Jakob Nielsen


Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former VP of research at Apple Computer). Dr. Nielsen established the "discount usability engineering" movement for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation. He holds 79 United States patents, mainly on ways of making the Internet easier to use.

Jakob Nielsen has been called:

  • "the king of usability" (Internet Magazine)
  • "the guru of Web page usability" (The New York Times)
  • "the next best thing to a true time machine" (USA Today)
  • "the smartest person on the Web" (ZDNet AnchorDesk)
  • "the world's leading expert on Web usability" (U.S. News & World Report)
  • one of the top 10 minds in small business (FORTUNE Small Business)
  • "the world's leading expert on user-friendly design" (Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany)
  • "knows more about what makes Web sites work than anyone else on the planet" (Chicago Tribune)
  • "one of the world's foremost experts in Web usability" (Business Week)
  • "the Web's usability czar" (WebReference.com)
  • "the reigning guru of Web usability" (FORTUNE)
  • "eminent Web usability guru" (CNN)
  • "perhaps the best-known design and usability guru on the Internet" (Financial Times)
  • "the usability Pope" (Wirtschaftswoche Magazine, Germany)
  • "new-media pioneer" (Newsweek)
  • One of the "world's most influential designers" (Businessweek)

Usability Articles

Since 1995, Dr. Nielsen's Alertbox articles on usability topics have been essential reading for usability and user experience professionals. Currently, the Alertbox receives over 12 million page views annually.

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Professional Background

Jakob Nielsen holds a Ph.D. in human–computer interaction (HCI) from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen.

From 1994 to 1998 he was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer. He was hired to make heavy-duty enterprise software easier to use, since large-scale applications had been the focus of most of his projects at the phone company and IBM. But luckily the job definition of a Distinguished Engineer is "you're supposed to be the world's leading expert in your field, so you figure out what would be most important for the company for you to work on." Therefore, Dr. Nielsen ended up spending most of his time at Sun on defining the emerging field of Web usability. He was usability lead for several design rounds of Sun's website and intranet (SunWeb), including the original SunWeb design in 1994.

Dr. Nielsen's earlier affiliations include Bellcore (Bell Communications Research, Morristown, NJ), the IBM User Interface Institute at the T.J. Watson Research Center (Yorktown Heights, NY), the Technical University of Denmark (Copenhagen), and Aarhus University (Århus, Denmark).

Professional journal editorial board memberships: Behaviour & Information Technology, Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, Interacting with Computers, Journal of Usability Studies (JUS), International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia. For each journal, contact the editor-in-chief to submit a manuscript.

In June 2000, Dr. Nielsen was inducted into the Scandinavian Interactive Media Hall of Fame and in April 2006, he was inducted into the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Academy. He was the 2013 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Human–Computer Interaction Practice from SIGCHI, the premiere professional society in the HCI field.


Some profiles and interviews on other sites:

Cover stories and features stories with Jakob Nielsen from the printed press.


Many sites have made fun of me. Here are some of the more funny ones:

See Also

Standard Name Identifiers

Preferred Katakana:  ヤコブ·ニールセン