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Beth Mazur: The InfoDesign profile

Beth Mazur

By Peter J. Bogaards (June 1, 2004)

Each month, InfoDesign profiles a thought leader in the design industry, focusing on people who are identified with or show strong sensibilities to the design of information and experiences. This time, Beth Mazur is our 'victim'.

Beth Mazur is the founder of STC's Information Design SIG, which has over 1,800 members (the largest of STC's special interest groups). She spends much free time on her weblog, IDblog, and pays the bills by working on the web for AARP. She is co-editor, with Mike Albers, of "Content and Complexity: Information Design in Technical Communication".

Most Valuable URI

To continue the cliché from April, it's Google.

Best PDF/PPT To Download

Anything Marc Rettig's done, like his "interaction design history in a teeny little nutshellpdflogo

Best Read Book

"Linked: The New Science of Networks" from Albert-László Barabási.
A school assignment, I read this one cover to cover for its amazingly interesting discussion of networks.

Person's Work To Follow

Jean-luc Doumont (
I had the pleasure of reading an article he's written (currently in review) for STC that responds to Tufte's Cognitive Style of Powerpoint. It's excellent.

Favorite World Company

I couldn't throw away the packaging for my iPod; it was beautifully done. Now that's experience design.

Best Non-profit Organisation For being a pain in George Bush's *ss.

Your Role Model

I don't know that I have a current role model. The last I remember is Joan Benoit, who I used to see run the Boston marathon in the late 70s, early 80s. I kept a picture of her winning the Olympics marathon in 1984 (first time women were able to run in the event) up on my bulletin board for years afterwards.

Book You Always Return To

Karen Schriver's "Dynamics in Document Design"

Article You Always Return To

Nathan Shedroff's "A Unified Field Theory of Designpdflogo.
I saw it first in the mid-1990s and it was one of my first introductions to information design. I liked his diagrams.

Best Recent Quote

It's an old quote (may be a Chinese proverb), but it's new to me.
"Those who say something cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."

Company Ever To Work For

I'm very happy where I am now, but I've always had this curiosity about working for the National Science Foundation.

Person Ever To Work With

Mike Lee. He's been here for 6 months while his wife was home on maternity leave with Cianna. Amy's wonderful, but having Mike's creative spark on tap has really been great.

Person To Meet

Nathan Myhrvold (formerly CTO of Microsoft). Brilliant scientist and gourmet chef!

Favorite Place on the Web You'd think you could find good radio here. Not.

First Site on Monday Morning

Mike Lee's weblog:

Killer Usability Argument

If you have competition, you need usability. If you don't have competition, you still need usability.

Most Promising Technology

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Best Software Application

Homesite. No more HTML editing in vi for me!

Your Advice For A Talented UX Designer

Be a good "do bee" and share your talents with others on the web via a blog or email list or website.

Best Place on Earth

Boston, Massachusetts, USA.