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Dr. Tharon Howard

Dr. Tharon W. Howard is Director of the MATRF and teaches in the Master of Arts in Professional Communication and the Ph.D. in Rhetoric(s), Communication, and Information Design programs at Clemson University. Dr. Howard is a nationally recognized leader in the field of usability testing research. As Director of the Clemson University Usability Testing Facility, he has conducted sponsored research aimed at improving and creating new software interfaces, online document designs, and information architectures for clients including IBM, NCR Corp., AT&T, Microsoft, etc.

 For his work promoting the importance of usability in both industry and academia, and as creator and listowner for UTEST, an online community for usability testing professionals, Dr. Howard was awarded the Usability Professionals Association’s “Extraordinary Service Award.” Howard also directs the Document Design Laboratory where—in addition to producing scholarly journals, books, fliers, and brochures for the College of Architecture, Arts, and the Humanities—he teaches MAPC graduate students to create and maintain digital publications on CD-ROM and the WWW.  He also designed and directed Clemson’s Multimedia Authoring Teaching and Research Facility where faculty and graduate students in architecture, arts, and humanities learn to develop fully interactive, stand-alone multimedia productions on CD-ROM and have an opportunity to experiment with emerging instructional technologies and interface designs.

One of the CD’s development which he oversaw won the STC’s prestigious Best of Show Award in International Online Communication.  As the past Chair of the Instructional Technology Committee for the National Council of Teachers of English and as Co-Director of the Carolinas Alliance for Computers and Writing,

Howard has a commitment to the integration of instructional technologies into the classroom and industry training facilities.  Howard is the author of A Rhetoric of Electronic Communities, co-author of Visual Communication: A Writer’s Guide, co-edited Electronic Networks:  Crossing Boundaries and Creating Communities, and has articles in journals including the Journal of Usability Studies,Technical CommunicationTechnical Communication Quarterly, and Computers and Composition.