Friday, May 1, 2015

Answer: Finding those elusive pics...

Turns out, it's tricky... 

Here's the Challenge for this week:

     1.  Can you find photos of Don Norman that were taken BEFORE 1997? 

The ideal answer will give a link to a photo, along with a year, and a description of what you did to find it.

Here's what I did.  
After doing all of the "obvious" searches (e.g.):  
     [ Don Norman 1900..1997 ] 
nothing much seemed to work.  I did some searching in Google Images, even Google Books, hoping for an author's photograph from one of his books.  But that didn't work out either.  
So I thought of looking for photographs that were of the various groups or projects that he was associated with over time.  
I know that people in organizations love to document what they've been doing, and will often post images of themselves at parties, meetings, or conferences as a way of documenting what they've done and celebrating their times together.  
But how would I find out what groups Don had been a part of before 1997?  
I also know that many writers and academics post a biography of their work. It could be called a bio or a resume or a Curriculum Vita  (sometimes shortened to CV).  
A quick search for: 
     [ Don Norman curriculum vitae ] 
led me to his CV, which conveniently lists all of his books, papers, projects, and (most importantly) the groups with which he's been associated.  
Working from the top, it's an impressive list of places (Neilsen/Norman; Northwestern; IDEO; UC San Diego; KAIST), and organizations (National Academy of Engineering; multiple university boards;  International Journal of Design...). 
I thought what I'd do is to search for photographs with each of those organizations--but I excluded any that he had joined after 1997 (luckily, that eliminates a lot of them).  
My search pattern was something like this, where organization is a variable term: 

     [ "Don Norman" OR "Donald Norman" photograph organization ] 

and then I just plugged the different organization names into the query.  I tried a bunch (Northwestern, "Cognitive Science Series" and so on, just reading them off his CV) and was having no luck until I got to SIGCHI.  

This is the "Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction").  
The result of that query: 
    [ "Don Norman" OR "Donald Norman" photograph SIGCHI ]  

As you can see, there's Don's BIO, a link to the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and then -- a huge hit! -- a link to the "Library OTHERHCI - Photo History of SIGCHI."  

I figured this looked good, so I clicked on it and landed at this page.  I filled out the search box with "Norman" (I used his last name because it's a fairly uncommon name, and pretty likely to match any images tagged with his name.) 

There are only a few hits--two of which turn out to be gold mines. 

Here's the giant archive with LOTS of photos of Don from 1982 until 2001.  As you can see, many of these photos are in black and white!  They satisfy the search target easily. 

From this source, it's pretty easy to find pictures from the '80s: 

Don Norman, 1984. From the HCIL Photo History archive

As many SearchResearchers found, there are many low-res images of Don from his Voyager CD ("Defending Human Attributes" 1994).  There are even several YouTube video extracts from that time.  

I have to admit that my favorite solution was Fred's incredible find--Don's picture from the Freshman book page, MIT, 1957.  Fred is correct:  There was, once upon a time, a Don Norman without a beard. A very nice find.  (I shoulda thought of that!)  

Search Lessons:  There are a couple of key lessons to learn here: 

1.  When searching for information about someone, it's often useful to approach the search as a problem of finding that person in the context of a group.  That's because groups often put up lots of information (and photos) about themselves that individuals don't.  

2.  Finding a resume is a great way to find the backstory of someone.  In this case, the resume (aka CV) told us what groups he was part of over time.  This gives you a bunch of additional clues about what to seek.  

3.  Stick-to-it-tiveness matters.  In this case, I figured that the "search for Don in groups" would work, so I kept at it for a while.  (For the record, I spent around 20 minutes before I found the photo collection.)   It's always difficult to know when to give up, but I had a strong belief that someone would have posted some pictures of Don from one of these organizations.  If I didn't know that Don was such an active participant in these groups, I might have given up earlier.  But gumption does make a difference.  Hang in there!  

Hope you enjoyed this week's Challenge. It was definitely a Challenge!  

Many thanks to Don Norman for the idea AND the permission to use him as our test subject.  You can check out his entire web site (and buy his books) at Don Norman's home web site.

Search on! 



  1. I was almost there. I skirted around it. In one my searches I found that Stanford has a collection of photos from Apple in the early 90's. I clicked through every page since after the first several pictures people weren't labeled. Nothing (except seeing that they had ping pong tables and no hot tubs filled with balls.)

    Today I started with Universities attended and employed for photo archives, but didn't turn up anything.

    I enjoyed this week's challenge.

    1. Thanks, Fred, glad you enjoyed it. For the record, there was (maybe still is?) A hot tub in the locker rooms at the Apple gym. It felt VERY nice after a long day of system building and Research.

    2. Thanks, Fred, glad you enjoyed it. For the record, there was (maybe still is?) A hot tub in the locker rooms at the Apple gym. It felt VERY nice after a long day of system building and Research.

  2. My method for finding the group pictures was based on turning to the the keyword psychological. You may recall one of my initial pictures had not only Don Norman but as well David Rumelhart and the image byline mentioned I explored the Association for Psychological Science and in fact saw that picture again. My next step was to do Google Image Search with both these names and which led to the group pictures you are referring to. So a tip in image search is if any business/personal relationship through text or image it’s worth searching the subject’s name with others in the image.

    I hope Dr. Norman is pleased with our results.

    1. That's a great tip to remember. Thanks!

    2. That's a great tip to remember. Thanks!

  3. Hello Dr. Russell. Wish you and all your readers a great May month.

    Yes, indeed was a fun, great and difficult Challenge. Also helped to learn more about Don Norman and to learn new tools (like the one Fred shared about webpages), search lessons and ways to search. Finally, new and interesting facts and words. For example, you didn't use Google Images to find the photo.

    About Google Images, a question for when you have some time. When searching images with Search Tools, "Customized Date Range" many times I get: Your search - " Example " - did not match any image results. When is useful to use this tool and how is the best way to use it?

    In the Challenge I tried some weird things like for example searching [Intext:"Don Norman"] filetype:jpg]. Later noticed that jpg would not work, that is why we have images and "Don Norman" is not very likely that the image we were searching had that specific name.

    One question, do you also always have beard?

    About other posts. Thanks, Dr. Russell for talking about your experience with the check protector. And thanks Remmij for the great photo of Dr. Russell with Dr. Stark.

    1. To answer your question--no, I've not always had my beard. It started as part of a Halloween costume in my first year of graduate school, and has stuck around ever since once I discovered that I liked it. So pix of me that are pre-1980 are significantly less hirsute. (But I challenge you to find one!)

    2. it was a hairy search - tried to apply Fred's methodology, but ended up with a different reality… maybe a Stark Industries Reality Distortion Field? -
      Dan in time…
      did that Dan imagine the current Dan then?

    3. Good Morning, Dr. Russell and friends and great weekend.

      I'll try to find one. Thanks for your comment, Dr. Russell.

    4. I love a challenge. Dr. Dan great fun having a look back at your time in 1977. A very good year!

  4. Still working on searching past photo of Dr. Russell.

    I have found data on works Dr. Russell helps and gives academic advice and other very interesting links but not photo.

    Update on past SearchReSearch Challenges On December 4, 2013, When did the outflow reach the pyramid? We talked and learned about Lahars. Here is a photograph of how they are.
    Lahars 2015, Mt. Sinabung. Thanks for the suggestion, Fred!