Interface Design and Development (1993 – present)
Theo founded Interface Design and Development (IDD) in 1993 to provide comprehensive consulting, education, and seminars on software and Web user experience (UX) design and usability. Theo’s 20 years of experience in UX design, user interface architecture and usability testing, has made him a well-know and well-respected consultant.
Startup Co-founder (1999 – present)
Mandel co-founded CoolHotNot in 2008 with long-time friend and fellow IBMer, David Whittle. CoolHotNot will be a membership web site that fully exploits the power of social media to facilitate the sharing of real-life, personal product experience in a creative new way that lets members define the recommendations they get by category or keyword, according to the friends and experts they choose.
Read more about CoolHotNot’s history
Theo also co-founded ReCare, a Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software company, in 1999. ReCare was one of the first touchscreen, tablet-based EMRs to be developed and was based on a real-world graphical user interface for healthcare providers. The company is now called Catalis.
IBM (1982 – 1993)
Human factors and product usability became critical to the computer hardware and software industry in the early 1980’s. After completing his M.A. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Mandel joined IBM Austin in 1982 and worked for 11 years in the areas of software interface architecture, product interface design, usability testing, consulting, and education.
Mandel pioneered research and design of GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and OOUIs (Object-Oriented User Interfaces) as part of the IBM Common User Access (CUA) group. This group designed the leading-edge object-oriented IBM OS/2 operating system user interface. Dr. Mandel worked closely with key industry vendors (Microsoft, Lotus, and other IBM partners) to define and implement software interface architecture and guidelines for Microsoft Windows and IBM’s OS/2.
User Experience and Usability Education
Dr. Mandel developed and taught courses and seminars on graphical- and object-oriented user interface design, Web design, user experience and usability. He taught a short course for the University of Texas Computer Science department. At IBM, he was part of the corporate technical education division. He conducted onsite classroom education world-wide as well as TV and satellite education courses. He has presented workshops, tutorials and seminars at major industry conferences such as User eXperience Russia, Seybold Seminars and international Web conference.
Author of a number of publications and books, Dr. Mandel’s latest book is The Elements of User Interface Design (John Wiley & Sons, 1997). Due to popular demand, the book was translated into Russian. The book was hailed as a popular practitioner’s guide and academic course textbook.
His first book was The GUI-OOUI War: The Designer’s Guide to Human-Computer Interfaces (John Wiley & Sons, 1994).
Mandel was also part of the IBM CUA team that wrote Object-Oriented Interface Design: IBM Common User Access Guidelines (QUE, 1992).
View Mandel’s books page
Dr. Mandel received his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. There he conducted research on how people learn, remember, and read. Both his Master’s thesis and Doctoral dissertation researched the role of eye movements in reading comprehension. He worked under Dr. Walter Kintsch, an internationally recognized leader in reading research. As Mandel was completing his academic work, the computer industry began to realize it was important to learn more about the humans who use computers. He was awarded an internship in Human Factors and Usability at IBM Boulder where he worked on IBM printer design and documentation.
“In many respects he led the pack in user interface research, and we all owe a great deal to his groundbreaking research in eye movements and reading comprehension in the 1980s,” says Interface Guru™ CEO Cia Romano.
Dr. Mandel is an active member of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), where Theo is the President of the Arizona UXPA Chapter. Mandel is also an active member of the Arizona Internet Professionals Association (AZIPA) and the Rocky Mountain Internet Users’ Group (RMIUG).
The UXPA spearheads World Usability Day each year. The goal of World Usability Day is to promote the fields of user experience design, usability engineering and user-centered design. UXPA professionals do this by encouraging, organizing, and sponsoring activities at the local level around the globe, occurring each year in November. Mandel has organized a highly successful WUD event in Phoenix for the past 7 years. More information will be available on Theo’s home page.