Day job: Founder, Interface Guru
Description: Cia Romano is a respected evangelist for end users of digital products such as the Web, apps, software, and touchscreens. A hands-on user interface researcher, Cia developed the widely disseminated Usable Times 5™ criteria for ranking computer screen effectiveness – a major factor in profitability for companies and organizations conducting business online. She and her team created guidelines for user interface on kiosks in public spaces.
Cia has trained hundreds of people in the fundamentals of usability. Her highly-rated conference sessions have been featured at Smithsonian’s Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums (Washington DC, San Diego, Ottawa), Magazine Publishers of America (New York), the Folio: Shows (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles), Seybold Seminars (San Francisco), Internet World (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles), the Visitor Studies Association (Ottawa), the American Society of Magazine Editors (New York) and COMDEX (Las Vegas).
Diverse organizations – ranging from Lifetime and TVGuide to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and IEEE – have utilized Cia’s extensive experience in transitioning organizations from conventional media to digital implementations – and the attendant organizational changes. She began her Internet career at Arizona Highways (1994), pioneering e-commerce in 1995 and virtual reality online in 1996; she helped launch the ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) Web site in 1995, moving to the pioneering Web consultancy USWeb/MarchFIRST in 1996, and Gannett/Pulitzer’s StarNet – one of the world’s first newspapers online – in 1997.
Cia founded Interface Guru in December 1999. Asked to describe her job, she says, “I make technology easier to use for the non-technologist.”