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Being interviewed about how I got started

I have been interviewed twice in the last 3 days about how I got started doing what I do, what influenced me along the way, what were the major events in my career. (Not sure when each interview will debut.)

The first was at Kent State, where I made a video for the IAKM program. They interviewed several people at the IA Summit in Vegas last month. I waited to do mine since I knew I would be visiting them. Questions ranged from how I got started in IA to the challenges I see today. The panel session later in the day also had several good questions about the early days at Argus.

The second was this morning, part of the brand new UX Pioneers project by Tamara Adlin - site launched about 2 hours ago. (Tamara delayed the debut of her new site for an hour and a half to talk to me today.) Just in time for CHI - 3 interviews up so far and lots more to come. I am in the "and later" category: it will take a while for my meanderings to be transcribed, edited and made intelligent.

It took several months to set up this interview. I think the first hurdle was getting over the "pioneer" label, which Tamara finally convinced me did apply. Never written a book, never run a company, never invented an input device, never created software of note, never established a research program, never did anything that I think people would normally think of an HCI, IA, UCD or user experience pioneer to have done. Yet, there I am, listed with many people I admire. Go figger.

Anyway, these interviews have caused me to think back a lot and appreciate how lucky I have been. I am sure I will do some blog entries that look back - I will try not to bore you.


Hi Keith!

It's funny, you know, a bunch of folks are uncomfortable with the 'pioneer' label. But the truth is, our field didn't exist when we started working in it. So everyone doing a lot of thinking, working, writing, connecting...whatever...I think of as a pioneer. Clearly, there are some really BIG pioneers (like Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman and others). But I think the other folks are incredibly interesting too. Everyone I'm talking to essentially chose to build their careers in a field that didn't have a name yet. That takes guts, creativity, and the willingness to follow a path that gets very blurry ten steps out in front of where ever you are standing. and that's just cool. Plus, YOU try to think of an interesting URL that's not taken yet! :)