Thursday, November 10, 2011

We, as the HCI community, all owe a lot to Steve Jobs.

Steven P. Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., a man who transformed computer industry from computers to smartphones, music and movies, passed away in October. He was 56 years old.

Obviously, a lot has already been said about this charismatic technology visionary by the media, personalities around the world, and even Apple users who leave post-it notes on the windows of Apple stores worldwide. We will not repeat what has already been said about him. As practitioners in the field of HCI and usability engineering, we would simply like to add and underline how this man so critically impacted our profession.

Steve Jobs and Apple computers, by investing in products that are easy to use by anyone, have changed the way that user experience is perceived in both technology and computer companies. People working in the field of HCI often make a prime example of Apple products as a standard for a device that has good user experience, while also being commercially successful.

We all owe a lot to him for bringing attention to the philosophy of focusing on the ease of use as an important attribute to a product and “the design that works”. As he said himself, “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” (New York Times, November 30, 2003).

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

New York Times, November 30, 2003,
Published in: HCI International NEWS - Nov. 2011 - Number 50