Usabilathon DC 2018 Announcement

We are very excited to announce that Usabilathon 2018 will be held on April 21st! Our fourth annual event will be hosted by the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare in DC. The MedStar human factors group has partnered with the GMU human factors department and Usabilathon DC for many years, and we look forward to their medical-oriented competition project! This year, Usabilathon DC is seeking to partner with universities in the DC area to make the Usabilathon competition even bigger than before.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, or your university program would like to get involved, please e-mail us at

 2017 Usabilathon Recap

The 2017 Usabilathon was a stellar success, thanks to our host Fors Marsh Group, and the many other sponsors who made this event possible. The competition was tough, but the Red Team, comprised of Jose Calvo, Lisa Baraniecki, Amy Swallow, and Azraf Ullah, won the event with their innovative concept for “Vibe”, a photo sharing and messaging app. Check out this post from Fors Marsh Group for more information and photos! FMG and Facebook Partner to Challenge Human Factors Students at 3rd Annual Usabil-a-thon

2017 Competition Challenge Teaser

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. As part of this mission, it is increasingly important to connect a world of diverse cultures and nations. During the 2017 Usabilathon, students will be asked to evaluate several apps and hypothesize as to why the same features on different apps are more likely to be used by different cultures. Taking into account cultural differences, teams will be challenged with improving a specific Facebook app for a potential new release in three different countries. The redesign should improve usability and add value to people’s social experience. Students will also be challenged with modeling the decision-making process for different use cases as well as creating a detailed analysis plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the redesign.

Usabilathon DC 2017 Announcement

We are excited to announce that Usabilathon 2017 will be held on March 25th! Our third annual event follows the tradition established by GMU alumnus Dr. Eric Blumberg— a hackathon-style competition giving current students an opportunity to tackle real-world problems using human factors and usability principles.

This year’s event will be hosted by Fors Marsh Group in Arlington. Fors Marsh Group (FMG) has been a consistent partner of GMU’s HFAC program, having most recently hosted the 2016 Alumni Panel. This year, FMG is providing a competition project from one of their clients, Facebook Inc.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, please e-mail us at

Event: 3rd Annual Usabilathon DC

When: March 25, 2017

Where: Fors Marsh Group in Arlington, VA

Usabil-a-thon DC 2016 is here!

We have a new platform for this year’s event. Each team will compete on the same challenge. The 2016 challenge is unlike anything we have developed before. It will require a considerable amount of team collaboration, design, usability analyses, iterative testing, and more. Specific information about the challenge will remain secret until the day of the event. In the mean time, brush up on your skills as this years challenge will make you work!

Event: 2nd Annual Usabil-a-thon DC

When: April 2, 2016

Where: MetroStar Systems in Reston, VA

Usabil-a-thon DC 2015 is complete!

Congratulations to each participant that competed in Usabil-a-thon DC 2015. Each team created an extremely impressive product that provided critical information for their stake holder. The teams were able to evaluate their interfaces through heuristic evaluations, user testing, and developing prototypes. They then provided recommendations to their stake holder.

Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteered who supported Usabilathon DC 2015.

Inaugural Event: Usabil-a-thon DC

When: April 11, 2015

Where: Arlington, VA

This inaugural event seeks to give talented GMU graduate students an opportunity to tackle real world human factors and usability problems while strengthening critical relationships between the students, companies, and the GMU Human Factors graduate program.

Team Reveal Video:


Students will leverage their backgrounds in human performance and cognition along with their knowledge of usability and task analysis to develop innovative and valuable solutions to the submitted projects. Students will have 12 hours to tackle the projects and deliver their process and final results to the companies. A panel of judges will determine the team that best developed and incorporated human factors and usability tools to complete their client’s project.

We look forward to seeing you April 11th!