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Featured UI & Design People

Updated: October 16, 2012

Here we compile short presentations of featured UI and graphic design people. See the People page for further data, such as e-mail addresses, Websites, etc.

List of Featured People



Richard Anderson

Photo of Richard Anderson

Richard I. Anderson, also called Riander, is a user experience practice, management, and organizational strategy consultant with more than 20 years of experience. His work has spanned multiple roles, including managing director, consultant, advisor, facilitator, practitioner, and teacher. He offers services in the following areas: leadership/management, mentoring/support, or guided exploration and learning. Anderson is a frequent speaker at conferences and maintains a blog. In 2007, Anderson has been named Incoming Co-Editor-in-Chief of the interactions magazine (with Jon Kolko).
(From homepage, adapted)


Homepage: (Riander; does not seem to work)
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Benjamin Bederson

Photo of Ben Bedersen

Benjamin B. Bederson is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the previous director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and iSchool at the University of Maryland.

He is the Co-Founder and Technology Project Director of the International Children's Digital Library, which has been building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology, designed in close partnership with children for children. Dr. Bederson is also Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Zumobi, a startup offering a mobile content platform based on that research.

Bederson's research and patents concentrate in the areas of mobile computing, human-computer interaction, computer vision, robotics, information visualization, digital libraries and electronic voting. He has published more than 100 articles in conferences, journals and magazines; his most recent book is The Craft of Information Visualization (review).
(From, adapted)

Homepage (HCIL) : • Homepage (iSchool):
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Bill Buxton

Photo of Bill Buxton

Trained as a musician, Bill Buxton began using computers over thirty years ago in his art. This early experience, both in the studio and on stage, helped develop a deep appreciation of both the positive and negative aspects of technology and its impact. This increasingly drew him into both design and research, with a very strong emphasis on interaction and the human aspects of technology.

He first came to prominence for his work at the University of Toronto on digital musical instruments and the novel interfaces that he employed. This work in the late 70s gained the attention of Xerox PARC, where Buxton participated in pioneering research in collaborative work, interaction techniques and ubiquitous computing (1987-1994). He then went on to become Chief Scientist of SGI and Alias|Wavefront (1994/95-2002), where he had the opportunity to work with some of the top filmmakers and industrial designers in the world. In December 2005, was appointed principal researcher at Microsoft Corp., where he splits his time between research, and helping make design a fundamental pillar of the corporate culture. Prior to that, he was Principal of his own Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm, Buxton Design. Buxton's latest book is Sketching User Experiences (review).
(From cover of Sketching User Experiences and homepage, adapted)

Bio: (Microsoft Research)
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Stuart Card

Photo of Stuart Card

Stuart Card is a Senior Research Fellow (since 2002) and the Area Manager of the User Interface Research group at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California.

Card studied with Herbert Simon and Allen Newell, two Artificial Intelligence pioneers, in an interdisciplinary program in psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1974, he came to PARC to work with Allen Newell and Tom Moran on a project to build a practical supporting science for human computer interaction. His group developed, among others, theoretical characterizations of human–machine interaction, such as the Model Human Processor and the GOMS theory of user interaction. Card is a co-author of the book The Psychology of Human–Computer Interaction, which popularized these models.

Furthermore, Card authored and co-edited a number of well-reveiced books. His most recent books (from 2004), deal with the 3Book, a 3D interactive visualization of a codex book. Card received the ACM CHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
(From Interfaces No. 50, Spring 2002 (British HCI Group), adapted)

Bio: Profile in Interfaces No. 50, Spring 2002 (British HCI Group)
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John Carroll

Photo of Stuart Card

John Carroll is a faculty member in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology, the co-director (together with his wife Mary Beth Rosson) of the Laboratory for Computer Supported Collaboration and Learning (CSCL), and also the director of Penn State's Center for Human-Computer Interaction. His research interests include methods and theory in human-computer interaction, particularly as applied to networking tools for collaborative learning and problem solving, and the design of interactive information systems.

Until August 2003, Carroll was a professor in Computer Science at Virginia Tech and also director of Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction. Prior to that, he was a scientist at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (1976-1994), where he managed the User Interface Institute.

Carroll written or edited more than a dozen books, among others, together with Mary Beth Rosson Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction, and countless papers and conference proceedings. He received the ACM CHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
(From several bios, adapted)

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Larry Constantine

Photo of Larry Constantine

Larry L. Constantine is considered as one of the pioneers of software design. In a career spanning four decades, he has contributed numerous concepts and techniques forming the foundations of modern practice in software engineering and applications development. He specializes in visual and interaction designs for software, Web, and embedded applications. His innovations include several patents in human-machine interaction.

Beside being, together with Lucy Lockwood, principal of the consulting firm Constantine & Lockwood Ltd., Constantine is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Engineering at the University of Madeira, Funchal (Portugal) where he is also Director of LabUSE: the Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering. He also served on the faculty of the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia), where he was Professor of Information Technology.

Constantine is a prolific writer. Among his publications in both the computer sciences and human sciences are over 150 articles and papers plus 17 books, including Software for Use (Addison-Wesley, 1999), written with Lucy Lockwood.
(Based on Constantine & Lockwood Ltd. Website, adapted)

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Alan Cooper

Photo of  Alan Cooper

Many people, especially developers, know Alan Cooper as "the father of Visual Basic." Usability and user interface people will probably know him better as the "father of Goal-Directed® design," a design methodology that puts the user's needs first.

On his company Website, Cooper describes his approach as follows: "Alan Cooper is a man with a mission. Outraged by the inferior and unusable products that are constantly forced upon long-suffering software users, Alan decided to do something about the problem. He founded Cooper Interaction Design in 1992 (now renamed to Cooper) with a clear mandate: to conceive and design interactive products that give power and pleasure to those who use them."

Starting with SAP's Enjoy initiative, Cooper worked for SAP on a number of ambitious design and redesign projects. His co-workers also held courses on the Goal-Directed® design methodology at SAP. Cooper was also invited speaker of the German usability conference Software-Ergonomie '99, which was held at SAP AG, Walldorf in 1999.

Alan Cooper's influential book About Face has become a "bible" for user interface designers as well as for many developers. In 2003, the new and in large parts rewritten About Face 2.0, co-authored by Robert Reimann, was published. Read also Cooper Interaction Design Enjoys SAP on the SAP Design Guild.

Read his bio on the company Website:
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Gillian Crampton Smith

Photo of Gillian Crampton Smith

Gillian Crampton Smith is trained as a philosopher and art historian, but decided to follow her long-standing interest in typography. She designed books and magazines, and spent four years on the London Sunday Times before going freelance. In 1981 an issue of a typographic magazine inspired her to buy a computer and write a program to do magazine layouts on-screen – a very early example of desktop publishing. This experience convinced her of the potential contribution of designers to the design of the human-computer interface. In 1984 she set up the computer studio at St Martin's School of Art in London and started a graduate program for practicing graphic designers to learn about the potential of computers for their work.

In 1990 she moved to the Royal College of Art in London, Britain's only college dedicated to graduate programs in art and design, where she founded the Computer Related Design department. This spanned the disciplines of graphic and industrial design, film and animation, architecture, electronic and software engineering, and psychology. Its research studio, started in 1994, collaborated with many high-tech companies and developed the role of the art and design disciplines in shaping how people interact with electronic tools, products, and media. She spent several summers working in Silicon Valley at Interval and Apple.

In 2000 she was invited to be the first Director of Interaction-Ivrea, an institute for advanced teaching and research founded by Telecom Italia and Olivetti. This became a world-class center for interaction design teaching and research. In 2005, when Interaction-Ivrea moved to Milan, she moved to Venice in order to take a much delayed sabbatical and start work, with Philip Tabor, on a book on interaction design.
(From biography, adapted)

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Mary Czerwinski

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Mary Czerwinski is a Senior Researcher and manager of Microsoft's Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group group. Her research focuses primarily on novel information visualization and interaction techniques across a wide variety of display sizes.  She also studies information worker task management, multitasking, and reminder systems. Before Microsoft, Czerwinski worked for Compac, Lockheed, and Bell.

Czerwinski's background is in visual attention and user interface design. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington and still maintains ties to academia through an adjunct faculty position at the University of Washington.

Czerwinski gave a presentation of her work at SAPLabs, Palo Alto in April 2005.
(From Website, modified)

Feature Story:
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Allison Druin

Photo of Allison Druin

Allison Druin is Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) and an associate professor in the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies (iSchool). For over two decades, she has led interdisciplinary research teams of computer scientists, educational researchers, librarians, artists, classroom teachers, and children (ages 4-11) to create new educational technologies for elementary school students.

Her work has included: developing digital libraries for children; designing mobile and tangible technologies for storytelling; and developing/understanding the impact that online communities can have on children's cultural awareness.

She is the author/editor of three books on the design of children's technology.
(From interactions, adapted)


Homepage (UMD) : • Homepage (iSchool):
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Anthony Dunne

Photo of Anthony Dunne

Anthony Dunne is a professor and head of the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London. He is also a partner in the design practice Dunne & Raby. His work with Fiona Raby explores how design can be used as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies. Dunne and Raby's work has been exhibited and published internationally and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Frac Ile-de-France and Fnac, as well as several private collections.

Dunne studied Industrial Design at the RCA before working at Sony Design in Tokyo. On returning to London he completed a PhD in Computer Related Design at the RCA. He was a founding member of the CRD Research Studio where he worked as a Senior Research Fellow leading EU and industry funded research projects. Between 1998 - 2004 he taught in Design Products where he jointly led Platform 3. Dunne was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2009.

Dunne wrote the book, Hertzian Tales (read the review). At the Interaction 2012 conference in Dublin, Ireland, he held a keynote entitled, What if... Crafting Design Speculations (read the conference report).
(From Dunne & Raby and RCA Websites, adapted)

Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London:
Dunne & Raby:
Bio: (Dunne & Raby) • (RCA)
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Hartmut Esslinger

Photo of Hartmut Esslinger

Hartmut Esslinger is the founder and longtime co-CEO of frog design, and now serves as strategic and creative advisor to the company under the title of frog fellow. His vision has defined frog and his work has helped to develop the modern consumer aesthetic, through products like the Sony Trinitron and Apple Macintosh computer. When Esslinger founded frog design in his native Germany in 1969, his unique cultural style sparked a design revolution, pushing industry leaders to address users' functional and emotional needs simultaneously, and approach that formed the cornerstone of frog design. In 1996, Esslinger led frog design through the development of a digital media group, extending the company's product design concepts into the virtual world, and on into higher-level business strategy. frog design's client list is long and includes SAP, where the company was involved in the enjoy initiative (see philosophy edition) that revolutionized SAP's user interface.

Esslinger is Founding Professor of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Professor for Convergent Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. His designs are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institute, and Neue Sammlung, Munich. He was featured in the German pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. Esslinger wrote several books, the newest one from 2009 is titled A Fine Line – How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business.
(From frog design Website, adapted)

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Jonathan Grudin

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Jonathan Grudin works in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research, part of the Microsoft Corporation. His research is in human-computer interaction and computer supported cooperative work, with a particular focus on the design, adoption and use of group support technologies. Some of his work was also done in the Collaborative and Multimedia Systems Group. Prior to joining Microsoft Research, Grudin was Professor of Information and Computer Science at University of California, Irvine.
(From bio on Microsoft Research homepage, adapted)

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JoAnn Hackos

Photo of JoAnn Hackos
JoAnn Hackos is a widely respected consultant on the management of information development and information design, including product interfaces, Web-based information, and documentation databases. She is also involved in projects assessing customer needs related to product usability, technical information, and training. For more than 20 years, Hackos has conducted seminars internationally on subjects ranging from project management, designing effective interfaces and information, minimal information products, usability testing, online documentation and computer-based training, to managing the information-design and -development process.

Hackos is president of Comtech, a Denver-based information design firm, which she founded together with Bill Hackos in 1978. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a member-sponsored organization for information-development and training-management issues.

Hackos wrote several well-received books – Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery is the most recent one. She is also co-author of User and Task Analysis for Interface Design with Janice Redish.

Hackos worked on several documentation-related projects for SAP; she was also invited speaker of the German usability conference Software-Ergonomie '99, which was held at SAP AG, Walldorf in 19999.
(based on the ComTech Website biography, adapted)

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Rachel Hinman

Photo of Rachel Hinman

Rachel Hinman is a researcher, designer, and thought leader in the mobile user experience field. Her passion for cultural study, art, and design coupled with the belief that people can use technology to improve the human condition have been the driving forces in her career for over a decade.

Currently, Hinman is a Senior Research Scientist at the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California. There she focuses on the research and design of emergent and experimental mobile interfaces and mobile experiences for emerging markets. Prior to joining Nokia, Hinman was an experience design director at Adaptive Path, and a mobile researcher and strategist for Yahoo's mobile group. She successfully lead research studies on mobile phone usage in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Hinman is the author of the book The Mobile Frontier. She writes and speaks frequently on the topic of mobile research and design and is the creative force behind the 90 Mobiles in 90 Days Project.
(based on biography on, adapted)

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Karen Holtzblatt

Photo of  Karen Holtzblatt

Karen Holtzblatt is best known for developing the Contextual Inquiry approach to gathering field data on product use. Together with Hugh Beyer, she founded InContext Enterprises, a consulting firm promoting the Contextual Design methodology, a "customer-centered approach to business by gathering customer data from the field and using it to drive the definition of a product or process, while supporting the needs of teams and their organizations". Holtzblatt sees herself as the visionary behind InContext's unique design approach: Her "combination of technological and psychological expertise provides the creative framework for transforming a marketplace with innovative designs."

Holtzblatt and her company worked together with major players in the software industry, among others SAP. At SAP she was involved in key projects and taught her Contextual Design methodology in several courses. She has over 15 years of teaching experience both in industry and at the university.

Karen Holtzblatt's influential book Contextual Design, co-authored by Hugh Beyer, is a "must" for user interface designers. Read the review of her book and Contextual Design at SAP on the SAP Design Guild.

Read her bio on the company Website:
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Kristina Höök

Photo of Kristina Höök

Kristina Höök is the lab manager of the interaction lab at SICS. She also upholds a position as Professor in Human-Machine Interaction at Department of Computer and Systems Sciences that belongs both to Stockholm University and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Since 1994 Höök took part in establishing the HUMLE laboratory, first through leading one group within the lab, and then 2000-2003 as the laboratory manager. When she was appointed professor in 2003, she formed a new group at the university, but kept a part-time employment at SICS. At SICS, in October 2004, she formed a new laboratory named the Interaction Laboratory, and now spends about half-time at SICS and half-time at the university. Among her research topics are social navigation and the field of affective interaction. Höök has published over 50 scientific papers in journals and is a frequent speaker at conferences.
(From the biography and c.v. on her homepage at SICS; adapted)

Bio: • C.V.:

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Sarah Horton

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Sarah Horton is a Web developer with Academic Computing at Dartmouth College, where she helps faculties incorporate technology into their teaching. Together with Patrick Lynch, she wrote the best-selling Web Style Guide, recently released in its second edition. Her current book, Access by Design (review), applies the Universal Usability approach to Web design. Sarah regularly writes about and speaks on accessible Web design.
(From the biography on; adapted)


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Hiroshi Ishii

Photo of Hiroshi Ishii

Hiroshi Ishii is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses upon the design of seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment. Ishii joined the MIT Media Laboratory in October 1995, and founded the Tangible Media Group to pursue a new vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): "Tangible Bits." His team seeks to change the "painted bits" of GUIs to "tangible bits" by giving physical form to digital information and computation. Since July 2002, he has also co-directed the Thing That Think Consortium at the MIT Media Lab.

Ishii and his students have presented their vision of "Tangible Bits" at a variety of academic, industrial design, and media art venues including ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, Industrial Design Society of America, and Ars Electronica, emphasizing that the development of tangible interfaces requires the rigor of both scientific and artistic review. In 2006 ACM SIGCHI elected Ishii to the CHI Academy recognizing his substantial contributions to the field of Human-Computer Interactions through the creation of new genre called "Tangible User Interfaces."
(From biography, adapted)

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Julie Jacko

Photo of Julie Jacko

Julie Jacko is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and a Faculty Fellow in the Academic Health Center's Institute for Health Informatics. She is also the Principal Investigator and Director of the University Partnership for Health Informatics (UP-HI).

Her expertise is the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive, next-generation computing and informatics solutions in complex domains including, but not limited to, healthcare and healthcare delivery, with the purpose of supporting the development of systems that are both usable and accessible. Her research activities focus on human-computer interaction, universal access to electronic information technologies, and technological aspects of health care delivery.

Jacko research track record spans a period of 17 years and over 120 scientific publications. Together with Gavriel Salvendy she is the editor of the Human-Computer Interaction handbook series.
(From bios, adapted)

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Bonnie John

Photo of Bonnie John

Bonnie John is a professor of computer science at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She is interested in techniques to improve the design of computer systems with respect to their usefulness and usability and has investigated the effectiveness and usability of several HCI techniques (e.g., think-aloud usability studies, Cognitive Walkthrough, GOMS) as well as produced new techniques for bringing usability concerns to the design process (for example, CPM-GOMS and software architecture evaluation for usability). Much of her work focuses on cognitive modeling, where she works within a unified theory of cognition to develop models of human performance that are applicable to the design of computer systems. John can be regarded as one of Allen Newell's followers. This was demonstrated, for example, through her participation in a CHI panel that celebrated the 25th anniversary of human-computer interaction (HCI). She also works on bringing the psychology of human-computer interaction into software engineering techniques, specifically including usability concerns in software architecture design.
(From biography, adapted)

Bio (Curriculum Vita):
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Jeff Johnson

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Jeff Johnson is the Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a San Francisco-based product usability firm ( He has worked in the field of human-computer interaction since 1978 and gained extensive experience in designing, implementing, evaluating, and testing user interfaces at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems before becoming a consultant in 1996. One of his focus areas is designing and conducting objective, systematic usability tests as well as setting up usability testing facilities.

Johnson has written numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in Human-Computer Interaction and the impact of technology on society. Recently, he published the books Web Bloopers: 60 Common Web Design Mistakes and How To Avoid Them (review) and GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Do's for Software Developers and Web Designers (review; now in second edition: GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos; review).
(Based on the uiwizards Website biography, adapted)

Jeff Johnson as the "Evil Designer"

At CHI 2003 he appeared as the "evil designer" in the "CHI Fringe" session and presented some highlights from his new book Web Bloopers.

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John Karat

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John Karat is a cognitive psychologist who has worked his entire career to make computing technology more useful in people's lives. Over his career with IBM Development and Research he has worked on the development of guidelines and principles for user interface design, researched and advised on design collaboration, researched and developed speech-based systems, researched and designed electronic medical record systems for Kaiser Colorado Region and Barnes Hospital in St Louis), and information search and unstructured knowledge management, entertainment applications, and personalization. He is currently involved in research on privacy and information system policy management in a project which is focused on natural language policy authoring and implementation (SPARCLE). At IBM Research, he has been a researcher, project leader, and manager. He is currently co-leader of the IBM Privacy Research Institute, PI and project manager on a project to enable end-to-end management of privacy policies in natural language, and project leader for an innovative industry/academia open collaborative research (OCR) initiative in privacy and security policy management with Carnegie Mellon and Purdue Universities.

John Karat has published over 60 articles in professional and technical journals, delivered keynote addresses at international conferences, taught courses, edited a book on software design techniques, and has authored numerous chapters in recently published books. He was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Contribution Award in 2008.
(from Web biography, adapted)

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Brenda Laurel

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Brenda Laurel sees herself as a designer, researcher and writer. Her work focuses on interactive narrative, human-computer interaction, and cultural aspects of technology. Her career in human-computer interaction spans over twenty-five years.

Laurel has worked as a software designer, producer, and researcher for companies including Atari, Activision, and Apple. She serves currently as Chair and graduate faculty member of the graduate Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Laurel has published extensively on topics including interactive fiction, computer games, autonomous agents, virtual reality, and political and artistic issues in interactive media. She is editor of the book, The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990) and author of Computers as Theatre (1991; 2nd edition 1993), and a collection of essays entitled Severed Heads. Recently, she edited the book Design Research (2003).
(from Brenda Laurel's Web biography, adapted)

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Henry Lieberman

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Henry Lieberman has been a research scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory since 1987. (From 1972-87, he was a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.) His interests are in the intersection of artificial intelligence and the human interface. He directs the Software Agents group, which is concerned with making intelligent software that provides assistance to users in interactive interfaces.

From 1987-1994 he worked with graphic designer Muriel Cooper on tools for visual thinking, and new graphic metaphors for information visualization and navigation. He is a pioneer of the the technique of Programming by Example, where a user demonstrates examples, which are recorded and generalized using techniques from machine learning.
(From bio on MIT homepage, adapted)

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Jonas Löwgren

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Jonas Löwgren is a professor of interaction design and co-founder at the School of Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University, Sweden. He specializes in collaborative media design, interactive visualization, and the design theory of the digital materials. He has taught interaction design in university courses and in companies since the early 1990's and initiated the influential two-year master's program in interaction design at Malmö University in 1998.

Löwgren has published over 50 scientific papers and three books, including Thoughtful Interaction Design (with Erik Stolterman, read the review), and a vast range of general-interest and pedagogical material. His design portfolio comprises some 50 projects from explorative research and professional contexts. At the Interaction 2012 conference in Dublin, Ireland, he held a keynote entitled, Exploring, Sketching and Other Designerly Ways of Working (read the conference report).
(From short bio on homepage adapted)

Short bio:
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John Maeda

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John Maeda is a renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked to integrate technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation.

Maeda is the current President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Formerly, he was professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught media arts and sciences for 12 years and served as associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab. Maeda has published four books, his most recent being The Laws of Simplicity (review).

Maeda's early work redefined the use of electronic media as a tool for expression by combining skilled computer programming with sensitivity to traditional artistic concerns. As a digital artist, Maeda has exhibited in well-received one-man shows in London, New York and Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the several museums.

In 2008 Maeda was named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine. In 2001 he earned the National Design Award in the US; in 2002, the Mainichi Design Prize in Japan; and in 2005, the Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize in Germany.
(From RISD bio, adapted)

Bio (RISD):
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Aaron Marcus

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Aaron Marcus is the founder and President of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A), a Berkeley-based company that provides user-interface and information visualization design consulting for more than 20 years.

Marcus' activities started in the late 60ies in the areas of computer graphics, desktop publishing, and virtual reality. Later, he taught at the University of Berkeley and was a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. One of his earliest projects after founding AM+M was an investigation in visualizing the C programming language more effectively.

For the last decade, Marcus has turned his attention to Web, mobile, and vehicle user-interface and information-visualization design, training leaders for centers of excellence, providing guidelines for globalization/localization, and focusing on the challenges of "baby faces" (small displays for consumer information appliances) of ubiquitous devices and cross-cultural communication.

Marcus has written over 150 articles and written/co-written five renowned books. He has published, lectured, tutored, and consulted internationally for more than 30 years and has been an invited keynote/plenary speaker at many conferences.
(Based on AM+A Website, adapted)

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Rolf Molich

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Rolf Molich owns and manages DialogDesign, a small Danish usability consultancy. He conceived of and coordinated the comparative usability evaluation studies CUE-1, CUE-2, CUE-3, and CUE-4, in which more than forty professional usability teams tested the same applications. Based on the results of these studies, he challenged the "Nielsen-Landauer-Law," which states that "five test persons are enough" to find most usability problems in an application – and initiated a lot of discussions at recent CHI conferences. (See CHI 2003 – New Horizons, But What Are They?)

Molich has worked in usability since 1984, is the co-inventor (with Jakob Nielsen) of the heuristic inspection method, and wrote the best-selling Danish book, User Friendly Computer Systems, which has sold more than 26,000 copies to date
(From, adapted)


Bio: User Experience 2004 Conference (Speaker Biographies)
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Thomas P. Moran

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Thomas P. Moran is one of the pioneers establishing the field of human computer interaction in computer science with the seminal book, The Psychology of Human–Computer Interaction, in 1983. He was a manager of the user interface and collaborative systems group at Xerox PARC, and is currently a Distinguished Engineer at IBM Almaden Research Center near San Jose, California. There, he is leading a multi-lab research program on Unified Activity Management, which is exploring how to make activity the central organizing construct in the IBM Workplace platform. Moran's most influential work is probably the work on GOMS model with Stuart Card and Allen Newell. In 2004 he won the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award.
(From Shaoke biography, adapted)

Bio (Wikipedia):
Bio (Shaoke Blog):
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Brad Myers

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Brad A. Myers is a Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the principal investigator for the Pebbles Handheld Computer Project and the Natural Programming Project, and previously led the Amulet and Garnet projects.

He is the author or editor of over 300 publications, including the books Creating User Interfaces by Demonstration and Languages for Developing User Interfaces.

Myers has been a consultant on user interface design and implementation to over 60 companies, and regularly teaches courses on user interface design and software. His research interests include user interface development systems, user interfaces, handheld computers, programming environments, programming language design, programming by example, visual programming, interaction techniques, and window management.
(From bio on CMU homepage, adapted)

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Jakob Nielsen

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According to the New York Times, Jakob Nielson is "The Guru of Web Page Usability;" further appellations can be found in the biography on this Website. He terms himself a "user advocate."

Nielsen founded the "discount usability engineering" movement for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation. His famous statement, based on the Nielsen-Landauer model from 1993, "Five test persons are enough" has recently been discussed controversially in the HCI community.

Nielsen authors the Alertbox column on Web usability, which is published on the Internet since 1995 and has a current readership of 10 million page views per year (Jakob Nielsen's Websitse: He wrote a number of influential books, such as Usability Engineering and Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. His book Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed from 2001 presents more than 100 guidelines for better homepage design.

Nielsen is principal of the Nielsen Norman Group ( which he co-founded with Donald A. Norman. Until 1998 he was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer.
(from, adapted)

Read his bio on the company Website:
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Don Norman

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Don Norman has a background in both engineering and the social sciences, with both academic and industrial experience. He is currently Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University and Professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. He is active as co-founder and principal of the Nielsen Norman group, happily engaged in advising numerous companies on products and services for consumers. He was an Apple Fellow and Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple Computer, and an executive at Hewlett Packard and UNext (Cardean University), a distance education company. (From Don Norman's Website, adapted)

Currently, Norman is working on "Emotional Design," which is also the title of his book from 2003.He is developing a three-level theory of affect that has impacts on the design of "pleasurable" products.

Norman received the ACM CHI (Computer Human Interaction) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Don Norman's home page
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Gary M. Olson

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Gary M. Olson is professor emeritus in the School of Information and professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology. During his career at the School of Information, he was also the Paul M. Fitts Collegiate Professor of Human Computer Interaction. Olson's research interests are in the areas of applied cognitive science, particularly human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work. Specifically, he is working on topics in the area of computer support for collaborative activities, particularly when conducted at a distance. He has conducted both laboratory and field studies of teams carrying out various forms of complex intellectual activities. A major current interest is the design and evaluation of collaboratories to support distributed science and engineering.

Olson has published more than 80 scientific papers, and edited three books, the most recent one being Scientific Collaboration on the Internet (review). Together with his wife Judy, Olson received the ACM CHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
(From bio on Olson's SI homepage, adapted)

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Catherine Plaisant

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Catherine Plaisant is Associate Research Scientist at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. In 1987 she joined Professor Ben Shneiderman at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory of the University of Maryland. She works with graduate students and other members of the lab on designing and evaluating new interface technologies that are useable, useful, and appealing; with support from industry and government agencies.

Plaisant's research contributions range from focused interaction techniques to innovative visualization techniques validated with user studies and practical applications. Recently, she published – together with Ben Shneiderman – the 5th edition of the "classic" textbook on UI design Designing the User Interface (review).
(Based on Plaisant's Website, adapted)

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Jennifer Preece

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Jennifer Preece is an online community researcher and professor and dean at the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland. Her current research is concerned with the design and management of online communities, that is, what makes such a community successful, and how usability factors interact with socialibility in online communities. She works with communities of practice, health, education, non-profit and knowledge communities. Preece focusses on three main research areas: (i) knowledge exchange, cross-cultural communication, empathy, trust, and etiquette online; (ii) why and how people participate, or do not participate; and (iii) heuristics and methods for developing, maintaining and evaluating online communities.

Preece is author, coauthor, or editor of several books including Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (2nd edition; 3rd edition coming soon) and Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability. She is also author of over one hundred and fifty book chapters and publications.
(From wikimania, adapted)

Homepage (iSchool):
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Jef Raskin

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According to his Website, "Jef Raskin is an interface and systems designer, a writer, and a consultant, concentrating primarily on making computers more usable and their interfaces efficient as well as pleasant. He is also well-known as an expert on the aerodynamics of miniature aircraft."

Raskin's contributions to user interface design are numerous: He is best known for being the driving force in creating the Apple Macintosh user interface. He also created the Canon Cat, click-and-drag selection and other inventions. In addition, he coined the term and the concept of "information appliances."

Raskin has written numerous articles and books. In 2000, he published the book The Humane Interface, which presents his vision of human interface design. Raskin says that "our honeymoon with digital technology is over: We are tired of having to learn huge, arcane programs to do even the simplest of tasks; we have had our fill of crashing computers; and we are fatigued by the continual pressure to upgrade. The Humane Interface delivers a way for computers, information appliances, and other technology-driven products to continue to advance in power and expand their range of applicability, while becoming free of the hassles and obscurities that plague present products."
(Based on Raskin's Website, adapted)

Much to our regret we must inform you that Jef Raskin died on February 26th, 2005 at the age of nearly 62 (press release).

Curriculum vitae:
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Janice Rohn

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Janice Rohn is Vice President of User Experience at Experian. Prior to Experian, she was Vice President of User Experience at World Savings Bank, and prior to World Savings, she built user experience groups at Siebel Systems and Sun Microsystems. During her career, Rohn has worked in a variety of organizations, hired over 60 UE professionals, and designed and built over 15 usability labs. She has also worked at PeopleSoft, Apple, and Stanford University.

Rohn has been a leader in strategic user experience and cost justification: researching and utilizing the most effective methods and organizational approaches to ensure optimal decision-making. Rohn has authored chapters in both editions of Cost-Justifying Usability. She was president and a founding board member of the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA).

Rohn also founded the Outreach effort, working with US governmental agencies on the benefits of user experience. She has written for over 40 publications, and has delivered many presentations at CHI, UPA, Interact, and other conferences, along with keynote speeches and courses at several universities.
(From Consumer Reports Webwatch, adapted)

Bio: (not up-to-date)
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Daniel Rosenberg

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Daniel Rosenberg was a Senior Vice President at SAP, the largest Enterprise Applications Software company in the world. In this capacity he directed user experience design and usability activities across all SAP product lines. His team was also responsible for UCD methodology definition, corporate UI standards and Accessibility. Prior to joining SAP he was Vice President of R&D for UI Design at Oracle Corporation. Previous corporate positions include the role of User Interface Architect for Borland International and Ashton-Tate. While at Borland, he designed the first Windows GUI for Borland C++, as well as many other early innovative product user interfaces for personal computers.

He has authored or co-authored many well known publications in the HCI field, including Human Factors in Product Design (Elsevier 1991), as well as chapters in the original Handbook of Human Computer Interaction (Elsevier 1988), Coordinating User Interfaces for Consistency (Academic Press 1989) and Usability in Practice (Academic Press 1994). He is also one of the founding editors of ACM's NetWorker magazine, a publication that focuses on how the Internet has changed the nature of work. In 2010, he joined the advisory bord of, based in Aarhus, Denmark.
(From HCI International 2009 Website, adapted)

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Mary Beth Rosson

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Mary Beth Rosson is a professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). With her husband John Carroll she co-directs the Computer-Supported Collaboration and Learning (CSCL). Prior to teaching at Penn State, Rosson taught at the Virginia Tech Computer Science department and worked as a researcher and manager at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

Rosson's long-term research themes include scenario-based design (SBD) and evaluation methods, materials and tools for informal and collaborative learning, and interactive tools for software design and construction. Currently she is participating in a broad range of research projects, most involving some aspect of collaborative learning and problem solving.

Rosson and Carroll have co-authored the book Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction, and she has co-authored dozens of book chapters, as well as authored or co-authored over numerous journal articles and conference proceedings. She has also served as the General Chair for CHI 2007.
(From homepage and Wikipedia, adapted)

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Dan Saffer

Photo of Gavriel Salvendy

Dan Saffer is an interaction designer and the author of two books: Designing Gestural Interfaces and Designing for Interaction. Currently, Saffer is founder of Syntactic Devices. Prior to that, he was the Director of Interaction Design at SMART Design. He was also the co-founder and one of the principals at Kicker Studio. Furthermore, Saffer is a former member of Adaptive Path.

Since 1995, Dan has designed devices, software, Websites, and services that are currently used by millions every day. He speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on interaction design all over the world. He and his products have been in Business Week, Fast Company, and Wired, and his design innovations have received several patents.

Saffer is one of the co-founders of the Interaction conference (held by the IxDA).
(From bio provided to by the author, adapted)

Syntactic Devices: (does not work at the moment)
Homepage (O Danny Boy):
Bio: www.odannyboy.combio provided to by the author

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Gavriel Salvendy

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Gavriel Salvendy is a professor emeritus of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University and Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R. of China.

His main research deals with the human aspects of design, operation, and management of advanced engineering systems.

Salvendy is the author or co-author of over 440 research publications including over 240 journal papers, and is the author or editor of 30 books, including the Human-Computer Interaction handbook series (together with Julie Jacko).

Salvendy is the founding editor of the International Journal on Human-Computer Interaction and Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing. He was also the founding chair of the International Commission on Human Aspects in Computing, Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Furthermore, he is the conference series founder of the HCI International conference and its scientific advisor.
(From bio, adapted)

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Eric Schaffer

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Eric Schaffer is the founder and CEO of Human Factors International, Inc. (HFI) (after ten years as president), a globally acting software usability company that is in the market since 1981 and called HFI since 1988. Currently, HFI has a staff of 175 professionals worldwide and is, according to the HFI Website, "the largest company in the field by a factor of more than five."

Schaffer sees himself as a "visionary in software usability" and in his job is "developing strategies and tools for institutionalization of usability into large organizations." He "prefers work on large mission-critical projects with tight time frames, high stakes, and challenging human factors issues."
(Based on Human Factors International Website, adapted)

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Michael Schrage

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Michael Schrage is a senior advisor with MIT's Security Studies Program and a Sloan School adjunct lecturer and has been co-director of the MIT Media Labs eMarkets Initiative. He writes, advises and oversees research on the design, development and diffusion of digital innovation. His research and advisory work explores the role of models, prototypes, and simulations as collaborative media for managing innovation and risk. His ongoing work on strategic and "just-in-time" experimentation is at the core of several corporate transformation efforts. His insights into the economics of "hyperinnovation," "'iterative capital," and "innovation cross-subsidies" are redefining executive investment criteria for supply chain and customer relationship initiatives.

Schrage is a busy and sough-after columnist and interview guest, including two interviews for the ACM online magazine Ubiquity. His latest book, Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate, was published in 2000.
(From biography, adapted)

Bio (Homepage, MIT): (last edited 2005)
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Ben Shneiderman

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Ben Shneiderman is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. His contributions to the user interface design field are numerous and diverse, such as hypertext systems, direct manipulation (a term that was coined by him), information visualization (starfield display, treemap, visible human, and many more...), and the design of large information-abundant Websites. Because of the extent and quality of his work, he received the ACM CHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Shneiderman is the author of several books. His book Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction has become a "standard" for user interface designers. His vision of the future is presented in his October 2002 book Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies (review).

Shneiderman presents his new book as Keynote Speaker at several conferences in 2003, such as HCI International 2003, I-KNOW 2003, and CUU 2003.

Ben Shneiderman's home page
Special issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction in honor of Ben Shneiderman's 60th birthday
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Robert Spence

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For over 40 years Bob Spence has pursued research in two fields, engineering design and human-computer interaction. With colleagues, Spence has been responsible for a number of innovations including the Bifocal Display (now known as the Fisheye Lens), the Prosection Matrix and the Attribute, Influence and Neighbourhood Explorers. His book, Information Visualization (Addison-Wesley, 2001 and 2007) has been widely adopted and forms the basis of many tutorials that Bob has given around the world.
(From bio on homepage, adapted)

Bio (homepage, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering):
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Jared Spool

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A software developer and programmer, Jared Spool founded User Interface Engineering, a research-driven company specializing in Website and product usability, in 1988. He has more than 15 years of experience conducting usability evaluations on a variety of products, and is an expert in low-fidelity prototyping techniques. Spool is a recognized authority on user interface design and human factors in computing. He is a regular tutorial speaker at the annual CHI conference and other conferences around the United States.

Spool co-authored the influential book Web Site Usability: A Designer's Guide, one of the first books on Website design that was based on actual user data. He and his company organize the annual User Interface 8 Conference, which "has earned a reputation as the best conference to learn advanced design techniques" in the areas of information design, Web design and usability.
(in part from, adapted)

Read his bio on the company Website:
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Constantine Stephanidis

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Constantine Stephanidis, Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Crete, is the Director of the Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas, Head of the Human - Computer Interaction Laboratory, and of the Centre for Universal Access and Assistive Technologies, and Head of the Ambient Intelligence Programme of ICS-FORTH.

In the beginning of the 1990s he introduced the concept and principles of "design for all" in Human-Computer Interaction and for universal access in the evolving information society. Currently, he is coordinating multidisciplinary activities aiming to conceptualize, design and develop in vitro (and deploy in vivo) pioneering, innovative technologies and applications for smart environments, capable of "understanding" and proactively addressing individual human needs, following a human-centered approach.

Stephanidis' research interests in the HCI domain comprise design for all, new methodologies, techniques and tools for the design, development and evaluation of applications and services that exhibit automatic adaptation, personalization and intelligent interface behavior, and HCI in ambient intelligence environments.

He has published more than 550 technical papers in scientific archival journals, proceedings of international conferences, and workshops.
(From homepage, adapted)

Bio: (short) • (long)
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Bruce Tognazzini

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Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini was Apple employee #66, has been designing software for more than 30 years, and holds nearly 50 US patents in computers and aviation.

Tognazzini is a principal with the Nielsen Norman Group. He was lead designer at WebMD, a start-up founded in February, 1996 by Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape. Before that, Tog was Distinguished Engineer for Strategic Technology at Sun Microsystems. During his 14 years at Apple Computer, he founded the Apple Human Interface Group and acted as Apple's Human Interface Evangelist.

Tognazzini has published two books, Tog on Interface and Tog on Software Design, and was co-author as well as contributing author of numerous other books. He has also published dozens of papers and articles on computer design. He is currently publishing the free webzine, "AskTog."
(Based on AskTog Websi te, adapted)

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Gregg Vanderheiden

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Gregg Vanderheiden is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the university, he serves as Director of the Trace Research and Development Center, which focuses on making standard information technologies and telecommunications systems more accessible and usable by people with disabilities. Vanderheiden is responsible for a number of initiatives in this direction, particularly with respect to the Web.

Vanderheiden has been working in the area of access to technology for over 30 years. His interests cover a wide range of research areas in technology, human disability, and aging. Current research includes development of new interface technologies, models for information transfer across sensory modalities, network-based services, techniques for augmenting human performance, enhancing the usability of the environment, and matching enhanced abilities to environmental demands. He also studies and develops standards for access to Web-based technologies, operating systems and telecommunication systems.

In 2005, Vanderheiden received the ACM CHI Social Impact Award for his work.
(Based on Vanderheiden's Website and SIGCHI bulletin news, adapted)

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Colin Ware

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Colin Ware is Director the the Data Visualization Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, where he specializes in advanced data visualization and he has a special interest in applications of visualization to Ocean Mapping. He combines interests in both basic and applied research has advanced degrees in both computer science and in the psychology of perception.

Ware likes to build useful visualization systems. A founding member of the Ocean Mapping Group at the University of New Brunswick, (and lately the Ocean Mapping Center at UNH) he has been designing 3D interactive visualization systems for ocean mapping for about 13 years. Ware has also contributed to software system visualization. He directed the development of NestedVision3D, a system for visualizing very large networks of information.

Ware has published numerous articles in scientific and technical journals and at conferences. He is author of Information Visualization: Perception for Design. Ware's latest book is Visual Thinking for Design (review), an up to date account of the psychology of how we think using graphic displays as tools.
(From cover of Visual Thinking: For Design and homepage, adapted)

Bio: (Data Visualization Research Lab)
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Lynda Weinman

Photo of Jared Spool

Lynda Weinman is one of the most respected Web designers to date and has been "at the forefront of Web development from the early days of the explosion."

Weinman wrote her first book on Web design in 1995, and has written more than a dozen since. Two well-known examples of her books are Designing Web Graphics.4 and Creative HTML Design.2. (She co-authors the latter with her brother Bill Weinman.) Her highly successful Ojai Training Center – Ojai is a small town in California – began as a solution to too much travel and provided a peaceful environment for growing up her daughter Jamie.

Weinman claims that she is self taught and that she "simply learned the new technology and made it easy to understand" in her books and online tutorials. In an interview she says: "I hate being elevated to guru/goddess/omnipotent status. I'm really just a student of this stuff myself, who loves to pass on what I learn to others."

On her company Website, she offers a large number of movies for online training, covering are large variety of Web design topics. There, she also offer a plentiful free tips and tutorials to the public.
(based on and, adapted)

Read a feature of Lynda Weinman:
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Terry Winograd

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Terry Winograd's focus is on human-computer interaction design, with a focus on the theoretical background and conceptual models. He directs the teaching programs in Human-Computer Interaction and HCI research in the Stanford Interactivity Lab. He is also a principal investigator in the Stanford Digital Libraries Project (from his home page).

Winograd has become famous for his blocks world simulation program SHRDLU from the end of the Sixties. From that time on his major interest was in understanding natural language. Later his interest turned towards user interface design with a focus on theoretical models and design. Winograd promotes the idea of moving the user interface design community away from computer science and searching contact with professional design communities.

Read the review of the book Bringing Design to Software, edited by Terry Winograd.

Terry Winograd's home page
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