Human Factors on a Snowy Night

Last month, I had the chance to sit down with Paul Green, professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Institute, to talk about his intersection with the local User Experience scene. It was the first interview for my history project and a good start.

I drove from downtown Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan’s North Campus on a cold January night and found my way to Professor Green’s office. It was crowded with years’ worth of papers, reports, files, and books, with just enough space for him to sit at his desk and a guest to sit next to him.

We talked for about an hour and a half about how he came to UMTRI; about the life cycle of professional organizations (which, as it turns out, is a common theme in these interviews), and the formation of ACM SIGCHI. Professor Green is actually a member of the human factors field, which is an important predecessor to human-computer interaction and, ultimately, user experience, and still a highly relevant field today.

When I left the building, everything was covered in a thick layer of fresh snow glinting in the street lights. It was a long, snowy drive home, but worth it.