I'm Aza Raskin @aza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm VP at Jawbone, focusing on health.

 

Joining Mozilla

Software is too frustrating. There are a lot of choices in today’s computing world — what’s worse, most of them are too complicated. Hundreds of features, dozens of user preferences, unresponsive programs, inscrutable error messages, crowded toolbars, merciless disrespect for the safety of your data; all of these are problems that plague most of today’s software. We, as Humanized, are dedicated to tackling these problems and to making software effortless.

Mozilla is about making the web (which isn’t just the browser!) useful for, and usable by, everyone. Mozilla is in a unique position — not being beholden to any particular technology or the bottom-line — to push the web forward, past the boundaries of the browser, focusing foremost on people. Which is why I am excited and proud to say that we are joining forces with Mozilla to head up the user experience side of Mozilla Labs. We will be working inside the browser, on the browser, outside the browser, and mixing all three. Enso’s coming too.
Desktop apps and web apps are like isolated cities, each with its own customs and infrastructure. Both apps and isolated cities have a lot of needless redundancy. Cities have an excuse: they’re in physically different places and are forced to duplicate a lot of things. Applications don’t have such an excuse—they all share the same hard drive, processor, memory, net connection, and operating system. Yet despite such proximity, for the user, they are still don’t share their features. I mean think about it: even though Google has a great mapping app, you can’t actually insert a map into a Gmail email! What would it mean if we could unite all applications by letting them share infrastructure and customs?

Services and mashups are a start, but their utility is bottle-necked by the creativity of developers. As a user, if you want maps in Gmail, you have to wait until someone else implements them. I want to place the power of services and mashups into the hands of mothers and their non-programming teenage sons. I want to be able to use the features from one web app, in any other web app, without a developer having to think of my use-case first.

Towards this end, we made Enso entirely free (yes, we are thinking about open source as well). This is our first step in helping the ideas behind Enso — the linguistic command line and universal access to services — ubiquitous.

The next couple of months are going to be a transition period for us, as we work on charting the course for former Humanized projects in the Mozilla world.

It’s time to make computers fundamentally a better place. It’s time to make software less frustrating.

RT @aza Joining Mozilla | Follow @aza on Twitter | All blog posts

View all 77 comments


First, Congratulations! Second, the idea that interfaces are adaptable and dynamic enough to deal with situations at hand even if an interface designer hasn’t thought of the use case before is _really_ important. It’s perhaps one of the biggest problems with interface design today. Since the best part of the Web 2.0 boom is the proliferation of open APIs and services for doing these things in a progromatic way, it seems like working at a place like Mozilla is the best opportunity to develop functionality like this in the current world of computing. Good luck at Mozilla, and make computers less painful. :)


Huge congrats! I couldn’t think of a better place for you guys to have a big influence on the whole internet. It’s great that your work has been so noticed and appreciated.


Congrats. The direction Mozilla Labs has taken in the last few months shows a lot of promise. Very exciting stuff.



Bastian Flinspach

Congratulations!
I hope you will also take on the task of a better Interface for Thunderbird, because in my opinion, desktop email programs could learn a lot from say, for example, gmail.



fin

Thank you for the free enso and good luck with the new effort.
I wish your contributions to mozilla come fast to the end products.


Good News for me, as I’m an enthusiastic Enso user (and Firefox)! Great, Great and Great (again)!!!


Congrats! You don’t know how jealous I am. :)

Since Firefox is open-source, will we be able to follow your work directly, too, and maybe add our input?


Wow! That could mean some insanely great stuff if Mozilla becomes Humanized.

Imagine every copy of firefox also being or bringing Enso. Imagine if web-sites could define new Enso services / plugins simply by embedding a descriptive chunk of XML in a page or on their site – (with the real work either being done in Javascript running locally or on the server).

Imagine Enso as a standard command line to the web …


Congrats! I was so excited when I heard the news. I think that finally browsers may go somewhere and not just be a front-end for viewing web pages. Browsers are designed as “good old” desktop apps but that’s not what they should be. They should drive innovation.

Good luck to you all!


Fantastic news! I’m really looking forward to the possibilities. :-)


Right on! Now I don’t have to write that firefox plugin to act like Enso.

Here’s to making the web a better place!
Congrats!



Charlie Evett

Brilliant! I think this is a great direction for the Humanized team to take. Good Luck!



Steve Rice

How about releasing the next version of enso before you go!


This is fantastically exciting news, and congratulations!

I wonder if you would be willing to open up some of your thinking r.e. open source for Enso – like, what are the pros and cons, etc.?


Wow. Congrats to *Mozilla* :-). A humanized browser could only mean greatness. Also, I would LOVE to see Enso open sourced. Good luck guys.


Congratulations!

I just discovered your ideas & products a few days ago…

Now I see this post, I think you share a lot of things with my point of view about how web and desktop applications are not interconnected. And how poeple missuse these concepts all the time.

The applications are pieces should be put together, but rightnow we are not designing them to accomplish that.

I will contact you when my first semantic ui see the light ;)

Good luck in Mozilla guys!


Congratulations! All those constructive critiques of Firefox seem to have produced some interesting fruit, indeed. I look forward to seeing what you guys produce.


Despite all the euphoria, I’m kinda sad that Humanized didn’t make it on their own.

And I’m nervous that the people at Mozilla implementing Mr Raskin’s designs might pollute them by adding their own “enhancements”.

Nevertheless, the extra resources may be liberating and I wish you the best of luck.



Scott Stuckey

I hate to sound like the sole dissenter. I have been a rabid Enso/Humanized fan and have coerced many users to adopt Enso technology and become Humanized customers.

I just fear that, like many other companies, products and even employees, the mindset will become:
“…lets go in this direction – do a little of everything pretty good and not target doing one thing with excellence.”

The world seems to work on the unwritten law – “Better, faster, easier, cheaper – but you can only have 3 of the 4.”
“Freedom/cheaper” usually comes at a cost.

Example – Look at the watering down of “DEFINE” It used to give a definition on a transparent screen for my reference (and possibly use “PUT”). Now it opens a new browser window that I have to cut and paste (no put) and then “CLOSE/ALT F4″. More steps. How is this more humane?

Because it’s smaller or free seems to fly in the face of Humanized’s first blogs and philosophies.

I hope that development continues but I think we have been warned in Global Corporate Speak – “The next couple of months are going to be a TRANSITION period for us, as we work on charting the course for FORMER Humanized projects in the Mozilla world” {my emphasis}.



Ian

Congratulations!. I sincerely cant wait to see the results, the potential change you can make is huge.

Please set Enso FREE; for real this time.



Andreas

It leaves me rather sad. I’m a convinced user and have seen Enso as the ultimate acid test of usability vs. marketability: Can a product whose *only* feature is usability become an economic success and sustain itself? Or will projects like this always have to sustained by funding (or other cross-financing like book revenues, consulting fees, etc)?

If Enso had become an economic success, I would have welcomed this as a sign for a long-awaited paradigm shift. This is a blow for those of us who want to convince management that usability is not some fluffy academic thingy, but that you can really *sell* usability.



Stephen Wooten

I mean, this might be newsworthy enough to entitle you to a free iced-grande-easy-mocha-extra-ice-mocha or a venti extra diabetes whatever! Keep up the hard work!



Chris Benz

Cool move! I’ve been an Enso-lover since day one. I bought it and I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. If you bring the same dedication and insight to Mozilla Labs that you brought to Enso, you’re going to make a lot of frustrated non-geeks very happy. That observation about being able to put a Google map in a gmail message hit me where I live.



anonymous

awesome


thnks
goooooooooooood
min:)


I like such topics


Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


article is very nice and unique. thank you. Artikel kesehatan cari tahu tentang Cara mengobati cacar air


I like to share understanding that I’ve accrued through the 12 months
to assist enhance group efficiency.


Thank you for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about and want to learn more about this topic. If possible, as you gain experience, would you mind updating your blog take with more information? It is extremely useful for me.


I love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always new things that come of it


I admit, I have not been to the site in a long time. however it was another pleasure to look at it is, even professionals important topic and ignored by a lot like that. I thank you for helping to make people more aware of the possible issueExcellent things as typical.


I am very satisfied with this post you have given us. This is really good work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts


Most powerful, just give it a colleague who was doing a little research this. And he actually bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him . . smile. So let me rephrase that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about and want to learn more about this topic. If achievable, as you become experience, would you mind updating your blog with extra details? Which in turn is very useful for me. Big thumbs up for this blog put up!


In fact, I learned about all this, but with that in mind, I think it is still useful. Good work!


Hello I found your blog by mistake when i was searching AOL for this subject, I must tell you that your blog is really helpful I also love the design, which is great that!


With the whole thing that seems to be developing within subjects, all scenes are generally quite refreshing. Even so, I apologize, but I can not subscribe to the whole plan, all be it exhilarating nonetheless. Looks like all your opinions are generally not completely justified and in reality you are generally yourself not really fully convinced of the argument. In any case, I do not appreciate a look.


I see you put a lot of work on this site! Keep writing!


Although I am not a noob in the website industry, your site is really unique and has some useful ideas. Enjoy it fully! I ll put on my blogroll I think it will give more value to visitors.


An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I think you should write extra on this subject, it will not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to talk about these issues. To the next. Hail


I was impressed with the quality of information on this site. There are many great resources here. I am sure I will visit this place soon.


This is a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a major resource for free. I really loved reading your post. Thank you!


Super blog post, I count on updates by you.


I was very encouraged to find this site. I want to thank you for this special read. I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I ve marked you to check out new stuff you write.


Finally, an issue that I want. I have looked for information of this caliber for several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.


Thank you for another essential article. Where else can you get this kind of information to write full way? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.


The beauty of these blogging engines and CMS platforms is the lack of limitations and ease of manipulation that allows developers to implement rich content and skin the site in such a way that with very little effort never see why the site tick all without limiting the content and efficiency.


This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much it s almost hard to argue with you (not that I really want . haha). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written over the years. Great stuff, just great!


This is a smart blog. Really. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. It has a design here that s not too flashy, but makes as big as what you say statement. Great job, in fact.


What you say is absolutely true. I know that everybody must say the same, but I think you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit well with what you re saying. I m sure you will reach so many people with what you say.


This is my first time I visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the fun here! Keep up the good work.


Aw, this was a message that was really good. In theory I d like to write like this too taking time and real effort to make a good article . but what can I say . I procrastinate a lot and never seem to do something.


Far, this post is very sweet on this important topic. I am in harmony with the conclusions and are eagerly waiting for the update entry. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Wonderful work and much success in your business! Please excuse my poor English as it is not my first language.


Let me start by saying beautiful message. Not sure if this has been discussed about, but when using Chrome I can never get the entire site to load without refreshing many times. May be my computer. Thank you.


I can see you put a lot of effort into your blog. Keep posting the good work. Some really helpful information there. Bookmark. Nice to see your site. Thank you!


Great stuff from you, man. I ve read your stuff before and you are too superb. I love what you ve got here, love what you say and how you say it. You make it entertaining and can still stay smart. I can not wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.


No? U better written. Reading this post reminds me of my old roommate! He was always talking about it. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that the most useful.


Great post! I m just beginning in community management communication marketing and trying to learn how to do it well resources like this article useful. As our company is based in the U. S. , it? S all a bit new to us. The example above is something that worries me as well, how to show your own enthusiasm and share the fact that your product is useful in this regard


Hrmm that s weird, my comment ate. However, I would say it is good to know that someone else also mentioned this as I have trouble finding the same information elsewhere. This was the first place that gave me the answer. Thank you.


Hey, just looking around some blogs, seems a very good platform you are using. I m currently using WordPress for some of my sites but looking to change one of them similar to yours as a test platform. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?


With the whole thing that seems to be building within this subject matter, all your viewpoints are generally somewhat refreshing. Even so, I appologize, but I can not subscribe to your entire plan, all be it exhilarating none the less. It appears to everybody that your opinions are generally not completely justified and in actuality you are generally your self not really wholly confident of the argument. In any event I did appreciate examining it.


I see you put a lot of work in this site! Keep writing!


Although I am no noob in the website industry, your site really is something different and features some helpful thoughts. Enjoying it to the fullest! I ll incorporate you in my blogroll, i think it will provide more value to my visitors.


An fascinating dialogue is worth comment. I feel that you must write extra on this topic, it won t be a taboo subject but usually people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers


Super blog post, I count on updates by you.


The beauty of these blogging engines and CMS platforms is the lack of limitations and ease of manipulation that allows developers to implement rich content and skin the site in such a way that with very little effort one would never notice what it is making the site tick all without limiting content and effectiveness.


This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want. HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!


“%KW%”


Interesting topic for a blog. I have searched the Internet for fun and came acrosas your website. Fantastic post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! It s good to see that some people still put effort into managing their websites. I will make sure


This post is quite interesting. I really never thought I could have a good read aby this time until I found this site. I am grateful also very well written given. your information. Thanks to both post. From ton comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the fun here! Keep up the good work.


I admit, I have not been to the site in a long time. however it was another pleaasure to look at it is, even professionals important topic and ignored by a lot like that. I thank you for helping to make people more aware of the possible issueExcellent things as typical.


That fantabulous post this has been. Seen in this type associated with usefual post method. I thank you and hope more associated with posts such as. Much obliged.


Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I raeally enjoyed reading your blog. Either way I subscribe to your feed and I hope you post again soon.


Have you ever considered adding video to your blog to keep the audience moare entertained? I mean, I just read the whole article of your and it was quite good but since I m more of a visual learner, I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out! I love what you guys are always up too. The clever work and reporting! Keep up the good work I have added you to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information . . I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.


A sales video can be used to give a completely new definition to the website of your company,
making it more attractive as well as interactive. * Privacy:
Unlike working out in a gym, videos give you total privacy.
Note: Windows Movie Maker needs external codec to decode mp4,
xvid and mpeg2 video.


Hello. Great job. I did not anticipate this. This is a fantastic story. Thanks!


Leave a Comment