Jef Raskin, the lead designer of the first Macintosh (news - web sites) computer and a pioneer in the development of user interfaces, died Saturday at age 61. He had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, his family says in a statement.I know my life has been greatly affected, for the good, by Raskin's work. Thanks to TR readers Joe and Brent for sending word.
Raskin joined Apple Computer in 1978 as employee number 31 and headed the company's Macintosh development team from its founding in 1982. He named the project after his favorite type of apple, changing the spelling for copyright reasons.
He is credited with significantly advancing the design of user interfaces, which in the early 1980s were largely text-based and required users to memorize complex commands. Raskin convinced his peers at Apple that to reach a wider audience, the Macintosh needed an interface that was elegant and easy to use.