Hi. My name is Jeffrey Morgan. I develop software that incorporates visualization, geographical information systems (GIS) and data science. I have a masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), which stoked my desire to work with people to make everything I develop easy to use and understand with human-centered design. My doctorate combined HCI with data visualization and information retrieval.
Three books really influenced my development as an interactive system designer and developer:
- The Psychology of Everything Things by Donald Norman
- The Humane Interface by Jef Raskin
- About Face by Alan Cooper
Donald Norman’s The Psychology of Everyday Things (now titled The Design of Everyday Things), which I read in the early 1990s, was the first book I’d read that promoted the idea that if a product was difficult to use it was the fault of its designers and not its users. This was a revolutionary idea to me at the time and is still a fundamental truth that drives my work.
The second book that gave me the desire to search for better ways to design was Jef Raskin’s The Humane Interface. Jef’s key idea was that one cannot design something better without designing something different.
The third book that influenced my approach to design was the first edition of Alan Cooper’s About Face. The thinking in About Face was so different to the few contemporary books on user interface design at the time.
I’ve since read many more books on all aspects of designing and implementing interactive systems, of course, but The Psychology of Everyday Things, The Humane Interface and About Face are the ones that shaped me most.
For a fun introduction to human-centered design, take a look at this video about Norman Doors: