Jeffrey Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson

Assistant Professor

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4609 Harney Science Center 440I


After earning BA and PhD degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, Professor Johnson worked as a UI designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s he was chair of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. He has taught at Stanford University, Mills College, and in 2006 and 2013 taught HCI as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Since 2004 he has served on the SIGCHI Public Policy Committee. In 2013 he presented in the prestigious Authors@Google talk series. He is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy and in 2016 received SIGCHI's Lifetime Achievement in Practice Award. He has authored or co-authored many articles and chapters on human-computer interaction, as well as the books GUI Bloopers, Web Bloopers, GUI Bloopers 2.0, Designing with the Mind in Mind, Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (with Austin Henderson), Designing with the Mind in Mind 2nd edition, Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population (with Kate Finn), and Designing with the Mind in Mind 3rd edition.

ACM SIGCHI Awards Committee, 2017-present
ACM SIGCHI U.S. Public Policy Committee, 2004-present
Heidelberg Laureate Forum Young Researcher Selection Committee, 2017-2020
Board Chair, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, 1990-93
Member, USF Multidisciplinary Committee on Aging
PhD, Psychology (developmental, experimental), Stanford University
BA, Psychology (experimental), Yale University
Visiting Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, Christchurch New Zealand
Adjunct Professor, Mills College
Adjunct Professor, Stanford University
President and Principal Consultant, UI Wizards, Inc.
Computer Science
Cognitive/Perceptual Psychology
Selected Publications

Johnson, J., Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines, 3rd edition, 2020, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Johnson, J., Hastak, M., Jansen, J., Ravel, D. "Analyzing Advertising Labels: Testing Consumers' Recognition of Paid Content Online", Proceedings of ACM CHI'18, paper LBW517, doi: 10.1145/3170427.3188533.

Johnson, J., Finn, K. Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population: Towards Universal Design, 2017, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Lazar, J., ..., Johnson, J., et al (2015). Human-Computer Interaction and International Public Policymaking: A Framework for Understanding and Taking Future Actions. Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, 9(2), 69-149.

Johnson, J., "See the Change. Or Not.", Elsevier SciTech connect, April 2015, Elsevier.

Johnson, J., Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines, 2nd edition, 2014, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Finn, K. and Johnson, J. "A Usability Study of Websites for Older Travelers", Proceedings of HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, NV, July 2013.

Johnson, J. "Can Computer Professionals and Digital Technology Engineers Help Reduce Gun Violence?", Communications of the ACM, Volume 56, Issue 3, March 2013, pp. 35-37.

Johnson, J., Henderson, D.A. "Conceptual Models in a Nutshell", Boxes and Arrows, Volume 7, Jan 22 2012.

Johnson, J., Henderson, D.A. "Usability of Interactive Systems: It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better", Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, May 2012, pp. 88-93.

Johnson, J., Henderson, D.A. Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design, 2011, Morgan & Claypool, Publishers.

Johnson, J., "Updating Our Understanding of Perception and Cognition: Part II", UX Matters, Aug 9, 2010.

Johnson, J., "Updating Our Understanding of Perception and Cognition: Part I", UX Matters, July 5, 2010.

Johnson, J., Lazar, J., "E-government: services for everyone, everywhere, eventually", Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI 2010).

Johnson, J., Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules, 2010, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Molich, R., Hornbaek, K., Krug, S., Scott, J., and Johnson, J., "Recommendations on Recommendations: Making Usability Usable", User Experience, 7 (4), Nov-Dec 2008, pages 26-30.

Johnson, J. "Web Usability in 2008: Mediocre" (PDF), Proceedings of Usability Professionals 2008 Conference (UPA 2008), Baltimore, MD.

Johnson, J., "GUI Bloopers: Common Interface Blunders and How to Avoid Them", Software Test & Performance, 4 (12), December 2007, pages 22-26.

Johnson, J., GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don'ts and Dos, September 2007, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Lazar, J., Hochheiser, H., Johnson, J., Karat, C.M., Bederson, B., "CHI policy issues around the world", Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI 2007).

Jarrett, C., Chisnell, D., and Johnson, J., "Usability Testing Then, Now, and Tomorrow", Proceedings of Society for Technical Communication 2005 Conference (STC 2005).

Lazar, J., Johnson, J., and Hochheiser, H. "Policy at the Interface: HCI and Public Policy", Interactions, 12 (6), Nov-Dec 2005, pp 13-14.

Lazar, J., Bederson, B., Hochheiser, H., Johnson, J., Karat, C.M., "Making an impact in your community: HCI and US public policy", Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI 2005).

Johnson, J., Marshall, C. "Convergent Usability Evaluation: A Case Study from the EIRS Project", Proceedings of ACM CHI2005. [Revised version with additional co-author Erik Nilsson published as CPSR Working Paper 3.]

Johnson, J., "The Web: Not Ready for Prime Time?", JavaRanch Journal, Nov 2003, Java Ranch.

Johnson, J., Web Bloopers: 60 Common Web Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, 2003, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Nardi, B., Whittaker, S., Isaacs, E., Creech, M., Johnson, J., and Hainsworth, J. "Integrating Communication and Information Through ContactMap", Communications of the ACM, pages 89-95, April 2002. [Also available at]

Johnson, J., Henderson, D.A. "Conceptual Models: Begin by Designing What to Design", Interactions, Jan-Feb 2002, 9(1), pages 25-32.

Clement, A., Guerra, R., Johnson, J. and Stalder, F., "National Identification Schemes (NIDS): A Remedy Against Terrorist Attack?", in Brunnstein, K. & Berleur, J. (editors), Human Choice and Computers: Issues of Choice and Quality of Life in the Information Society, IFIP 17, World Computer Congress, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 2002, pp 195-205. [Also published as Clement, A., Stalder, F., Johnson, J., Guerra, R. "National Identification Schemes (NIDS) and the Fight against Terrorism: Frequently Asked Questions", CPSR Journal, Winter 2002.]

Johnson, J., "Walking the Fine Line between Helpful and Harmful", Software Testing and Quality Engineering, September 2001, pages 12-14.

Johnson, J., "GUI Bloopers: How NOT to Design Software", Usability Interface, October 2000, 7(2), pages 6-7.

Johnson, J., "Textual Bloopers", Interactions, September 2000, 7(5), pages 28-48.

Johnson, J., GUI Bloopers: DON'Ts and DO's for Software Developers and Web Designers, March 2000, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Johnson, J., "Netiquette Training: Whose Responsibility?", CPSR Newsletter, Summer 1998.

Johnson, J., "Simplifying the Controls of an Interactive Movie Game", Proceedings of ACM CHI'98, pages 65-72.

Johnson, J., "Universal Access to the Net: Requirements and Social Impact", Invited talk for ACM CHI'97, March 1997, Atlanta, GA.

Johnson, J. "R<->D, Not R&D", Communications of the ACM, September, 1996, pages 32-34.

Johnson, J. and Nardi. B., "Creating Presentation Slides: A Study of Task-Specific vs. Generic Application Software", ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, March, 1996, 3(1), pages 38-65.

Johnson, J., "The Information Highway from Hell: A Worst-Case Scenario",Communications of the ACM, February, 1996, 39(2), pages 15-17. [Also published in shorter form in Electronic Engineering Times, August 28, 1995.]

Johnson, J. and Jeffries, R., "Intuitive Statistics for CHI Practitioners: Developing Understanding and Avoiding Bloopers", ACM CHI'95 Tutorial Notes.

Johnson, J., "A Comparison of User Interfaces for Panning on a Touch-Controlled Display", Proceedings of ACM CHI'95, pages 218-225.

Johnson, J., "Scenarios of People Using the National Information Infrastructure", CPSR Newsletter, Fall 1994.

Nardi, B. and Johnson, J., "User Preferences for Task-Specific vs. Generic Application Software", Proceedings of ACM CHI'94, pages 392-398.

Johnson, J., Nardi, B., Zarmer, C., and Miller, J., "ACE: A New Approach to Building Interactive Graphical Applications", Communications of the ACM, April 1993, pages 41-55. [Also published as HP Labs Technical Report HPL-92-126.]

Johnson, J. and Pine, E., "Toward a Guide to Social Action for Computer Professionals", ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, January, 1993.

Johnson, J., "Selectors: Going Beyond User-Interface Widgets", Proceedings of ACM CHI'92, pages 273-279. [Also published as HP Labs Technical Report HPL-92-28.]

Zarmer, C., Nardi, B., Johnson. J., and Miller, J., "ACE: Zen and the Art of Application Building", Proceedings of HICSS'92. [Also published as HP Labs Technical Report HPL-91-146.]

Zarmer, C. and Johnson, J., "User Interface Tools: Past, Present, and Future Trends", HP Labs Technical Report HPL-90-20.

Johnson, J., "Effect of Modes and Mode Feedback on Performance in a Simple Computer Task", HP Labs Technical Report HPL-91-167, 1991.

Duis, D. and Johnson, J., "Improving User-Interface Responsiveness Despite Performance Limitations", Proceedings of IEEE CompCon'90, February 1990, pages 380-386.

Johnson, J., "Modes in Non-Computer Devices", International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 32, 1990, pages 423-438.

Johnson, J., Roberts, T., Verplank, W., Smith, D.C., Irby, C., Beard, M., and Mackey, K., "The Xerox Star: A Retrospective", IEEE Computer, September, 1989, pages 11-29.

Johnson, J. and Engelbeck, G., "Modes Survey Results", SIGCHI Bulletin, April 1989, pages 38-50.

Johnson, J. and Beach, R., "Styles in Document Editing Systems", IEEE Computer, January 1988, 21(1), pages 32-43.

Johnson, J., "How Faithfully Should the Electronic Office Simulate the Real One", SIGCHI Bulletin, July 1987, pages 21-25.

Johnson, J., "Calculator Functions on Bitmapped Computers", SIGCHI Bulletin, July 1985, pages 23-28.

Awards & Distinctions

Named an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Distinguished Member, 2019

Recipient of ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016

Elected to ACM SIGCHI Academy, January 2014

Erskine Fellow, Computer Science and Software Engineering Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2013

Distinguished Speaker, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2011-2014

Erskine Fellow, Computer Science and Software Engineering Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2006