2009/02/18

Ben Shneiderman's talk

Yesterday, Ben Shneiderman gave an Engineering Colloquium at the Space Telescope Science Institute and it was a great success.
He spoke about how far multivariate visualization has come rather far and how much more one could do by just paying attention to USERS and their needs.

This is in deep contrast with many efforts in astronomy (from data archives, to the Virtual Observatory) where the user is simply an apostrophe, a miniscule variable not be to address until it's too late and complaints are mounting.

I applaud Dr. Shneiderman for showing to a lot of us how user interfaces should be thought out and how the should be designed by professionals and not by designer-wanna-be-astronomers.

I learned how much others have progressed in understanding users, and I have not.
Dr. Shneiderman's lecture gave me the boost I needed to look at how some of the problems in astronomy and astrophysics should be addressed. Thanks, Ben! It was a real lecture.

You can find many of Ben's presentations online.