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Mary A. Dieli, 46; Designed More Usable Software at Apple

June 22, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Mary A. Dieli, 46, who designed some of the first software to make computers easier to use, died June 14 in Seattle after an 18-month battle with breast cancer.

The Brooklyn-born Dieli earned a doctorate in rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University before going to work for Apple Computer. At Apple in the early 1980s, she helped design the Lisa operating system, one of the first commercially available systems to move away from commands that had to be typed.

After moving to Seattle in 1988, Dieli established two computer usability laboratories for the study of human-computer interaction at Microsoft Corp. Her work was used in designing the Windows 2.1 and Windows 95 user interfaces.

Most recently, she started a consulting business and worked with Cisco Systems, Netscape, Hewlett-Packard and Dow Jones Inc.

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