Designing Interactions

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Doug Engelbart

Doug Engelbart is interviewed in Chapter 1 – The Mouse and the Desktop.

Doug Engelbart is best known as the inventor of the mouse. At the time of writing, in 2004, at the age of seventy-eight, he is still going to work at his “Bootstrap Alliance,” trying to persuade us of the value of his ideas about augmenting the human intellect, and evangelizing the virtues of his “Augment System.” Taking credit as the inventor of the dominant design for cursor control is not enough for Doug; in fact, he is charmingly modest about that achievement, preferring to discuss other ideas that have not met with such spectacular success. He has always wanted to create designs that enhance human performance and is not interested in ease of use for the novice.

Doug tells the story of inventing the mouse, and confirming that it was the best device for pointing and clicking by testing a prototype against a range of alternative options.

Doug at his interview in 2003. Photo Author