Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is scheduled for retirement on January 27th, 2023. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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Description: A group that focuses on helping USGS tools and services be useful and their users be successful.

Points Of Contact: Sophie Hou,

Two Collaboration Formats:

  • Resource Reviews: Posted on the 3rd Wednesday of the odd months 
  • NEW! Office Hours: Held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the even months from 3-3:30pm ET 

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 719-733-3211   United States, Pueblo (Toll)

Conference ID: 622 131 912#

Local numbers | Learn more about Teams | Meeting options

Membership: The Usability Collaboration Area is open to anyone. If you are interested in joining this group, sign up at


  • In 2021, during the even months of the year, we will have two "Office Hours" instead of one Town Hall Meeting!

    • October's  Office Hours will have presentation, discussions, and demo on the "evaluation" phase of the user-centered design process. 

      • Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 3pm ET/1pm MT: presentation and discussions

      • Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 3pm ET/1pm MT: demo
        • Please note that for the second meeting, we will be meeting on the fourth Wednesday of the month instead.
    • See "Collaboration Formats" section below for additional information.

  • Next Resource Review: September 15, 2021

Go to:   Forum Meeting Notes Resource Reviews


Are you providing services/tools/applications that enable users to find, explore, or work with data? Do you know what your users would say about using your services/tools/applications?

If you answer yes to the first question but no to the second, you will want to join this Collaboration Area!


  • To share usability best practices and lessons learned.
  • To facilitate the understanding of USGS’ usability needs.
  • To allow everyone to contribute to USGS’ usability solutions.


Usability, as discussed by Jakob Nielsen (2012), is the “quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use” as well as refers to “methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process”.

By applying usability principles to user interface (UI) designs and evaluating user experience (UX) through usability techniques, interfaces can be enhanced and improved in order to provide people with positive and productive interactions with the technologies that they use.

Nimit. (2013, September 19). What is usability. Retrieved from                                          

Grace. (March 3, 2019). A full guide on the differences between UI and UX designRetrieved from

Collaboration Formats

  • The collaboration area alternates between two formats - 
    • Resource Reviews (odd months of the year):
      • A CDI Usability Resource Review helps in addressing a specific usability topic by providing a list of curated information. 
      • Each review is posted by the Collaboration Area Lead and contains:
        • 1) What the resource is.
        • 2) What the resource is for.
        • 3) The resource’s key features.
        • 4) Related references
    • NEW! Office Hour (even months of the year):
      • A CDI Usability "Office Hour" will generally be used for the following activities:
        • Providing usability evaluations for services/tools/applications
        • Discussing usability issues encountered by project teams
        • Demoing/Practicing usability techniques
      • How to Participate:
        1. Before the office hours:
          • Everyone:
            • Submits services/tools/applications that need evaluations or usability questions/techniques that need discussions by:
              • Adding a post to the forum
              • Using the USGS CDI "Usability Topics - Office Hours" Teams Channel
              • Emailing the Collaboration Area Lead
            • Votes for the priority/relevancy submissions.
          • Collaboration Area Lead(s):
            • Selects up to three most popular items.
            • Announces the selections at least one week before the meeting.
            • Collects the initial answers/resources that can address the top questions.
        2. During the office hours:
          • Everyone: 
            • Contributes to the evaluations and discussions.
          • Collaboration Area Lead(s):
            • Provides the initial feedback and leads subsequent evaluation/discussion/practice.
        3. After the office hours:
          • Collaboration Area Lead(s): Posts meeting notes, including the resources, to the forum.
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  1. Unknown User (

    Hsu, Leslie can you please add me to this group?

    1. The Usability Collaboration Area is open to anyone. If you are interested in joining this group, sign up at