Kent Sullivan, my colleague at Microsoft and fellow UX consultant, and I share the entire history of the Start Button in Windows with Scott Hanselman. Kent and I give a unique inside perspective as we were the main UX researchers in the earlier days of Windows (3.x and beyond), along with our colleague Jill Rojek. When publicity for Windows 95 was in full swing, a Program Manager named Danny Oran was credited with The Start Button, and Danny was certainly the key player in delivering it to market. However, there was more to the story as the original design came from Mark Malamud, who was in charge of advanced UI in Windows at the time. Kent, Jill, and I were doing the early research that help lead Mark to the design, then subsequent refining of it.  Kent went onto be the User Researcher for Windows for many years, and then also went onto help lead design thinking and training at Microsoft as a whole.

For the full write up, links and more about Scott’s Hanselman’s podcast, visit the episode on his website.

If you need UX consulting and innovative thinking that can help revolutionize your product or product line, Kent and I now freelance with his consultancy Be Curious With Us and also with The SFE Group.


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