Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Search Challenge (4/29/15): Finding those elusive pics...

A friend is looking... 

... for a few old photographs.  In his message to me asking this question, he pointed out that he's been around for some time, and surely there are some old images of me out there on the internet someplace.  

In his case, he's certainly right.  The problem is how to find them.  

The friend asking for help in digging up old photos from around the web is also my former boss (from the days when we worked at Apple), Don Norman.  Here's a recent photo of Don:  

The question he posed to me is today's SearchResearch's Challenge:  

     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.  

Don helpfully pointed out that he was on the cover of a few design magazines (especially in Japan) around that time.  Maybe that will help.  (Or not.  You never know.)  

Here's another hint--he's always had the beard.  (And, FWIW, I had my beard when I met Don for the first time.  There wasn't any question about transference either way!)  

And it's no fair finding his personal web site's collection of images.  He presumably knows about that.  

Obviously, the real challenge here is to get verified dates with the photos, or some photo evidence that pins the date to a particular year.  

Even though Don is incredibly well-known, I found it a bit tricky to solve this problem.  Can you figure out what I did to find ~100 photos dating back to the 1980s?  

Remember to tell us HOW you found the images.  We all want to learn what method you used to come up with your findings.  

On Friday I'll come back and tell you what I did to find his pix.  

Search on! 


  1. I began by doing the obvious image searches along with limiting the dates. I also thought I might find a picture from a book jacket and tried searching for books. I wasn't successful with that, but did find Don Norman Curriculum Vitae. I checked the web address and it wasn't so went with it.

    There is a list of publications and more all dating prior to 1997. Tried searching most of those and turned up nothing. Got to the bottom of the page and clicked Return to "Don's World" home page.

    On that page is a picture of Don from his Voyager CD-ROM. Here I split between a couple of search tracks. Could I find a date for the web page or could I find a date for the CD-ROM.

    Even though I tried multiple ways to find the date of the couple pages in my SERP, I kept hitting dead ends. The dating method that actually gave me a date on Don's page was using a copy/paste of javascript to display the modified date - 1998.

    Ended at Amazon showing the published date of the CD-ROM was 1995 so at least for now am going with that picture.

    1. Excellent. That's a fairly straightforward find. (There are lots of pics of Don from the Voyager CD.) Can you find something that's NOT from the CD?

  2. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers

    I have been trying with not luck to fin the answer. This is what I have until now among some of the queries I tried.


    [search images by date] [search images by date created]

    ["Don Norman" japan magazine cover 1990..1997]
    ["Don Norman" japan photo 1990..1997]
    ["Don Norman" photo 1990..1997]
    ["Don Norman" | "Donald Norman" design lab intext:1997] read in wikipedia jobs at 1997.

    ["Don Norman" | "Donald Norman" intext:1997 intext:japan]

    ["don norman" magazine cover japan] in Google Japan.

    The term ‘user experience’ was originally coined by Don Norman Image but not from 1997

    ["don norman" intext:1997]

    Also tried searching by image, tools, by date. However, not found anything.

    1. Other queries without success.

      [intext:japan inurl:"donald a norman"]
      [technical magazines japan 1990..1997 intext:"Don A. Norman" | intext:"Don Norman" ]

      Don Norman Academic Vita

      [1997 japan magazine cover]

      About Don Norman Photo when created Nielsen Norman group.

      [Don Norman "Nielsen Norman group" photos 1990..1998]

  3. this is a toughie… is it possible the Millennium Bug
    consumed the bulk of Mr. Norman's images? did he actively obscure his image history?
    …did find a couple of things, but they seem outside the boundaries of the query, but perhaps related…
    couldn't find a hard date for this, but think the 911 may be early 90's.
    911 & DN
    contemporary, but may indicate what Don could have looked like when he was young…
    Eric Norman
    Cinder history
    Cinder, food & rocket science
    fwiw; the folks responsible for the Maps Lite might want to view
    this video and consider the thoughts about UI, UX and designer/engineer/marketing collaboration for a pleasurable user experience…
    talking D. Norman - ~2010 - how fast things change - context to Cinder is interesting
    moi suckage & slippage
    would you consider him to be on par with Herr Rams?

  4. I went back and started searching based on his history. I combined different items from his Wikipedia page. [ apple fellow donald norman] [ Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group ]
    I found a contents page from Bringing Design to Software Edited by Terry Winograd published in 1996. I did the javascript trick again, but this page was edited in 1999.

    So I went back further [ mit class of 1957 ]

    Spoiler alert! He didn't always have a beard.

    Search path

    1. Congratulations, Fred !

      Both findings are great. I tried something similar to your second search with San Diego with not results.

      Thanks also for the trick about pages. Didn't know about it.

    2. Ah... You're right. Excellent find (MIT Class of 1957) -- I'd totally forgotten about that. Nicely done.

    3. NPH says:
      nice detective work Fred, and whisker-less at that… does it also help explain the photo gap pre-2000?
      any idea what the Valentine's day offense in Oakland was?
      Norman mug in the '57 M.I.T. Freshman Mug Book ;)

  5. Here's a start with a couple of individual pictures found. I am working on finding another method to collect closer to what Dr. Dan captured ~100. See Google Docs

    1. Here’s a group of pictures at an informal gathering in 1999. The pics don’t quite fit the criteria set for this challenge. This was found when I used keywords related to psychology.

      Perhaps I should say what I did overall for this challenge that didn’t work.
      -search for japanese magazines initially since that was a given clue.
      -journals & other papers in Scholar.
      -Tried to create a custom search engine to search books, magazines, scholarly journals
      -Newspapers such as the California online collection & newspapers. com without success.
      -Archives such as the Internet Archives, National Archives and California Archives.
      -conferences & other events for photos.
      -Reviewed Dr. Norman’s CV focusing on where and what he was doing in the 1980’s.
      -Check professional societies, universities - I don’t think I zeroed in sufficiently in this area.

      To sum it up this challenge was quite difficult. To see how Dr. Dan found 100~ pictures will be very interesting.

    2. Rosemary - Can you tell us the story of how you find the pics at

  6. I remembered an archive of ACM CHI conference photos and there are plenty here.,%20Don

    1. Don a good find & I think there are probably others like it. When I clicked on a few of the photos the date is 2000. Nevertheless it seems a good source for this type of challenge.

  7. Google Books advanced search:

    typed "don norman" as exact phrase and set date parameters between 1980 and 1997 - but found no picture

    repeated above with "donald norman" and found the following picture in 1994 ComputerWorld Magazine:

  8. Used a site "that must not be named." Searched [ donald norman apple ] to a page from an Italian conference in 1996.

  9. Don Norman

    First I read his CV. Wow !

    Youtube finds lots about him and this is 1994:

    ...back to work

    jon tU

    1. That's a clip from Don's Voyager CD project, "Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine"