UPA Member Spotlight: Aaron Marcus Honored for Lifetime Contribution to Forms Design by BFMA
Silvia C. Zimmermann
Silvia C. Zimmermann is the UPA President.
The UPA is pleased to announce that Aaron Marcus, President of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A), Berkeley, California, was selected to receive the Business Forms Management Association's (BFMA) Jo Warner Award honoring his lifetime contributions to the form systems profession. He received his award at the BFMA international conference in San Antonio, TX on 28 April 2009. BFMA serves the healthcare, insurance, financial, and government markets.
Aaron Marcus has been designing forms and specifically computer-generated displays, since 1967, when he became the first graphic designer in the world to work full time with computer graphics systems at AT+T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ. After working as a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, where he helped to design a "million-page book," the first publicly available laser-printed demographics documents based on 1980 US Census data, he started AM+A, one of the first computer-based design and usability evaluation firms in the world, in 1982. One of their first projects was to design one of the first commercial graphical user-interfaces for Intran's Metaform workstation, which controlled Xerox 9700s, an industry workhorse for forms production. Metaform later became part of Xerox's software offerings.
Mr. Marcus's work in designing information visualization (tables, forms, charts, maps, and diagrams) and user interfaces has been used, honored, published, and exhibited worldwide since then. His company has served corporate, startup, and government clients in the healthcare, insurance, financial, telecommunication, education, travel, and government markets for 27 years on more than 300 projects. Mr. Marcus was the first graphic designer ever to be awarded a US Defense Department research grant from its Advanced Research Projects Agency, which helped to create the Internet. His firm designed new documentation standards for the C programming language with proven 20 percent comprehensionimprovement among novice programmers. In 1992, Mr. Marcus helped to co-write the program for and became a founding member of Xerox's DesignNet, an association of information-oriented graphic design firms helping Xerox customers achieve better document design. His company worked on the design of the user interface for the first versions of AOL and Travelocity. Most recently AM+A worked for Kaiser Permanente to improve its online library of medical/healthcare information. Earlier, he designed a prototype of an improved user interface for the hospital information system of Kaiser.
The National Computer Graphics Association awarded Mr. Marcus its Industry Achievement Award in 1992. The International Congress of Graphic Design Associations named him to its Hall of Fame as a Master Graphic Designer of the Twentieth Century in 2000. The American Institute of Graphic Arts named him a Fellow in 2007. The Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction elected him to its highest honor, the CHI Academy in April 2007, the first graphic designer ever elected.
Mr. Marcus has written/co-written seven books and more than 250 publications. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Usability Professionals Association's User Experience, is an Editor of Information Design Journal, and serves on the boards of several other publications and organizations.
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