John Carroll is another pioneer who 'accidentally' ended up with two degrees (because he took so many courses to satisfy his diverse interests) and whose career was majorly influenced by having a year to kill. That one years...spent at Watson Research Center...turned into 18. How many other people, who describe themselves as having the 'soul of a psychologist,' can tell you stories about the very first times the 'user' became an interesting topic of conversation at IBM? How many have participated in the development of the HCI field from inside a major corporation and academia and the birth of a professional association? How many have worked with Noam Chomsky only to decide they didn't want to be a linguist? Well, at least one. And today, he's interested in all of the interesting challenges of teaching, which is awfully lucky for the students at Penn State. Confused about what you want to do with your life? Don't worry...according to John, it will all look simple once you get there.
Should we talk about a super-cool history in user experience, or...Shall we play a game?
Arnie is really great at connecting with a huge assortment of people and recognizing the opportunities these people bring with them. He's an 'eyes wide open' kind of guy...oh, and he's hilarious.
Phil Terry is more interested in real people than anyone I know. This uber-connector shares his adventures, which trace his path from rebels in Nigeria to tech executives stuck in old habits.
Seth Godin got a toy when he was a little kid--a radio that transformed into a cool spy rifle. Ever since, he's been talking about what happens when you shoot messages out to regular people.
Coming soon: Interviews with Susan Dray, Phil Terry, Deborah J. Mayhew, Lou Rosenfeld, Mary Beth Rosson, Jesse James Garrett, Joe Dumas, Peter Morville, John Carroll, Randolph Bias, Dennis Wixon, and Gerry McGovern.
And later: Don Norman, Larry Tesler, Stuart Card, Keith Instone, Arnie Lund, George Olson, Jared Spool, Jeff Veen, Jonathan Grudin, Larry Constantine, Mark Hurst, Meg Hourihan, Marilyn Tremaine, and more.
Please visit the UX Pioneers Wiki to see my interview wishlist (and help me contact these folks!), suggest additional interviews, and add your own thoughts on how, when, where, and why these amazing people influenced you in your own education and career.
Thanks for your interest and help!
The UX Pioneers project aims to reveal the motivations and perspectives of key players in the User Experience industry through in-depth interviews and discussions with the site's publisher, Tamara Adlin.
I am a user experience consultant in Seattle, WA. My own academic and professional choices finally made sense when, and only when, I discovered human-computer interaction. I'm inspired by all of the interesting puzzles and people that populate our field.
We are interested in hearing from you. Please send your questions and comments to:
Site design by Matt Dente Design (with Tamara Adlin)
Content wrangling by Ariel van Spronsen
Interview transcription by Ani Lea