Shannon Lucas



Software Development

Java, Python, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, usability testing

Code Samples

PHP (text/data parsing)
Python (text/data parsing)
Drupal (theme)
Java (Swing, JDK 1.6+)




Eclipse, NetBeans, IDEA, bzr, svn, Trac, JIRA, GIMP, Inkscape, Photoshop, Lightroom

Operating Systems

Linux, Windows, Mac OS


Software usability, skydiving, aviation, scuba diving, photography, cycling, electronics, sciences.


MS, Information Studies, University of Texas at Austin

BS, Computer Engineering Technology, University of Southern Mississippi

Elsewhere Online

GitHub, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Facebook

Web Development

UDDF Airport Data in Google Maps & Google Earth

This demo collects a subset of airport navigation and obstruction data from the National Geodetic Survey (NOAA NGS), parses it, and makes it available in a Google Maps view and through Google Earth. Obstructions are indicated as point locations in the Google Maps view and are shown as volumes in Google Earth to indicate their height and positional certainty. View the demo.

UDDF data in Google Maps UDDF data in Google Earth

NextGen Human Factors Database

As the FAA phases in the NextGen air traffic management system, pilots are faced with more information and more automation than ever before. A key issue facing the implementation of the new system is how it will affect pilots' performance during critical phases of flight such as take-off and landing. This project's goal is to provide an online repository of human factors issues associated with newer technology in the cockpit. This Drupal-powered website allows broad issues to be decomposed into specific issues and allows cross-referencing of citations to the appropriate literature. It also provides an online forum to allow discussions among researchers. The project is currently hosted by Oregon State University but is not yet accessible to the public.

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Drupal Modules and Themes

As a consultant, I've contributed a number of open source Drupal modules and themes to the community. One of my themes, Nitobe, was used on nearly 2,000 sites at its height, and it is prominently featured in the O'Reilly book, Using Drupal by Angela Byron et al.

Some of the projects that I have either created or contributed to include Nitobe, Hiroshige, Tag User, Annotated Bibliography, Transaction, and Denormalization API

drupal theme screenshot drupal theme screenshot

T-33 Heritage Foundation

This volunteer project involved a basic design refresh and re-organization of the Foundation's existing site. The Foundation's mission is to preserve flying specimens of the T-33/P-80 Shooting Star and to educate the general public about the United States' first production jet fighter.

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CoComm Student Portfolio

The goal of this project was a web-based application to allow photojournalism classes at the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin to move class assignments online. Students were to be able to upload their photographs for their professor or teaching assistant to then grade.

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Desktop Development

Enhanced Cockpit Traffic Display

This was an academic project to design enhancements to the information provided to pilots via a cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI). Currently, there are two types of traffic information that aircraft may receive. The older system, TIS-B, relies on ground-based radar to transmit limited information about craft that are being tracked by radar stations. The newer system, ADS-B, relies on more detailed and more precise information transmitted from aircraft. As not all aircraft are equipped with ADS-B transponders, pilots may be faced with traffic data from two sources.

The problem being addressed in this project was how to indicate to pilots that they may be approaching the end of radar coverage. Once the pilot's ownship exits radar coverage, the CDTI will still show ADS-B equipped planes, but will not show any other aircraft. Thus the pilot needs to be reminded that he or she may be viewing incomplete data.

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Northwest Airlines CrewSolver

CrewSolver is a product developed by CALEB Technologies (now Navitaire) for Northwest Airlines. Flight managers use this software to proactively visualize and resolve potential flight delays arising from events such as sick crew members or planes being taken offline for mechanical issues. The information density in the user interface is extremely high but corresponds to how the flight managers conceptualize flights. The application is a thick-client Java Swing application designed for wide-screen displays. My primary role in this project was implementing the user interface and mapping customer requirements to interface elements.

Following the closure of US airspace after the World Trade Center attacks, Northwest used an alpha version of CrewSolver to return to normal operations before any other major airline.

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SynCraft provided a remote administrative interface to the precision time pieces (atomic and GPS clocks) used in telecommunications centers. The requirements for the application stipulated that the user interface represent the physical appearance of the hardware panels down to the blinking LEDs used for status information. Prior to this application, hardware administrators used text terminals located within in visual range of the hardware. This implementation was a thick-client Java Swing application.

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JBoss IDE Splash Screen Redesign

In reworking the JBoss IDE splash screen, what I wanted to convey was an association between JBoss Eclipse IDE and solid architecture — that by using the tool, the user is creating something strong and lasting. I used two drawings of 12th Century French Romanesque architecture: one a plan view, the other a perspective view. The inspiration for the layout came from the paper Euro which uses various European architectural styles rather than historical figures.

jboss splash screen jboss splash screen

Usability Research

Thief: Deadly Shadows

Thief game screenshot

Games present a different challenge for usability testing. In typical usability tests, the goal is to determine the ease at which the user can complete a task. When testing a game, the goal is to determine if the player is enjoying themselves. The scope of the game usability test is also larger. In addition to the game’s user interface, the game’s levels and story affect the player’s experience.

I was brought into the Thief: Deadly Shadows project after the developing game had become playable. My responsibilities included planning and conducting the player tests and creating reports from the collected data for the project’s development and management teams.

The testing cycle followed the Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation (RITE) methodology used by Microsoft. The test methods used are described in an article I co-authored with the game’s executive producer in Usability Interface, Vol. 11, No. 2, October 2004: What We Learned Evaluating the Usability of a Game.

Digital Warrior

Digital Warrior screenshot

The IC2 Institute developed Digital Warrior in collaboration with the US Army. The goal of the project was to develop training software to ease the redeployment of battle commanders who were unfamiliar with the newest combat software being used by the Army. Usability testing was conducted early in the project. The development team produced a high-fidelity Shockwave prototype based on information gleaned from Army training manuals and a few interviews with former battle commanders.

I was involved in the first round of testing on this project. Two pluralistic walkthroughs were conducted using surrogate users. Surrogates were necessary since the Army's battle commanders were in the field. The intent of the walkthroughs was to determine if the project was on the right track and to determine if it was something that the target users actually wanted.

Both walkthroughs verified the project was desirable to its target users and headed in the right direction. Additionally, the walkthroughs uncovered new requirements that the software needed to implement. The ultimate result of the usability testing was a hybrid Agile-UCD process. A case study I co-authored discusses the development of this process in User-Centered Design Stories edited by Carol Righi and Janice James.



Bias, R., Lucas, S., & Latham, T. (2007). The HURIE Method: A Case Study Combining Requirements Gathering and User Interface Evaluation. In C. Righi, & J. James (Eds.). User-Centered Design Stories (pp. 163-183.). Boston: Morgan Kaufmann.

Lucas, S., & Fulton, D. (2004). What We Learned Evaluating the Usability of a Game. Usability Interface, 11, 7-8.

Unpublished Papers

Taxonomies and Classification: An overview and brief history of various classification schemes.
Paper, Presentation

Workplace Bullying: Explores the phenomena of bullying among adults in the workplace including its human and organizational costs.
Paper, Presentation

Narrative in Knowledge Management: A discussion on how the natural human activity of story telling can be utilized as a tool to capture working knowledge in an organization.


Agile Development with Scrum - This presentation provided an overview of the Scrum methodology for rapid software development. It was given at CapitalCamp 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Crafting Great User Stories - This presentation covered how user stories are used for specifying requirements on agile projects. It was also given at CapitalCamp 2011.

Blog Posts

Promiscuous Stylesheets in Drupal 7 - An overview of how to force baseline CSS files such as resets and normalizations to be placed before all other stylesheets in a Drupal 7 theme.

Option groups in Drupal forms - A how-to providing documentation on the use of the HTML option group using the Drupal Forms API.

A year in open source - Reflections on a year of being a contributor in an open source community.


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