Tog and Brenda Laurel Join Nielsen Norman Group

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From: Rohit Khare (
Date: Sun Aug 06 2000 - 21:12:15 PDT

Rounding out the "Dream Team" of UI design... I wonder what they'd
think about the "Two-Way Web" vision...

Wednesday August 2, 7:01 am Eastern Time

Press Release

Bruce 'Tog' Tognazzini and Brenda Laurel Join Nielsen Norman Group

Renowned Usability Experts to Advocate for Human-Centered Web and
Product Design

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2000--Four of the
world's leading experts in the fields of usability and user-interface
design are teaming-up to evangelize the critical and growing need to
bridge the gap between humans and technology. Web-usability expert
Jakob Nielsen and user-interface expert Donald Norman announced today
that fellow usability gurus Bruce ``Tog'' Tognazzini and Brenda
Laurel have joined as principals in their company, Nielsen Norman
Group. The company specializes in user-advocacy, providing
wide-ranging consulting services that support the goal of ``making
things easy-to-use,'' things such as websites, intranets, Internet
services, consumer products and software designs.

``It's a good thing anti-trust laws don't apply here, as we
unquestionably have assembled in one company the most prestigious
group of usability experts in the world,'' remarked Jakob Nielsen,
co-founder and principal of Nielsen Norman Group. ``When we started
Nielsen Norman Group two years ago, only the most clued-in companies
paid attention to usability. Since then, we've succeeded in getting
many companies to recognize the necessity of usability for survival
on the Internet. This new united front of usability gurus gains us a
powerful enough voice to penetrate the skulls of the holdouts.
Victory will be ours! The world will become an easier place.''

While sharing a passionate commitment to users' rights and to a
future in which humans rule over technology -- rather than the
opposite -- each of the four principals applies a different
methodology to the field of usability. Tognazzini brings an approach
that places emphasis on the design of the applications, both
traditional graphical user interface (GUI), as well as Web. Laurel
strongly considers the cultural contexts in which products and
services are developed. Nielsen's approach centers squarely on
delivering exactly and only what ``the customer wants to do.'' Norman
advises that the achievement of usable design can only occur when a
company builds an internal structure and cultural commitment that
places the needs of the customer first.

Bruce ``Tog'' Tognazzini was most recently the lead designer at
Healtheon/WebMD. Joining the company in its infancy, he designed a
series of sophisticated Web-based applications, ensuring they were
fast to learn and highly productive. Prior to that, he was a
colleague of Jakob Nielsen's at Sun Microsystems, serving as its
Distinguished Engineer for Strategic Technology, inventing
next-generation user interfaces that earned him 30 United States
patents. He spent 14 years at Apple Computer, founding the Macintosh
Human Interface Group, and acting as Apple's chief design
troubleshooter, helping key clients swiftly and dramatically improve
their products and processes. Tog has published two books, ``Tog On
Interface,'' and ``Tog On Software Design.''

``Pinch me -- I'm on the Dream Team, and returning to my first love,
helping development teams achieve fast success,'' said Tog. ``Of
course, coming off four years designing complex web applications, I
expect to spend as much time helping people with their 'weblications'
as with traditional GUIs. Regardless, I get to work with the backing
of the strongest group of user-experience designers in history.''

Brenda Laurel, a usability expert specializing in interactive
entertainment for the last 25 years, is best known as co-founder and
chief designer of Purple Moon, a company formed to develop
interactive products for girls. Purple Moon arose from Laurel's work
at Interval Research Corporation, where she coordinated research
activities exploring gender, culture and technology. Laurel is the
editor of ``The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design,'' and author
of ``Computers as Theatre'' and numerous other seminal papers and
articles on interactive narrative, virtual environments and
experience design.

``The over-40s strike back! The last quarter-century with computers
has been a long, strange trip, but I think the most exciting times
are just ahead,'' commented Laurel. ``It's immensely satisfying to be
working with three top-flight people with whom I share several
decades of experience and core values in the world of usability and

Fierce user-advocates, Nielsen Norman Group founders Jakob Nielsen
and Don Norman formed their company in 1998 to provide strategies to
enhance the user experience throughout a company's products and
services. Jakob was formerly a Sun Microsystems Distinguished
Engineer and the company's Web-usability guru. He holds 49 United
States patents, mainly on ways of making the Internet easier to use,
and is the author of several books on usability including the
best-selling ``Designing Web Usability'' which was released seven
months ago. Don Norman is also the author of several important books
on usability, most notably ``The Design of Everyday Things'' and
``The Invisible Computer.'' He is professor emeritus at the
University of California, San Diego, and has served as president of
UNext Learning Systems since 1999. Previously, he was vice president
and Apple Fellow in the Advanced Technology Group from 1993-1997 at
Apple Computer. Prior to co-founding Nielsen Norman Group, he was
head of the Appliance Design Center, Consumer Products Group at

About Nielsen Norman Group

Nielsen Norman Group ( advises companies on how to
enter the age of the customer, designing human-centered products and
services. Each of the four principals of the company -- Jakob
Nielsen, Don Norman, Bruce ``Tog'' Tognazzini and Brenda Laurel --
are world-renowned leaders in usability and user-interface design.
Besides authoring books and evangelizing to large audiences about
usability, they conduct high-level design reviews of websites,
intranets, Internet services, consumer products, software designs,
and anything else that needs to be easy-to-use. Nielsen Norman Group
offers strategic planning, workshops and visioneering sessions to
guide future designs and services from the customer, end-user
point-of-view. For more information: Editors
contact Antenna Group, Darcy Provo 415/977-1920 or

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