Usability Mapping
Foundation Course

Create more usable, safer documentation

In this workshop, you will learn how to engineer safety and optimal usability into behaviour-guiding user documents such as procedures, policies, standards, processes  and guidelines.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe the science that powers Usability Mapping,
  • apply the principles of behaviour and cognition to optimize usability and safety,
  • engineer procedures and other user document to comply with human factors, and
  • build Usability Mapping-compliant documents with UMAP IT, our plugin for Microsoft Word.
The Audit Sheet for Usability Mapping documents is included in the course.

What you will learn

The 12 modules in the course are delivered as an interactive learning experience. Numerous exercises throughout help you apply the skills as you learn them, ensuring you have optimal understanding and retention.

This course is not about sitting back and listening to boring lectures. You will be actively working on exercises to apply your skills as you learn them.

Constant feedback (what we call the echo effect) reinforces your learning as you go along. You will not only learn – you will remember as well because you put your skills to use during the course.

User Emotions, UX Foundation and Goal Posts: User emotions, usability and EI, UX persona measurable language, Foundation Block and Use Cases
PQA Zoning and Question Answer Patterns: Why layouts must conform to user behavior, PQA Zones, Question Answer Strength Relationship
Content Management and Document Hierarchies: Essentials for effective content management, Document Types and Their Characteristics
Voice, Language and Controlling Reader Grades: Reading Grade, Reading Ease; UX Usability Report, RGL Reduction; Minimizing Comprehension Errors
Cognitive Links, Echo Effect and Overload Control: Searching vs navigating, Cognitive Links to support navigation
Notation and Managing Cognitive Overload: Notation errors and usability, Cognitive Overload Management, Chunking Problems and Solutions
Psychology, Comprehension Control and Stress: Comprehension mechanisms and control techniques, behaviour reinforcement techniques, applied gestalt psychology
PQA for Standards and Procedures: Generic PQA models, Procedure Step Notation and Managing Content, Nested Alerts and more.
Mind Mapping, Workflows and Auditing: Planning a project with maximum transparency, Mind Mapping, Question Catalogues and Protityping
Usability Auditing, Quiz and Planning Ahead: Document Auditing, Put your knowledge to the test, What happens now

Skills for a lifetime

You will be rewarded with skills for a lifetime plus:

  • Your own personal copy of the The Usability Mapping exercise book, 190+ pages in colour with countless examples and exercises, printed on high-quality paper and ring-bound for intensive use
  • Usability Mapping audit sheet
  • 90-day trial of UMAP IT, our plugin for Microsoft Word that makes creating and maintaining Usability Mapping-compliant documents fast and easy
  • Quick-reference Usability Mapping mouse pad
  • a framed Certificate and Registration as Usability Mapping Document Engineer.
A few of the richly illustrated pages from the
Usability Mapping Foundation Course workbook.

Welcome to the class!

In-person classroom

Stay safe with classrooms designed to the latest local regulations for social distancing. Work groups are small and class sizes are limited. The in-person course runs for two full days.

A typical in-person classroom setup with social distancing measures in place.

Online classroom

Our online classrooms mimic as much of the real world as we can – including assigned “seating”, work groups and breakout rooms. The course runs over four half days so you don’t get screen fatigue (yes, that’s a thing now!).

A virtual classroom from a recent course with participants from Alaska and Australia (hence the inventive team names!)

Certification and Endorsements

The course is UX Certified for Industrial Safety by the User Experience Quality Certification Center.
The course is also endorsed by the Australian Institute of Health and Safety
At the completion of the course, we will be pleased to present you with a Certificate of Achievement.

The course is  UX Certified for Industrial Safety by the User Experience Quality Control Center and endorsed professional development by the Australian Institute for Health and Safety.

Who should attend

This workshop teaches usability engineering for procedures, standards, guidelines, technical manuals and related enabling communications.

Here are some of the roles we see in our courses:

  • Safety professionals
  • Technical writers and document developers
  • Content and document management specialists
  • Training developers
  • e-Learning specialists.

And of course, if you manage anyone who fills these roles, you should attend so you know what the buzz is about.

Usability Mapping applies to all industries.

Creating more usable – and safer – documentation is not just for industries where working conditions can be dangerous. Here are some of the industries we’ve worked with:

  • Mining, Manufacturing and Chemicals
  • Food & beverage
  • Industrial and consumer equipment
  • Insurance
  • Medical

If you’re wondering how Usability Mapping can help your industry, please contact us.


There are no prerequisites for this course, but it will help if you’re already familiar with Microsoft Word.

If you’re attending an online course, you will need a relatively fast Internet connection – the classes use video conferencing like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

What should I bring?

You will need a Windows laptop with Microsoft Word installed. For online courses, we will let you know ahead of time which video conferencing we will use (usually Zoom).

Other than that, all you need to bring is a love for life, a willingness to learn, an abundance of curiosity for behavioral science — and of course a big smile!

UMAP IT included

The Usability Mapping Foundation Course includes a 90-day trial version of UMAP IT, our plugin for Microsoft Word.

The plugin adds a ribbon to Word that contains all the building blocks you need to create Usability Mapping-compliant documents—and warns you when you do something that contravenes usability rules.

Attend a public course

Anyone can attend a public course – in person or online. Classes are limited to 15 participants, so you will get lots of personal attention. Our teaching methodology and practical exercises ensure you walk away with a skill – not just knowledge.

Request an in-house course

If you need a course for your employees, we will be happy to set one up for you. A minimum of 8 participants are required for an in-house course, with a maximum of 15. With only your employees in the class, confidentiality of information is assured.

PS: The Usability Mapping Foundation Course is available in English and German.
And we speak fluent Aussie too!

Contact us at:
Usability Mapping Inc
17 Tuscany Court NW
Calgary AB T3L 2Y7
CAT-i Australia Pty Ltd
401/26 Charles Street
South Perth, WA
Copyright Communications and Training international (CAT-i)
Usability Mapping, PQA and UMAP IT are copyrighted and registered trademarks