sponsored usability testing research for industry clients, Howard recently completed a $3.5 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance aimed at building social networks for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He is community manager for UTEST, a 17-year-old online community for usability testing professionals, and has been awarded the Usability Professionals Association’s Extraordinary Service Award, the Society for Technical Communication’s Usability SIG Achievement Award and its Gould Award.

He has taught seminars in usability testing, visual communication, digital publishing, rhetoric and professional communication, rhetoric of web publishing, professional writing, writing proposals and grant applications. He is conducting usability testing research for Longman Publishing and Pearson Higher Education on ways to improve textbooks, instructional materials and educational content in rich media formats for students.

“Dr. Howard’s involvement in our advisory board guarantees that EyeGuide will be a user-centered eye tracker,” said Brian Still, CEO of Grinbath. “He will draw on his decades of internationally recognized experience as a usability research professional to give us fair, expert, unfiltered feedback, and we’ll use that to improve EyeGuide as often as possible to make it an effective, affordable eye tracker, built by usability people for usability people. We’re honored that he’s part of our advisory board.”

Howard said he is excited to be part of the development of the new technology.

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Grinbath team on their new EyeGuide eye-tracking system,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure to work with a group who is committed to making a usable eye-tracking system for usability professionals. These are folks who really do ‘eat their own dog food’ and are determined to design a system that they want to use in their own usability labs.”

Grinbath was founded in early 2010 with a mission to make eye-tracking technology accessible and affordable for everyone.


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