Google, Mountain View, CA

Senior Staff, User Experience Research, 2014 - present

Studying user needs for cross-device, distributed, secure applications to inform the design of a new application development platform.

Eureka Photo Design, San Jose, CA

Freelance photographer and digital artist, 2002 - present

Creating stock photos and designing composite images. Photos are sold through stock photo sites including Alamy, Age Fotostock, and World of Stock.

Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Palo Alto, CA

Principal Scientist, 2008 - 2014

Played a leadership role in generating and exploring ideas for technology based on observations of human behavior, designing prototype technology to support human activity, and studying the use of technology to understand its role in people's lives. Projects included ethnographic studies of mobile communication, mobile information retrieval, nursing, urban parking, and parking enforcement; and the design of mobile, tablet, and desktop applications for home automation, information visualization of a large document set, and nursing.

Izix Consulting, Bay Area, CA

Freelance user experience designer and researcher, 2002 - 2007

Activities included developing user models, designing user interfaces, working with product management and engineering to ensure that designs meet customer requirements and implementation contraints, collaborating with other designers to coordinate the design of large projects, writing UI specifications, researching user needs, conducting use studies and field evaluations to refine the design. Clients include Palo Alto Research Company (PARC), Intuit, Oracle, Sigaba, and Creative Training Solutions. Projects included a location-based mobile recommender system (mobile phone), a graphical layout tool (Mac), an integrated collaboration suite (Windows), a secure instant messenger (Windows), and an online training application with video and audio content (Web).

AT&T Labs, Menlo Park, CA

Technology Design Leader, 1999 - 2002

Led a small team using a user-centered design approach to build innovative and usable technology focused on communication and collaboration. Designed a mobile instant messenger called Hubbub that focuses on providing rich presence awareness cues to help distributed colleagues, friends, and family members stay in touch and collaborate more effectively as they move around. Co-authored the book, Designing From Both Sides of the Screen: How Designers & Engineers Can Collaborate to Build Cooperative Products with software engineer Alan Walendowski. Conducted a detailed analysis of instant messaging usage in the workplace based on thousand of IM conversations in Hubbub. Studied teenagers' use and sharing of photos.

Excite, Inc., Redwood City, CA

Director of Design and Production, 1998 - 1999

Ran a 35-person department responsible for the design and production engineering of Excite's domestic and international Web pages. Developed a process that enabled us to smoothly handle an ongoing queue of requests from across the company and turn them around in a matter of days and sometimes hours. After a company-wide reorganization, ran the Commerce design and production team, responsible for the design of the Excite shopping site, which offered many products from multiple merchants.

Electric Communities, Cupertino, CA

Director of Engineering, 1997 - 1998

In October 1997, moved from UI design to engineering management, handling schedules and project management tasks. In November, became Co-Director of Engineering and in February 1998, became the Director, managing 35 developers and testers. Primary responsibilities included setting strategic direction, managing engineering projects, coordinating with other departments, handling personnel issues, managing resources, and communicating vertically and horizontally.

Principal User Interface Designer, 1996 - 1997

Responsible for the entire user interface design of Microcosm, EC's Java-based on-line graphical virtual world. Microcosm was a large consumer-oriented collaborative application with a complex feature set. Designing a UI involved developing a language for both the in-world avatar-based interactions and the out-of-world user-based tools. Played a central role in defining the feature set, collaborated with the engineers and artists to specify an implementable user interface (documented in a 100-page User Interface Specification), conducted usability testing, and iterated on the design over the course of development.

Sun Microsystems, Inc., Mountain View, CA

Human Interface Engineer, Collaborative Computing, 1993 - 1996

Designed user interfaces for and studied the use of multimedia-based tools that enabled distributed groups to collaborate and communicate. Main projects included: a desktop video conferencing system, a tool to support video-based talks and presentations over the network (Forum), and a system that enabled members of a large, distributed community to remain aware of other people and to easily contact others for planned and spontaneous interactions (Piazza).

Human Interface Engineer, Human Factors Engineering, 1990 - 1993

Conducted task analyses, interviewed customers, wrote competitive reviews, developed user models, designed user interfaces and conducted usability tests. Products included end user productivity tools (mail, calendar, address book), multimedia applications (video conferencing, phone, audio editing), tools for device administration, GUI development tools, and multimedia on-line help.

Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Consultant, 1987 - 1988

Conducted a "Wizard of Oz" experiment to test the use of speech as an input mechanism to a medical expert system. Focused on the handling of misunderstandings and errors.

Stamford Advocate, Stamford, CT

Business Reporter, 1983 - 1984

The New York Times Washington Bureau, Washington, DC

Clerk, 1982 - 1983


Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1989

Studied language use in conversation with Dr. Herbert H. Clark

BS Psychology; BA Semiotics, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1982

Graduate, Rocky Mountain School of Photography, Missoula, MT, 2003

Sixteen-week intensive study of all aspects of photography and digital imaging.


US Patent #20140022940 (2013, pending), Systems and Methods for Networking Consumer Devices

US Patent #20140085109 (2013, pending), Computer-Implemented System and Method for Managing Interchangeable Parking Spaces

US Patent #20140085109 (2013, pending), Computer-Implemented System and Method for Providing Just-In-Time Loading Zone Parking

US Patent #8610597 (2013), Computer-Implemented System and Method for Hands-Free Tagging and Reserving of Parking Spaces

US Patent #7996527 (2011), System, Method, and Apparatus for Playing a Sound Identifier Based on Connection Status

US Patent #7454470 (2008), System, Method, and Apparatus for Analyzing Communciations

US Patent #7043530 (2006), System, Method, and Apparatus for Communicating Via Instant Messaging

US Patent #6988248 (2006), Animated Indicators that Reflect Function Activity or State of Objects, Data, or Processes

US Patent #6760754 (2004), System, Method, and Apparatus for Communicating Via Sound Messages and Personal Sound Identifiers

US Patent #6832245 (2004), System and Method for Analyzing Communications of User Messages to Rank Users and Contacts Based on Message Content

US Patent #5960173 (1999), System and Method Enabling Awareness of Others Working on Similar Tasks in a Computer Work Environment

US Patent #5793365 (1998), System and Method Providing a Computer User Interface Enabling Access to Distributed Workgroup Members


Isaacs, E., Domico, K., Ahern, S., Bart, E., & Singhal, M., (2014). Footprints: A Visual Search Tool that Supports Discovery and Coverage Tracking, Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Paris, France. IEEE.

Isaacs, E., Konrad, A., Walendowski, A., Lenning, T., Hollis, V. & Whittaker, S. (2013). Echoes From the Past: How Technology Mediated Reflection Improves Well-Being [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Paris, France. ACM Press.

Isaacs, E. & Szymanski, M. (2013). The Value of Rapid Ethnography [PDF], Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments, Jordan, B. (Ed)., Left Coast Press, 92-107

Isaacs, E. (2013). Capturing Mobile Telepresence Through Logging and Video Shadowing: A Two-Phase Study Design [PDF], Field Methods, Sage Press.

Isaacs, E., Szymanski, M., Yamauchi, Y., Glasnapp, J., & Iwamoto, K, (2012). Integrating Local and Remote Worlds Through Channel Blending [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) '12, Seattle, WA: ACM Press.

Glasnapp, J. & Isaacs, E. (2011). No More Circling Around the Block: Evolving a Rapid Ethnographic and Podcasting Method to Guide Innovation in Parking Systems [PDF], Proceedings of Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) '11, Boulder, CO.

Barash, V., Ducheneaut, N., Isaacs, E., & Bellotti, V. (2010). Faceplant: Impression (Mis)management in Facebook Status Updates [PDF], Proceedings of Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM) '10, Washington, DC.

Isaacs, E., Yee, N., Schiano, D., Good, N., Ducheneaut, N., & Bellotti, V. (2009) Mobile Microwaiting Moments: The Role of Context in Receptivity to Content While on the Go [PDF], PARC white paper.

Bellotti, V., Begole, B., Chi, E., Ducheneaut, N., Fang, J., Isaacs, E., King, T., Newman, M., Partridge, K., Price, B., Rasmussen, P., Roberts, M. Schiano, D., and Walendowski, A., (2008). Activity-Based Serendipitous Recommendations with the Magitti Mobile Leisure Guide [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) '08, Florence, Italy, 1157-1166.

Isaacs, E., Bellotti, V., Walendowski, A., Ducheneaut, N. & Newman, M. (2008). A Field Evaluation of the User Experience of a Mobile Recommender of Leisure Activities [PDF], PARC white paper.

Whittaker, S., Jones, Q., Nardi, B., Creech, M., Terveen, L., Isaacs, E., & Hainsworth, J., (2004). ContactMap: Using Personal Social Networks to Organize Communciation in a Social Desktop [PDF], Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 445-471.

Isaacs, E., Walendowski, A., Whittaker, S., Schiano, D.J., & Kamm, C., (2002). The Character, Functions, and Styles of Instant Messaging in the Workplace [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) '02, New Orleans, LA: ACM Press, 11-22.

Isaacs, E., Walendowski, A., and Ranganathan, D., (2002). Hubbub: A sound-enhanced mobile instant messenger that supports awareness and opportunistic interactions [PDF],Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) '02, Minneapolis, MN: ACM Press, 179-186.

Nardi, B.A., Whittaker, S., Isaacs, E., Creech, M., Johnson, J., & Hainsworth, J., (April, 2002) Integrating Communication and Information Through ContactMap [PDF], Communications of the ACM, Vol. 45, No. 4, New York: ACM Press, 89-95.

Isaacs, E. & Walendowski, A. (2001) Designing From Both Sides of the Screen: How Designers and Engineers Can Collaborate to Build Cooperative Technology. New Riders.

Isaacs, E., Walendowski, A., and Ranganathan, D., (2001). Hubbub: A wireless instant messenger that uses earcons for awareness and for 'sound instant messages,' Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)'01, Seattle, WA: ACM Press. (Paper accompanying formal demo).

Isaacs, E. (1998) Sharing a Leadership Role in a Collaborative Team [PDF], interactions magazine, July-August, 1998, 11-16. (Article on managing at Electric Communities as part of a collaborative team.)

Isaacs, E. (1998) Microcosm: Support for Virtual Commmunities via an Online Graphical Environment [PDF],Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)'98, Los Angeles, CA: ACM Press, 5-6.

Isaacs, E., Whittaker, S., Frohlich, D. & O'Conaill, B. (1997). Informal Communication Re-examined: New Functions For Video in Supporting Opportunistic Encounters [PDF], Video-Mediated Communication, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 459-485.

Isaacs, E. & Tang, J. (1997) Studying Video-Based Collaboration in Context: From Small Workgroups to Large Organizations [PDF], Video-Mediated Communication, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 173-197.

Whittaker, S., Isaacs, E. & O'Day, V. (1996) Widening the Net: The Theory and Practice of Physical and Network Communities, SIGGroup Bulletin, ACM Press, 18 (1), 27-32

Isaacs, E., Tang, J., & Morris, T. (1996) Piazza: A Desktop Environment Supporting Serendipitous and Planned Interactions [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) '96, Boston, MA, 315-324.

Isaacs, E. (1996), Interviewing Customers: Discovering What They Can't Tell You [PDF}, Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)'96, Boston, MA: ACM Press, 378-379.

Isaacs, E. & Tang, J. (1996) Technology Transfer: So Much Research, So Few Good Products [PDF], Communications of the ACM, 39: 9, New York: ACM Press, 22-25.

Isaacs, E. & Tang, J. (1996) Why Don't More Non-North-American Papers Get Accepted to CHI? [PDF], SIGCHI Bulletin, 28: 1, 59-65.

Isaacs, E., Morris, T., Rodriguez, T., & Tang, J. (1995) A Comparison of Face-to-face and Distributed Presentations [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI '95), Denver, CO, 354-361.

Isaacs, E., Morris, T. & Rodriguez, T. (1995) Lessons Learned from a Successful Collaboration Between Software Engineers and Human Interface Engineers, Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction, 896, 232-240. Earlier version in Proceedings of the Workshop on Software Engineering/Computer-Human Interaction, Sorrento, Italy, May '94, 119-121.

Isaacs, E. (1995) Gender Discrimination in the Workplace: A Literature Review [PDF], Communications of the ACM, Special issue on Women in Computing, 38:1, 58-59.

Isaacs, E., Morris, T. & Rodriguez, T. (1994). A Forum for Supporting Interactive Presentations to Distributed Audiences [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW '94), Chapel Hill, NC, 405-416.

Tang, J.C., Isaacs, E. & Rua, M. (1994). Supporting Distributed Groups with a Montage of Lightweight Interactions [PDF], Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW '94), Chapel Hill, NC, 23-34.

Isaacs, E. & Tang, J. (1994) What Video Can and Can't Do for Collaboration: A Case Study [PDF], Multimedia Systems, 2, 63-73. Earlier version in ACM Multimedia '93 Proceedings, Anaheim, CA, 199-206.

Tang, J. C. & Isaacs, E. (1993). Why Do Users Like Video? Studies of Multimedia Supported Collaboration [PDF], CSCW: An International Journal, 1:3, 163-196. (Also a Sun Labs technical report, SMLI TR-92-5).

Isaacs, E., Wulfman, C. E., Rohn, J. A., Lane, C. D. & Fagan, L. M. (1993). Graphical Access to Medical Expert Systems: IV. Experiments to Determine the Role of Spoken Input, Methods of Information in Medicine, 32, 18-32.

Sukaviriya, P., Isaacs, E. & Bharat, K. (1992) Multimedia Help: A Prototype and an Experiment, Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI '92), Monterey, CA, 433-434.

Isaacs, E. & Clark, H.H. (1990) Ostensible Invitations [PDF], Language in Society, 19, 493-509.

Isaacs, E., (1989). Mutual Memory for Conversation, Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University.

Wulfman, C., Isaacs, E., Webber, B. & Fagan., L. (1988). Integration Discontinuity: Interfacing Users and Systems, Proceedings of Architectures for Intelligent Interfaces: Elements and Prototypes, Monterey, CA, 57-68.

Isaacs, E. & Clark, H.H. (1987) References in Conversation Between Experts and Novices [PDF], Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 116, 26-37.

Isaacs, E. (1983) Visual Cues Compensate for Blindness in One Eye, The New York Times, 9/13/83, Section C, page 2.

Blumstein, S., Isaacs, E. & Mertus, J. (1982) The Role of the Gross Spectral Shape as a Perceptual Cue to Place of Articulation in Initial Stop Consonants [PDF], Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 72, 43-50.

Isaacs, E. (1981) John Madden Stars on the Tube [PDF], The Complete Handbook of Pro Football, Z. Hollander (Ed.), Signet, New York, 1981, 38-45.

Professional Work

Book reviewer for Elsevier, publisher of Morgan Kaufmann books, 2002-2006.

Associate chair for short papers, Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2002 conference.

Papers reviewer for CHI 1994-2002, 2008-2013, and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) from 1994 through 2002. Also review papers for various journals and book publishers.

Co-chair of panels for CHI 1997

Program committee for International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 1997

Program committee for CSCW 1996

Co-chair of workshops & Special Interest Groups for CHI 1996

Program committee for CHI 1995

Program committee for Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning (CSCL) '94