Aza Raskin's Humanized to help Mozilla refine Firefox user experience

17 Jan 2008 - 4:55am
2348 reads
Murli Nagasundaram

Since browsers are likely the most commonly used app across various
user categories (I don't have any actual data on this), this should be
a positive development. -m


Mozilla hires developers from Humanized

By Ryan Paul | Published: January 15, 2008 - 03:03PM CT

Mozilla has hired several developers from Humanized, a small software
company that is known for its considerable usability expertise and
innovative user interface design. The Humanized developers will be
working at Mozilla Labs on Firefox and innovative new projects. We
talked to Mozilla CEO John Lilly, who provided some additional

"Mozilla has hired three of the principals from Humanized. They will
be joining the Mozilla Labs team on January 16, 2008. We expect a lot
of innovation work from them, some Firefox-related, some broader, just
like everything else in Mozilla Labs," Lilly told us. "The work done
by the Humanized principals speaks for itself—there are lots of great,
web-relevant ideas in their work, and we're excited to have them join

It should be noted that this is not an acquisition, as some have
erroneously reported elsewhere in the blogosphere. Lilly clarifies
that: "This was not an acquisition. No premium was paid and no
intellectual property was acquired by Mozilla."

I met Humanized president Aza Raskin (son of Macintosh luminary Jef
Raskin) at the Ubuntu Developer Summit last year. At the summit, Aza
gave a very informative presentation about user interface design and
discussed usability issues in several applications. His design
philosophy extends from the belief that the best kind of interface is
no interface at all. He advocates creating software that conforms to
the Taoist notion of Wu Wei, which is to "act without doing."

Mozilla's recruitment of interface experts from Humanized is a very
nice move. We have seen some really intriguing technologies coming out
of Mozilla labs lately and the addition of a few usability gurus will
surely help Mozilla provide a better user experience.

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