7 Living Legends Of Usability

Jeff Sauro, PhD

Love them, hate them, admire them or ignore them. These seven living legends aren’t one-hit wonders. Their work has had and will continue to have a large impact on the field of usability for some time. Here they are in alphabetical order:


1. Joe Dumas

“Dr Usability” is author of dozens of articles on usability. His twenty-year old book “A Practical Guide to Usability Testing” is still one of the best sources.  Through his teaching at Bentley and consulting he continues to inspire and guide practitioners.


2. Bonnie John

Head of the HCI program at Carnegie Mellon and author of dozens of articles in HCI. Her work on cognitive modeling (KLM & GOMS) continues to make this important method accessible.


3. Jurek Kirakowski

Pioneer of measuring the perceptions of usability through standardized questionnaires such as SUMI and WAMMI. Humorous, gregarious and opinionated about all things quantitative and usability.


 4. James R Lewis

Author of dozens of papers, book chapters, patents and a couple books on human factors and usability. When it comes to sample sizes, empirical methods and questionnaire development Jim’s work continues to lay the foundation.


5. Rolf Molich

Co-inventor of the Heuristic Evaluation method along with Jakob Nielsen. His iconoclastic and influential Comparative Usability Studies continue to define our understanding of how much usability evaluators agree.


 6. Jakob Nielsen

Author of multiple books and dozens of articles on usability methods and popularizing “discount usability“. His name is synonymous with usability (just check the Google AdWords search for usability).


7. Jared Spool

Owner of one of the first and largest usability consulting firms. When he’s not hosting his own annual conferences, his bombastic keynotes are challenging audiences at leading usability conferences including recommending Ouija boards over Eye-Trackers.


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