Elizabeth Buie

Postgraduate Researcher at Northumbria University

Elizabeth Buie

Postgraduate Researcher
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Elizabeth is a researcher and user experience consultant based in the United Kingdom. She is in the final year of a PhD program in Media and Communication Design at Northumbria University, a three-year excursion into academia after more than 35 years in industry, and she plans to return to consulting practice in the autumn.

Elizabeth has conducted user research and interaction design for projects in the US, the UK, and Italy and has focused on government systems (with a few non-profit and commercial systems thrown in for good measure). Her government projects have ranged from public websites to internal social media web apps to touchscreen kiosks to spacecraft control centers; their user populations have ranged from the worldwide general public to the astronauts on board the International Space Station.

Elizabeth is the co-editor, with Dianne Murray, of Usability in Government Systems: User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants, the only book that addresses the intersection of UX and government systems.


Author of:

We Are All Stakeholders

Friday | 09:00 – 12:30

Touch the whole world: design systems for citizens and public servants.

Do you know anyone whose life is untouched by government electronic and information systems? Indeed, the usability of government systems affects us all — all seven-plus billion of the Earth’s people. Even if we ourselves never visit a government website to apply for a driver’s license, vote online, pay a parking fine, or obtain a travel authorization to visit the United States, as taxpayers we bear the costs of usability problems in the systems that our governments use to conduct their business and provide us with services.

As citizens we suffer the consequences of inadequate effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of government workers due to usability and user experience problems in the systems they use. No one can say exactly how many people will use a government system themselves during their lifetimes, but it is a safe bet that these systems will touch everyone’s life in some way. In the UX of government systems, we are all stakeholders.

This workshop will cover the intersection of government systems work and UX work. It will include many examples of diverse kinds of systems.


Designers and user researchers working in government environments and looking to deepen their understanding of its specific UX issues.

  • Designers and user researchers thinking of expanding their careers into government systems.
  • Government and contractor staff responsible for government system projects.
  • Citizens, policymakers, legislators, journalists — anyone who wants to promote improvement in the services their government provides.


  • Understand the two types of government systems and the fundamental differences between them.
  • Learn the shared and separate UX issues of public-facing and internal systems.
  • Appreciate the two goals that governments have in persuading their citizens to use online services (hint: it’s not just about saving money!)
  • Understand the divergent approaches that two leading governments are taking to promote usability in their public websites.
  • Become familiar with key differences between government and private-sector projects (they aren’t as simple as you think), and know what the differences mean for UX work.


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