It’s In My Genes – Thanks Grandpa!

Today I received the October 2009 Usability News produced by the Software Usability Research Lab (SURL) out of Wichita State University.

I was surprised to read this headline: Using repertory grid interviews for homepage evaluation

I thought, “Repertory grid? There’s no way they’re talking about my Grandpa’s research from way back in the day.”

But YES! They ARE! And I’m so excited!

My grandfather was George Alexander Kelly, a “famous” (in some circles) psychologist. He developed the Psychology of Personal Constructs back in 1955.

My grandpa, George A. Kelly

My grandpa, George A. Kelly

The picture on the right is one that I grew up seeing in my Grandma’s house. I never met him. He died long before I entered the world, but I’ve always known that his work was important.

My sixth grade science fair project was a study in construct theory. It didn’t win. I was bummed.

When I discovered the world of user research and quickly developed a passion for it, I wondered if it was simply part of my genes. My Granddad helped design cockpit interiors during World War II. And my Dad is a retired (and very talented) computer programmer. I wondered if maybe, just maybe, my purpose in life was to combine these two talents into something special of my own.

So go read about construct theory and repertory grids and see if you think it’s worth trying.

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