Erika Orrick

Erika Orrick

Lecturer II - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Tags: Cognition and Neuroscience Computer Science Human-Computer Interaction User Experience Usability Design Thinking

Professional Preparation

MS - Cognitive Human Factors
The Ohio State University - 2001
BS - Computer Science
Texas A&M University - 1998

Research Areas

Primary Research Interests/Expertise
My career interests include human-computer interaction, human factors, user-centered design, user experience, and design thinking—and how they all interrelate (and explaining that people!). My strong background in both human factors and computer science means I speak the languages of the users and the developers equally well. If I had to pick a "thing" within the umbrella of all those things that I would say is my primary interest, it would have to be human error.
When I not in my role as a part-time lecturer of human-computer interaction/user experience, I am a senior-level UX Researcher comfortable driving observational and generative activities from the outset to ensure the user's voice is part of the very DNA of the development lifecycle. I am equally comfortable recommending abandonment of the current product scope entirely if that is what the research says. Better to waste a little time upfront than create a product without an audience. 
I also thoroughly enjoy partnering with development teams to do formative and summative usability testing to understand user performance as the product moves through design and evaluation/testing. With my human factors background coupled with 16+ years spent in a highly regulated environment (for good reason), root cause analysis of use errors using the human error framework to drive better, safer designs is second nature.
The majority of my career has been focused on the user experience mission-critical systems. This began with aviation in graduate school, for which I still have a great fondness, then after a brief detour through consumer-facing websites, I have concentrated on the healthcare and medical technology and health IT spaces. My perspective here, too, is well-balanced as I spent just shy of 10 years with a large healthcare IT company, spending the first seven years managing the UX team and strategy within the electronic health records organization and the last three in a centralized UX research management role overseeing the strategic plans around meshing a strong user-centered design process with the existing ISO process for the entirety of the healthcare IT organization. I’ve spent my time since leaving as an independent consultant partnering with a strong leader in the health IT space and have had the opportunity to add a great deal of breadth to my healthcare IT knowledge. 
Data Science
I am also very interested in data science and data visualization. Years as a usability researcher required a great deal of time with quant data before the advent of the current data tools, so I would build my own data tools in Excel using VBA macros, which I still do to this day. At this point it is a hobby. Data visualization has always been important, however, as I've always needed to tell the story of a usability test result to my boss, client, etc.
I spent my first seven years as a part-time lecturer teaching in person, and the next seven teaching online as a consequence of needing to leave the DFW area. As I find myself enjoying teaching even more than my outside consulting work some days, I am teaching myself more about online pedagogy to better teach my classes. My latest interest is microlearning and whether it would work for my classes.


Barnes, J., Mauney, J., Clarke, D., Furlough, C., Orrick, E., Brooks, T., Brown, M., Zielinska, O., & Grishin, J. Observed Usage Errors During Meaningful-Use Stage 3 Safety-Enhanced Design Summative Testing. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare. 2014. 2014 - Publication


Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction
University of Texas at Dallas [2006–Present]
Adjunct Faculty – iSchool
San Jose State University [2022–2022]


Human Factors and Ergonomics Society