Staff across the University were devastated to learn of the passing of our School of Computing colleague, Professor David Benyon, last week following a long illness.
David was a leading authority on Interaction Design, but will be remembered by his friends here at Edinburgh Napier as a gentle mentor, a guiding influence, a positive spirit, and an inspiration to many.
Described by colleagues as ‘the perfect academic’, David leaves behind a whole host of memories – and an immense legacy through the work he has done within the School of Computing and beyond.
His passion for research and academic excellence was only surpassed by his dedication to his family.
A keen gardener and supporter of Southampton football club, David will be missed greatly.
David Benyon was born in Southampton in 1954 and studied Mathematics and Politics at the University of Essex. After a short stint as a systems analyst and programmer, he joined Leicester Polytechnic, now De Montfort University, as a Lecturer in Systems Analysis and Design, while completing an MSc in Computing, Cognition and Psychology at the University of Warwick.
In 1987 he joined the Open University, where his research moved towards Human Computer Interaction (HCI), resulting in his PhD by Published Works, “Intelligence at the Interface”, in 1993. He went on to found the Intelligent Interfaces Special Interest Group and in 1994 he published one of the first textbooks in Human Computer Interaction.
David joined Edinburgh Napier University in 1996 as Professor of HCI and Interaction Design, where he consolidated the work of the fledgling HCI Research Group, leading it to become the Centre for Interaction Design in 2006.
David’s wide expertise in the field was recognised when he was asked to serve on the Research Excellence Framework 2014 sub-Panel in Computer Science and Informatics. Most recently, he had been working on the fourth edition of his popular and comprehensive textbook, “Designing User Experience: A guide to HCI, UX and interaction design”. He was delighted to get it finished and it will be published later this year.
David is survived by his wife Linda, who also works with us here at Edinburgh Napier, daughter Holly, and son Luc. He had also recently become a grandad to Zephyr and Felix. We send our deepest condolences to all of David’s family and friends.
David's funeral will be held at Mortonhall crematorium this Friday, 9 November, at 2pm, followed by a celebration of his life at the Stable Bar, Mortonhall, behind the Mortonhall Garden Centre. Dress for the funeral is “autumnal” and everyone is welcome.
David's family have requested family flowers only, however, donations can be made to Marie Curie via Just Giving here.