Ben Shneiderman (1947 – ) has worked in HCI for nearly half a century. While still a doctoral student, Shneiderman and research partner Isaac Nassi devised a practical graphic to represent programming structure (similar to a flowchart). The Nassi-Shneiderman diagram proved so successful, it was adopted as an international standard in 1985.
His most visible work is what we know today as hyperlinks – highlighted, clickable links embedded in text and graphics. The hyperlinks were a natural application of his theory of direct manipulation, as were the touchscreen keyboards, now widely used in smartphones. He was an early researcher in the growing field of universal usability, which strives to provide equal representation of information to diverse populations.
His 1986 book: Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction, will appear in 6th edition in 2016. In recent years, Shneiderman has focused on improving information visualization in business, medical, and social media enterprises, leading to the commercial success of Spotfire and other projects such as treemaps, NodeXL (for network data), and EventFlow (for event sequences).
“I’m a bit uncomfortable to include myself in this collection, but I’d be uncomfortable leaving myself out. The photos of me were often taken by the people who were wondering why I was taking their pictures – in the days before widespread use of cellphone cameras, taking candid photos was often seen with suspicion. My subjects wanted to take my photo, which I was happy enough to have, especially those that show me interacting with others. So I thank all those who have contributed to my own history album.” – Ben Shneiderman
Ben Shneiderman (center) with Azriel Rosenfeld and Joanne Harrar at the Opening of the Center for Automation Research in College Park, MD in 1983.
Ben Shneiderman (left) and Eliott Soloway in discussion at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Boston, MA in December 1983.
Ben Shneiderman at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto, Canada in April 1986.
Ben Shneiderman (right) and Bill Curtis at the first Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) in Austin, TX in 1986.
Ben Shneiderman (left) and Gerald Estrin at the first Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) in Austin, TX in 1986.
Ben Shneiderman at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Monterey, California in June 1992.
Ben Shneiderman (right) and Jared Spool enjoying their time at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Denver, CO in May 1995.
Tom Furness, Ben Shneiderman, Jenny Preece, and Andrew Sears at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Seattle, WA on April 1, 2001.
Ben Shneiderman receiving his SIGCHI Achievement Award and membership to the CHI Academy at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Seattle, WA, March 31 – April 5, 2001.
Ben Shneiderman with Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Jim Hendler at the ASIST annual meeting in Washington, DC on November 8, 2001.
Ben Shneiderman and Jenny Preece at the launch of Shneiderman’s book, “Leonardo’s Laptop,” at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002.
Ben Shneiderman and Jenny Preece in Vienna, Austria during UI4ALL, June 28, 2004.
Stuart Card, Ben Shneiderman, Bill Verplank, and Hiroshi Ishii (left to right) at Stanford University on May 20, 2008.
Clem MacDonald of NIH gives Ben Shneiderman a certificate for his participation in the National Library of Medicine’s Board of Scientific Counselors, in Bethesda, MD in September 2010.
Ben Shneiderman at his induction into the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, DC in October 2010.
Ben Shneiderman and Dan Mote (President of the National Academy of Engineering) in Washington, DC in October 2010.
Ph.D. in Computer Science, SUNY Stony Brook (1973)
M.S. in Computer Science, SUNY Stony Brook (1972)
B.S. in Physics, City College of New York (1968)
Professor (1989 – Present), Founding Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (1983 – 2000), Associate Professor (1979 – 1989), Assistant Professor (1976 – 1979), University of Maryland
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Indiana University (1973 – 1976)
Instructor, Department of Computer Science, SUNY Stony Brook (1972 – 1973)
Instructor, Department of Data Processing, SUNY Farmingdale (1968)