Designing Interactions

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Stu Card

Stu Card is interviewed in Chapter 1 – The Mouse and the Desktop. Doug Engelbart invented the mouse. The Apple mice were the first inexpensive versions, and the Microsoft Mouse was a step forward in ease of use, designed Paul Bradley and tested by Bill Verplank.

At first meeting, Stu Card seems to be a serious person. He looks at you intensely from behind his glasses and speaks in bursts, often veering off on a new tangent of connected thought. You have to concentrate hard to keep pace with him, but when you do, the reward is immediate, as he has thought everything through and arrived at a beautifully balanced view of the whole picture. Occasionally his face breaks into an impish grin, and you see that there is a rich sense of humor under the seriousness. Stu joined Xerox PARC in 1974, with probably the first-ever degree in human-computer interaction. Doug Engelbart and Bill English had brought the mouse to PARC from SRI, and Stu was assigned to help with the experiments that allowed them to understand the underlying science of the performance of input devices.

Stu talks about creating a supporting science to structure a design space, giving examples of various mice, thus providing the constraints to design quickly and effectively.

Stu Card at his interview in 2002.