Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

Encounters with HCI pioneers

From the very beginnings of time, Ben Shneiderman has been busy photographing all that he sees. Ben was active in the pre-history days of the folks who tried to understand the newly-developed computing machines, especially as they moved into people's homes, offices, and schools. Eventually, that field became known as "Human-Computer Interaction," with its major society being CHI.

How did HCI end up with its society named CHI? Blame others: I argued for HCI. The major argument, if I remember correctly, was that CHI could be pronounced but HCI could not be. A secondary argument was that CHI became part of the ACM, the professional society for computer scientists, so they wanted the C to come first. Bad idea: I have always wanted people to be first, or in this case, Humans. I lost that fight as well.  (But then again, computer scientists of those days were weird. In fact, their society is not even for them -- it is for their machines: ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery.)

Ben's photographs are neutral on the terminology. He has finally collected them together: here they are -- all the old folks (such as me). Such old folks portrayed by photos from their youth, so I can barely recognize some of them: I can barely recognize me.


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