Internet pioneer, electronic musician, photographer and multimedia artist
Howard’s golden rules for software development
“Simple” it is easy to grasp and use and is neither obscure nor cluttered with an overabundance of questionable features.
“Smart” it ‘knows’ the user’s requirements and can lead them through the steps required by the application.
“Transparent” there is nothing hidden or mysterious going on. clear messages let users know what is happening or expected at all times.
“Smooth” the software anticipates the users needs and does not put unnecessary obstacles in the way of the program’s operation. this promotes a feeling of effortlessness, freeing users to think creatively about the task at hand with a minimum of attention required to operate the software.
“Attractive” the software is pleasing to look at and fun to use. it incorporates good graphic design principles in its screen presentations, color schemes and iconography. its verbal messages are informative, concise, and friendly.
Howard Harawitz, is well known in Internet circles as the developer of the world’s first commercial Web page editor. He is also the author of some of the earliest microcomputer software programs. Howard was also a participant in the development, for companies like Parker Brothers and Milton-Bradley, of some of the first standalone computer games and toys. An engineer by profession, his computer career began in the 1960s when he learned to program mainframe computers at the University of California at Berkeley.
During the 1960s and 70s, Howard lived and worked in close proximity to the "Silicon Valley" area of Northern California. He worked with the founders of the industry and developed some of its earliest software products -- for both the arts and engineering. Howard was a participant in San Francisco's "Computer Faires", the industry's first trade shows. Other participants included Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, John Dvorak, Lee Felsenstein, Adam Osborn and many others whose industry contributions are well known.
Howard's early efforts included "Video Loom" (1979) -- the first microcomputer based textile design program, which was featured by the Apple Computer Company in its promotional literature and used by craftspeople and art schools all over the world; "Time Master" (1981), one of the first microcomputer based energy management systems, and used by major retail chains throughout North America and Europe; an early computer controlled flame cutting system (1982) for the Swedish industrial firm, Asea; a water supply control system (1981) for the city of Denver, Colorado; "Video Dance" (1980), a program which used music fed into the Apple II's cassette tape input port (normally used for loading programs) to create changing computerized images that were projected onto giant video screens at San Francisco disco dances.