Jim Abbott

Senior Software Engineer

Jim has a long background in user interface (UI) design, UI evaluation, and especially in software development. While working on his master’s degree, Jim also worked for an early start-up company in the educational software and computer games industries where he practiced “agile” project management techniques years before they were formally described as such. He has worked in a diverse set of project domains (typically with a STEM focus), such as “gentle touch” robotics, 3D printing, and next-generation genetic sequencing (especially the related data analysis challenges). Jim founded Usable By Design, a user experience (UX) and interaction design consulting company, which supported his long-held belief that life is too short to put up with badly designed software. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, contra dancing, and downhill skiing. He holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies (Theater, Audio Engineering, Sound Design) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.S. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Jim is also a Certified Usability Analyst (CUA), sits on the Computer Science Advisory Board for Massasoit Community College, and has taught programming to adult “career-changer” students at Clark University.
Concord, MA

Q&A with Jim

Do you have an unusual hobby or interest?
As an almost completely unathletic (and generally uncoordinated), and somewhat introverted person, I used to dread any social event that involved dancing. So, I’m bemused to report that I took up contra dancing in middle age . . . and have, after a few years, gotten accomplished enough at it to relax and really enjoy it—and the socialization, too.