- somebody who is prominent and influential in a specific field and sets a trend or starts a movement
- a spiritual leader of or intellectual guide for a religious group or movement especially one being described as non-mainstream
By the first definition, we could probably classify Jakob Nielsen, Don Norman, Jared Spool and numerous others as gurus in our industry. Interestingly, like the second definition of guru, the gurus of usability seem to agree about as often as leaders of opposite religious factions - or perhaps west coast and east coast gangs.
If Nielsen says, “download times need to be short or users will leave,” Spool’s UIE will respond, “bull.“
Check it: An OK/Cancel exclusive. We present to you “We Got It”, a song for the users. Representing our HCI, Usability, and Interaction Design brethren. Music and lyrics by our very own Tom Chi with vocals by Tom Chi and KC.
Select the appropriate region and the download (mp3) will begin:
Be prepared for serious HCI flava.
Spool says links should be 7-12 words long. Nielsen dislikes Flash, PDFs and frames. Tog hates the Dock. So many HCI/Usability gurus — so many opinions, and many of them conflicting. So why do we need them at all?
I tend to see gurus as being useful because they create much of the shared language by which we can discuss and understand our work. Whether you agree or disagree with their statements, by making those statements they create terminology which allows people to adopt or reject a collection of ideas. In fact, the guru’s names earn a special definitions — becoming terms in themselves wherein certain standpoints and approaches to usability can be lexically collected. For example, to say a site is “Nielsen-esque” is a quick way to encode many attributes of how it is designed. Similiarly, if someone does a “Tog-like” review of your UI, you better believe that Fitt’s law will be in full effect.
OK/Cancel will be checking out a couple of HCI and usability conferences in the next couple of months. Here are a few of the conference dates we know about (exact days when we intend to be there will be posted as we find out).