Aza Raskin is an American interface designer. He is the son of human-computer interface expert Jef Raskin.
Raskin gave his first talk on user interfaces at age 10 at the local San Francisco chapter of SIGCHI. He holds bachelor degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Chicago.
In 2004, Aza Raskin worked with Jef Raskin at the Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces on Archy, a new user interface paradigm. The next year, he founded Humanized Inc. to continue work on the Archy paradigm. At Humanized, he created the language-based service-oriented Enso software.
In 2008, Raskin and the other Humanized employees were part of a hire-out by the Mozilla Corporation. In 2010, Raskin was appointed Creative Lead for Firefox, having previously been head of user experience at Mozilla Labs. He has worked on several labs projects including Ubiquity, Firefox for mobile, and wrote the original specification for the Geolocation API.
Raskin has founded two other companies, including Songza, a music meta-search tool, and Bloxes, which sells furniture made out of cardboard. Songza was acquired in late 2008 by Amazon-backed Amie Street. He also has a number of smaller projects like Algorithm Ink (based on Context Free) which generates art from a formal grammar. Raskin has appeared on the cover of Wired and given a TED talk.
During the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, Raskin mobilized with a group of other entrepreneurs (including Joshua Rosen, the art director of Steven Spielberg’s movie A.I.) to create a crowd-source Web site to turn real-time information streams into meaningful map data, used by several major non-governmental organizations helping on the group in Haiti hosted at Haiti.com.
Raskin is also an active phishing researcher, best known for discovering the tabnabbing attack; the technique takes advantage of open browser tabs to launch phishing sites without the user’s knowledge.
In 2010, Raskin introduced the results of his work on the Firefox team at Mozilla: Tab Candy. Organizing tabs spatially, Tab Candy allowed the user to “organize browsing, to see all of our tabs at once, and focus on the task at hand.” Tab Candy’s initial design and alpha release has been called “the best new browser feature since tabs were invented” by Computerworld. Tab Candy was later renamed Firefox Panorama, although the feature was ultimately hidden by default in the initial Firefox 4 release.
By the end of 2010 Raskin announced he had left Mozilla to begin a health-related venture at Massive Health start-up, with the goal to apply design principles to the problem of being healthy. On April 16 2012, Massive Health announced that Raskin would lead the company as Chief Vision Officer.