Contact Information

Daniel M. Gruen
Senior Research Scientist, Smarter Workforce Solutions
Cambridge Research Center, Cambridge, MA USA

Dan is a member of IBM's Center for Social Business where he works with customers in intensive workshops to identify specific opportunities to derive business value from social and collaborative software. His work includes the use of visual scenarios and other story-based methods to ground design in real-world usage situations.

Dan also works on our collaborative reasoning project aimed at helping groups of people make important, fact-based decisions together.

Dan was an early researcher on IBM's Unified Activity Management project, exploring new ways to combine informal work with business processes, recasting collaboration technologies in terms of the meaningful business activities in which people are engaged. He also headed the group's Reinventing Email project.

Dan applies his background in user-centered design and experience with observational methods to a variety of areas, including:

    • fluidly merging informal work with structured business processes,
    • new approaches to email and integrated messaging,
    • tools to help users manage multiple activities,
    • innovative ways of linking computer-based information with the external world.

Research Interests
User experience

Cognitive engineering
Scenarios and stories in design
Unified Activity Management
Portable devices/pervasive computing/appliances
"In your space" computing


Dan joined Research in October, 1996 with a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Dan's thesis research at UCSD, conducted under Don Norman and funded by Apple Computer, involved detailed observational studies of how people manage multiple activities and handle interruptions. His earlier research investigated trade-offs in the design of graphical representations.
Dan has consulted on usability and interface design for a variety of applications, including digital television, telecommunications, and computer-assisted design. He has also taught courses on user-centered design techniques in university and corporate settings.

Previously, Dan worked as a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, responsible for the design of trading support systems.