résumé

 

Kevin E. Mullet

 

Experience Design Architect

 

3303 Forest View Lane
Reno, NV  89511
kem@edreactor.com
775.287.0449

 

Available for strategic consulting and contract analysis, design,
and evaluation work on graphical user interfaces, web-based applications, visual languages and diagrammatic displays, systematic design programmes for common look and feel across products, and task-centered solutions for object-oriented authoring, programming, and administration systems.

Professional Qualifications and Expertise

Creative problem solver skilled in the development of clear, coherent, conceptual models suitable for both technical and non-technical user populations.

Expert in systematic, information-oriented visual communication with emphasis on the development and application of large-scale visual language programmes.

Experienced in task analysis, requirements definition, functional description, user-centered design, iterative prototyping and testing, and user interface specification for system and application software.

Published author, lecturer, consultant, and instructor in user-centered design and communication-oriented visual design for graphical user interfaces. Has delivered courses and invited lectures to corporate, professional, and academic audiences in seven countries.

Extensive knowledge of relevant academic and professional literature in design, human-computer interaction, experimental psychology, human factors.

Practiced at evaluating system architectures for impact on product usability goals. Familiar with principles of object-oriented software design and software engineering practice. Informal development experience with C, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, XML, PostScript, Director/Lingo, Flash.

Strong oral and written communication and negotiation skills, with demonstrated leadership ability.

Active in ACM/SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, BayCHI

 

       

 

Overview 

 

 


E D Reactor
Propel
Scoutfire
Icarian
Netscape
Macromedia
SunPro
SunSoft
AM+A
Ohio State
Ohio State

 

Founder and Principal Consultant
Fellow and Chief User Experience Architect
Design Director
User Interface Architect & Manager, UI Group
Managing Principal / Engagement Manager
Product Design Lead
Human Interface Engineer
Human Interface Engineer
Senior Designer/Analyst
Master of Arts in Industrial Design
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

 


 

Work Experience

 

 

   

 

 

ED Reactor
Reno, NV

 

Founder and Principal Consultant
Experience Design Studio

Support the full range of experience design activity from product planning and concept development to background research on users and tasks; requirements gathering and functional specification; conceptual design and information architecture; presentation and interaction design for individual and cross-product offerings; rapid prototyping and usability assessment; specification and evangelism; and documentation and production assistance. Provide knowledge transfer in the form of classroom training and hands-on workshops and capture best practices in the form of design patterns that can be easily disseminated and re-used to solve a wide variety of common design problems.

Responsibilities

Client contact and project scoping leading to proposal development.

Conceptualization and design development of world class solutions appropriate to client needs.

Production and delivery of final design specifications, production artwork, implementation elements, as appropriate.

Coordination of additional or external resources as required to support the design development, production, implementation, or testing processes.

Accomplishments

Developed extensive client base with multiple repeat contracts and numerous key strategic assignments. (See portfolio).

Worked simultaneously on products spanning the full range of the complexity spectrum for interactive applications, from consumer web services for Snapfish (photo sharing) to LINUX-based semiconductor design tools in the next generation EDA (Electronic Design Automation) environment for Synopsys.

Invited to participate in the Neilsen Norman Group's international usability conferences with three full-day courses each in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Supporting Activities

Design, produce, and maintain corporate identity and web site.

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9/01 - present

   

 

 

Propel
San Jose, CA

 

Fellow and Chief User Experience Architect
User-Centered Design Group

Provide mentoring, technical oversight, and design leadership across Propel's product line for a group of 13 junior designers, developers, and evaluators. Worked on comprehensive suite of e-commerce tools and modular store designs ( "Amazon-in-a-Box" ) supported by an object oriented user interface for the operation and administration of a high-performance clustered data management platform.

Responsibilities

Ensure that all Propel products provide a high quality user experience that can be used to create a competitive advantage for the company.

Ensure that e-commerce applications built by customers using Propel's e-business infrastructure can provide a high quality user experience without requiring significant design expertise on the part of the customer.

Provide intellectual leadership to Propel's research efforts and help to establish Propel as a leader in user-centered experience design for e-commerce and e-business applications.

Provide mentoring and career development for UCD staff.

Accomplishments

Developed scheme for delivering packaged design solutions using system modular components and frameworks for e-commerce sites that allowed easy customization of essential customer-specific elements related to branding, merchandising, and corporate identity, without disrupting the navigation, control, and transaction support capabilities that had been designed and tested to ensure a high quality user experience.

Developed a set of design patterns for B2C e-commerce that capture the essence of successful design solutions at various levels of granularity. The design patterns provide general solutions to recurring problems and define a space within which customer-specific solutions could be developed and realized through customization of the off-the-shelf components and frameworks.

Reviewed and critiqued designs for Starter Stores based on Propel design patterns and implemented using Propel components and frameworks. Identified numerous improvements to conceptual and interaction design in order management, checkout, and multi-address shipping.

Led the design of a web-based administration console for managing the installation, configuration, and operation of Propel's platform for e-business applications, which was based on a high-performance messaging system for synchronizing and load-balancing of processors, services, and data access across clusters of commodity PC's.

Presented results of user-centered evaluation and design feedback on existing e-commerce web sites, along with design recommendations based on Propel's design patterns, to site designers and brand managers at Estee Lauder and Ann Taylor in New York.

Supporting Activities

Developed and presented a series of seminars and hands-on design workshops for in-house training on basic experience design. Topics included: What is Design? Design Research, Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Presentation Design, System Design, Assessing Design.

Consulted on design of corporate identity and web site.

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11/00 - 9/01

       

Scoutfire
Acquired by Microsoft

 

Design Director
Product Development

Responsible for the visual, conceptual, and behavioral design of all user visible portions of the various Scoutfire products and services. Also responsible for the design and corporate identity of the company itself, the web site, and all printed collateral.

Responsibilities

Define functional requirements and represent user interests and capabilities to the highest standards throughout product development.

Develop an appropriate information model to support context-relevant recommendations to consumers.

Lead a team of visual and interaction designers responsible for the design and production of all user interface elements associated with the Scoutfire service and corporate web site.

Lead evaluation of Scoutfire products and services to ensure widespread user acceptance and ongoing utilization.

Accomplishments

Developed new company name (former name was Auctia) to better represent new product direction and branded service. Created complete corporate identity with specialized branding for print and online applications. 

Helped to define the Scoutfire service as it evolved from a set of tools for buy-side users of online auctions to a multi-tier B2B infrastructure allowing major web brands to reach current and potential customers with relevant, targeted offerings at any time and at any location on the web.

Created an effective classification strategy to allow a set of relevant products and services to be identified based on the user's current web location, their personal interests and preferences, and the task they are currently engaged in.

Created distinctive user interface designs supporting non-intrusive presentation of the Scoutfire service in web browsers. Developed a standard modular design that provided efficient access to a wide range of products and services using a clean, coherent visual style applied consistently across a broad range of familiar Internet brands.

Conceived, designed, and prototyped numerous value-added services designed to extend and enhance the core product and to stimulate rapid, widespread adoption of the underlying technology.

Invented valuable new presentation and interaction techniques based on Scoutfire's proprietary technology.

Built scripted demonstrations and interactive prototypes to evaluate prospective design concepts and to enhance communication with prospective partners and investors and employees.

Supporting Activities

Developed corporate presentations and written documents.

Developed Scoutfire intellectual property strategy including background research and provisional disclosure documents.

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2/00 - 11/00

       

Icarian, Inc.
Sunnyvale, CA

 

User Interface Architect & Manager, UI Group
Engineering / R&D Group

Architect of the user interface vision and strategy charged with directing the UI development effort for a new breed of enterprise wide web-based applications that automate workforce management functions for fast-growing high tech companies.

Responsibilities

Manager of the User Interface Design Group since April '99

Work closely with Product Management to understand user needs and market requirements and to package incremental units of utility into product-sized chunks that can be digested by Engineering within pre-determined time constraints.

Analyze existing business processes and information artifacts and develop generalizable design solutions that provide equivalent functionality within the workflow-driven web-based application.

Define, design, and produce the user experience to ensure acceptance by a "volunteer user" community (particularly hiring managers).

Lead usability evaluation and assessment of Icarian products to ensure their suitability for the intended markets and user populations.

Build and manage a team of designers and human factors experts to assist in these tasks as the product line expands.

Accomplishments

Shipped Icarian Workforce 1.0  and 2.0.  These are enterprise-class products for managing the staffing process in large organizations.  They provide text-based and structured search for candidates or positions, applicant tracking and collaborative evaluation, paperless Req and Offer capability, workflow-driven approval, notification, and task management processes, workforce monitoring and employee status changes, plus reporting and administration tools.

Centerpiece of design solution is a flexible workflow-driven policy guidance system that provides a "Next Steps" column for each object (Position, Candidate, Offer, etc.) telling the user what they should do next or what (and whom) they are waiting on if the next step is not assigned to them. Alternative actions are hidden on an adjacent pop-up menu, allowing (but not encouraging) users to circumvent the intended business processes when necessary.

Created UI specification and prototype for the Icarian Analytical Application (to be released later this year), which will provide advanced reporting, projections based on low-level real-time status data and historical performance metrics, and speculative analysis based on user-defined performance scenarios.

Defined user interface vision and roadmap for Icarian eWorkforce internet-based ecommerce products providing integration of market capabilities with enterprise application functionality.

Supporting Activities

Conducted extensive Design Partner interviews to better understand the interests, needs, work patterns, and openness to change of five classes of user (Managers, HR/Staffing, Executives, Individual Contributors, Application Administrators).

Created highly effective HTML-based UI prototype that simulated database and application-logic driven behavior using simple, static techniques.  Presented this prototype to representatives of the various user classes and incorporated resulting feedback into design revisions incorporated into shipping product.

Implemented bulk of first generation user interface using HTML and server-side Javascript (LiveWire) technology. 

Wrote detailed design specifications used by development teams to drive feature-level development work.

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1/98 - 2/00

       

Netscape
Mountain View, CA

 

Managing Principal / Engagement Manager
Information Architecture & Design Group

Project leader for team of designers, production artists, and developers creating large-scale web-based software solutions for deployment on the intranet, extranet, and public internet sites of Fortune 1000 customers.

Responsibilities

Participate in pre-sales analysis, costing, proposal development.

Work closely with customers to plan, schedule, and present work

Lead team-based development effort integrating work of outside contractors with that of core design personnel and project resources from relevant consulting groups.

Advise and mentor junior design team members.

Accomplishments

Delivered innovative Computer-Based Training application deployed to 50,000 Motorola Semiconductor Products employees. The web-based solution provided on-demand end-user training on Netscape Messaging services. Content included a graphical Overview, Guided Tour,  a Basic Topics sequence highlighting key information, randomly accessible Advanced Topics, and customer-specific "Quick-Start" translators, plus cross referenced (pop-up) and standalone Glossary and Tips items as well as interactive "Try It" modules integrated with the actual product.

Led on-site focus groups and end-user interviews to define requirements for Motorola CBT project. Followed up with on-site usability testing of a prototype solution with representative users of the training product.

Created and evangelized interactive prototyping strategy and developed script-driven compilation process for automatically regenerating a large (approx. 6000 pages, for three platforms) static web site following content changes.

Created road map and project proposal for online full-service brokerage products for Merrill Lynch.

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6/97 - 1/98

       

Macromedia
San Francisco, CA

 

Product Design Lead
Core Technology Group, Product Development

Lead human interface designer for industry leading multimedia authoring, graphics production, and web site development tools. Technical lead for the Macromedia User Interface.

Responsibilities

Lead user-centered design effort for Director 5.0 and 6.0.

Lead cross-product UI standardization effort (Macromedia User Interface).

Provide general design consultation on various Macromedia applications.

Accomplishments

Created road map for future development of Director, supported by extensive customer interviews, requirements analysis, paper prototyping, and early usability testing for Director 5, 6, and 7.

Completely redesigned Director Score window for the coming 6.0 release. Revised conceptual model, presentation, and interaction design based on extensive user input, task analysis, and usability testing.

Designed key new features in Director 5 and 6, including Behavior Inspector, Script Toolbar and Debugger, Multiple Cast interface, Sprite Inspectors, Sprite Info Overlays, Sprite Animation Paths.

Led major visual overhaul of Director interface for the 5.0 release to introduce better visual organization of window and dialog layouts, higher quality imagery, and more concise labeling throughout the product.

Led 16-person team in definition and specification of Macromedia User Interface (MUI) designed to unify diverse applications in Macromedia's Digital Design Studio strategy. Major elements included 3D "look" on Macintosh, image library for toolbars and palettes, common menu organization, standard designs for property windows, alignment dialogs, and playback controllers, plus general interaction techniques, and keyboard accelerators.

Made significant UI contributions to FreeHand 7 (menu organization, tab design, dockable palettes, inspector layouts, revised imagery), Authorware 3 and 4 (menu organization, dialog layouts, interaction design), SoundEdit 16 2.0 (menu organization, control panels, toolbar imagery), xRes 2.0 (menu organization, dialog layout, revised imagery, interaction design), Extreme 3D 2.0 (score design, revised imagery, interaction design), and Flash 2.0 (menu organization, dialog layout, revised imagery).

Supporting Activities

Conducted extensive customer interviews to better understand developers and development organizations, common production tasks, types of work produced, and shortcomings of existing products in meeting these needs. Wrote and administered detailed usage survey for 100 Director users.

Wrote detailed task analysis breaking multimedia production activity down into common work units that could be explicitly supported by the authoring environment.

Developed high-level conceptual design documents (treatments, terminologies, scenarios, storyboards) to identify and communicate strategic direction for authoring products.

Wrote detailed design specifications for specific components. Created standard spec format covering functional requirements, conceptual design, presentation design, and interaction design that was widely adopted throughout Macromedia Product Development.

Built Director prototypes of key design ideas for review by invited customer feedback groups, presentation to potential strategic partners, evaluation in usability testing, and evangelization of product teams.

Led or supervised extensive usability testing of Director 5, 6, and 7, and of critical MUI elements in FreeHand and Authorware.

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2/94 - 6/97

       

SunPro
Mountain View, CA

 

Human Interface Engineer
Member of Technical Staff, Interactive Programming Environments

Human Interface design lead for Helix project
(graphical application development environment).

Accomplishments

Developed formal task analysis identifying critical development activities for target customer, implications for Helix feature set, and resulting usability requirements.

Re-designed and specified existing user-level conceptual model, user interface design and detailed interaction protocols for for Helix object system, navigation paradigm, browsing/editing model, script editing, debugging, and overall product organization.

Worked with SunPro Product Marketing to refine feature set and clarify market objectives. Responsible (with Project Lead) for maintaining and prioritizing catalog of features deemed critical for overall product success.

Built first- and second-generation SuperCard prototypes exploring overall organization and work-flow in proposed Helix design. Conducted usability testing on prototypes.

Implemented final GUI in OSF/Motif using UIM/X and glue code written in scheme.

Designed and supervised usability testing of various pre-Alpha versions of product.

Other Responsibilities

Consulted on design of user interface and graphical displays for kernel- and user-level multi-thread trace analysis tool (SunTrace). Product features variable resolution maps showing sequence, latency, concurrency, and locking of arbitrary events.

Worked closely with human interface colleagues on planning of next-generation development environment and integration of Helix environment and central concepts with future SunPro products.

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5/93 - 2/94

       

SunSoft, Inc.
Mountain View, CA

 

Human Interface Engineer
Member of Technical Staff, Human Interface Engineering

Acting Human Interface Architect for Project DOE (Distributed Objects Everywhere) and member of DOE Architects Council.

Responsibilities

Evolve, articulate and communicate to the development community the user interface vision, strategy, and overall conceptual model for the DOE Desktop.

Document and drive resolution of outstanding issues in design model while maintaining coherent component-level designs throughout environment.

Coordinate global architectural issues with other DOE architects to ensure that human interface concerns are addressed before system architecture is frozen.

Coordinate efforts of implementation teams to help realize the design model as efficiently and accurately as possible.

Accomplishments

Co-authored DOE Desktop User Model.

Led detail design of DOE Desktop Foundation components.

Designed and produced desktop imagery for OpenWindows Version 3.

Redesigned user interfaces for various desktop productivity and multimedia applications.

Redesigned user interface for corporate bug tracking system.

Contributed to OPEN LOOK refinement, extension, evolution, and maintenance.

Principal designer for extensions covering keyboard accelerators, drag and drop target and cursor animation, and standard dialogs for file management (Load/Save), printing, font, and color selection.

Consulted extensively with internal developers and ISV's on toolkit- and application-level usability and OPEN LOOK compliance.

Technical sponsor for collaborative research on automatic selection and layout of graphical user interface components with Jim Foley at Georgia Tech.

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6/90 - 5/93

   

 

 

AM+A
Berkeley, CA

 

Senior Designer/Analyst

Key staff member for consulting firm specializing in visual communication research and development for human-computer interfaces, electronic publishing, and information graphics. Worked closely with Fortune 500 clients to develop innovative, systematic visual design solutions for user-centered applications, with emphasis on control and display surfaces for direct manipulation user interaction.

Design Responsibilities

Design review and system analysis

Programmatic design development and system specification

Rapid prototyping using HyperCard, SuperCard, Director, Prototyper

Usability testing and design evaluation

Report writing and presentation development and delivery

Administrative Responsibilities

Project management and direction

Client contact and communication

Business development and proposal/RFP writing

Conference presentations and tutorials

Literature review and archival research

Referee, reviewer, organizer for HICSS-24 UI track

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6/89 - 6/90

Ohio State Univ.
Columbus, OH

 

Instructor/Adviser
College of Arts and Sciences

Academic adviser and classroom teacher for 220 freshman and sophomore industrial design students and liberal arts majors.

 

9/87 - 6/88

Chardon Labs
Columbus, OH

 

Principal Designer

Design and production of corporate identity, marketing, and collateral materials for an industrial chemical manufacturer.

 

9/86 - 9/85

Visual Syntax
Columbus, OH

 

Staff Designer

Research, design, production, and documentation of architectural graphics and signage systems.

 

7/85 - 9/85

 

Education

 

 

Ohio State Univ
Columbus, OH

 

Master of Arts in Industrial Design
Major in Design Development

3.77 / 4.00 Grade Point Average
University Fellow, 1986-87

Thesis Research: Animated Computer Graphic Displays for Categorical Data Analysis

Completed 30+ graduate hours in computer science and art education (with OSU-Computer Graphics Research Group) in graphics programming and animation.

Completed 30+ graduate hours in psychology studying perceptual and psychophysical aspects of human visual information processing, human performance and human factors engineering, and general cognitive psychology.

Conducted original research at the OSU Human Performance Center involving over 100 subjects. Studied the effectiveness of various perceptual variables for check-reading of graphical displays under high-speed animated presentations.

 

3/89

Ohio State Univ
Columbus, OH

 

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design
Major in Visual Communication Design

3.78 / 4.00 Grade Point Average, graduated cum laude
Freshman Scholar, Alumni Scholarship, 1981

Design Portfolio Scholarship, 1982
Sarah J. Pyne Scholarship, 1983

Undergraduate education included intensive training in two- and three-dimensional design, photography, filmmaking, and animation.

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6/85

 

Research Activity

 

Research Interests

 

Visual and diagrammatic controls and displays, visual programming and graphical development environments, programmatic generation of data displays and intelligent control layouts, metaphors for distributed systems, simulation.

 

Patents
Pending

 

Method and Apparatus for Browsing Information in a Computer Database. Utility patent submission describing visual metaphor and interaction technique for efficient selective display of high-resolution information in context.

Apparatus and Methods for Moving/Copying Object Using Destination and Source Bins. Utility patent submission describing visual metaphor and interaction protocol and feedback for general-purpose data transfer using drag and drop in the OPEN LOOK GUI.

Design patents for various image systems and conventions used in icons for OpenWindows Version 3.0 Deskset applications.

 

 

Professional Activity

 

 

Publications

 

User Interface Design Books - Educating the Masses or Preaching to the Converted? - panel session at CHI 2000 in The Hague featuring authors, publishers, and users of popular books on user interface design practice.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Browse! (The Great CHI'97 Browse-Off) - special panel session at CHI'97 in Atlanta featuring an innovative, competition based format for evaluating four state of the art visualization and graphical browsing systems using both expert and novice users in head-to-head competition before a live audience.

Organizing Information Spatially - article on dialog layout problems and systematic solution developed for Authorware Professional. interactions magazine, July 1995.

Three-D or Not Three-D: That Depends on the Question, panel discussion on appropriate use of three-dimensional representations of non-three-dimensional datasets, organized with Diane Schiano, Interval Research, presented at CHI'95, Denver, May 1995.

Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication-Oriented Techniques is a book written with Darrell Sano that has become one of the classic references in the field of experience design. It provides an introduction to systematic, information-oriented visual communication practice applied to graphical user interfaces for software designers, developers, and managers. Published by SunSoft Press and Prentice-Hall in 1994, it was chosen as one of the top five computer books of 1995 by UNIX Review. Five years later it was selected behind Nielsen and Norman's classic works as the third most useful reference for UI practitioners in a survey of ACM SigCHI members and CHI 2000 conference attendees.

Coupling Application Design and User Interface Design. Paper and formal video presented at CHI'92, Monterey, describing automated control selection techniques developed in collaboration with James D. Foley at Georgia Tech, May 1992.

Computer Generated Graphic Displays for Categorical Data Analysis, Masters Thesis, The Ohio State University Graduate School, 1988.

 

 

Courses and
Presentations

 

Cultivating Convergence: Cross-Product User Interface Design for Applications and Web Sites, One-day tutorial presented with Erric Solomon (Synopsys) at CHI 2000 in Den Haag, Netherlands and CHI 2001 in Seattle. Covers the characteristics of effective cross-product design and the organizational obstacles to achieving success, with techniques for overcoming them and realizing coherent, high quality design systems.

Applying Visual Design: Trade Secrets for Elegant Interfaces, One- or two-day tutorial offered regularly since 1993 at various professional conferences (X Technical Conference, INTERCHI'93, CHI'94, CHI'96, UI'96), local chapters (Bay Area SIGCHI, Toronto SIGCHI, Western New York HFS) and universities or training institutes (UCLA Extension; Niveau Informatik, Copenhagen; University of Tampere, Finland) as well as numerous corporate training centers.

Designing High Quality User Interfaces, Course on user interface design principles and design development process taught three times yearly since 1993 at the University of California Berkeley South Bay Extension.

Transfering a Designed User Experience to Product - how to get good ideas implemented when they don't represent the path of least resistance for the development team. Panel presentation at CHI'97 in Atlanta.

Space Craft: Perceptual Aids for Cognitive Activity - manipulating perceptual variables to make visual displays more suited to orientation, navigation, and selective extraction of information. Presented at Stanford University (Terry Winograd's People Computers and Design lecture series) and the Boston Area SIGCHI chapter, 1996.

Into the Woods: Navigation Metaphors in UI Design - basic presentation and interaction design for navigation through abstract spaces with appropriate use of metaphor. Presentation with Aaron Marcus at 1996 Macromedia User's Conference, San Francisco.

The Dyna Calendar: An Example of an Effective Two-Dimensional Spatial Display, short paper and interactive prototype for 2D spatial interface for efficient date selection. Panel presentation at CHI'95, Denver, May 1995.

Smart Products vs. Soft Products, Presentation to IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America) Western Regional Conference, Portland, April 1991.

An Open Look at OPEN LOOK: Living and Working With a UNIX GUI, Presentation to Los Angeles Chapter, SIGCHI, El Segundo, CA, January 1991.

Graphic Design for Graphical User Interfaces, Tutorial presented with Aaron Marcus at CHI'90, Seattle, WA, April 1990.

Standardizing High-Level Design Issues in the Macintosh User Interface, Presentation at Spring MacWorld, San Francisco, May 1990.

 

Professional Service

 

Technical Paper Reviewer, CHI'94, CHI'95, CHI'96, CHI'97, CHI'98

Publications Co-Chair, INTERCHI'93; Publications Committee, CHI'92.

Student Volunteers Co-Chair, CHI'92.

Book proposal and manuscript reviewer for Morgan Kauffman Publishers (ongoing).

 

 

Additional information and excellent technical references
available on request