The Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) just published the inaugural issue of the Journal of Usability Studies, a UPA peer-reviewed, on-line journal dedicated to “promoting and enhancing the practice, research, ethics and education of usability engineering”.

A great positive is that the stories are available for free, unlike UPA’s User Experience magazine, which is only available as a members only hard copy. Howvever, you cannot read the journal articles in your browser – you have to download them as PDF’s. Some usability improvements are needed still to make the reading experience more immediate.

The first issue includes an invited thought-provoking essay by Jakob Nielsen on: “Usability for the Masses”. In addition, it includes four peer-reviewed articles on the ecological validity of lab vs. field studies of mobile applications, a systems control framework for iterative usability testing, a report on the development of formative tests report format, and on the heuristics of travel web sites.

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts addressing various aspects of quantitative and qualitative usability studies that have a strong generalisation value to other practitioners working with any human-interactive product.