Liz Bacon, Devise

Elizabeth Bacon discovered her calling with Interaction Design in the late ‘90s when she became a consultant at Cooper. There, she led projects in various domains, supervised design teams and also taught Cooper U. Following Cooper, Liz spent five years leading IxD efforts at St. Jude Medical, a Fortune 100 medical device company. In 2007, Liz co-founded Devise, a digital product design and development consultancy based in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about the power of IxD to better the world, and has served on the IxDA Board of Directors for the past several years. In her spare time Liz loves autocross racing and writing poetry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and French Literature from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Industrial Arts from San Francisco State University.

Scenarios for Design

Massimo Banzi, Arduino Project &

Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project and CTO of He has worked for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas.

He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institue Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions like: Architectural Association – London, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, FH Potsdam, Domus Academy, Medialab Madrid, Escola Superior de Disseny Barcelona, ARS Electronica Linz, Mediamatic Amsterdam, Doors of Perception Amsterdam.

Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect,both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, SmithKlineBeecham, Storagetek, BSkyB and

Tangible Interface prototyping with the Tinker Toolkit

MJ Broadbent

MJ (Mary Jane) Broadbent has been designing elegant solutions to complex information problems for over 20 years. With a traditional graphic design education, MJ began interaction design work in 1996 with Silicon Alley pioneer Tom Nicholson. Throughout her career, she has improved communications for clients such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bookspan (now DirectGroup Bertelsmann), Empire BlueCrossBlueShield, H&R Block, The McGraw-Hill Companies (including Standard & Poor’s), Pfizer, Sony Electronics, The United Nations, and Xerox. In her current role as a lead experience designer at Liquidnet, the global institutional equity marketplace, MJ stays busy envisioning streamlined enterprise service systems. She is an active member of numerous design-related organizations and communities; however, IxDA tops the list.

MJ co-authored and taught the seminal online course “Information Design” at, and has guest-lectured on information architecture at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education, New York University’s ITP, and the School of Visual Arts. MJ has been passionate about encouraging creative expression ever since reading “The Little Engine That Could” at age 6.

Visual Skills for the “I Can’t Draw” Crowd

Raphael Grignani

Raphael Grignani established Nokia Design studio in San Francisco in 2008 where he leads a multidisciplinary design team that works across the Nokia organization to clarify and translate business opportunities through design.

His experience at Nokia ranges from product and service design to exploratory human behavioral field research. He also worked on long-term design concepts such as the Homegrown project where we looked at how environmental and social issues may change mobile design in the coming years. Before joining Nokia in Helsinki in 2002, Raphael provided digital design leadership through concepting and co-development for clients that include Razorfish, Adcore, Benefon, WMG, and Asema.

Raphael earned a Master of Arts from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland in Product and Strategic Design. He is an active participant in design community often involved in design thinking and projects in the field of mobile digital design. Raphael frequently speaks on the role of design in environmental and social issues; most recently at Lift Korea, UPA international conference, AIGA Design Conference, and Kyoorius DesignYatra. He currently lives and works from San Francisco, USA.

Designing for Billions of People

Steve Portigal

Steve Portigal is the principal of Portigal Consulting, a bite-sized firm that helps clients to discover and act on new insights about themselves and their customers. Steve regularly speaks at design and marketing events and writes regularly for interactions, Core77 and the Portigal Consulting blog, All This ChittahChattah. Steve is an avid photographer who has a Museum of Foreign Grocery Products in his home.

Well, we did all this research… now what?

Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer is a founder and principal at the design consultancy Kicker Studio. Dan has designed devices, software, websites, and services since 1995, and these products are currently used by millions every day. An acclaimed speaker and author, his two books are Designing for Interaction, Second Edition (New Riders) and Designing Gestural Interfaces (O’Reilly). Dan is an internationally-recognized thought leader on design who has spoken at conferences and taught workshops on interaction design all over the world. He has a Masters of Design in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and his design innovations have received several patents.

Brainstorming and Design Principles Workshop

Sara Summers, Laurie Holcombe

Sara Summers

Sara Summers is a User Experience Evangelist for Microsoft based out of Austin, TX. Sara is currently coauthoring a book for experience designers, entitled Dynamic Prototyping, expected to be on bookshelves early 2010. She has a personal mantra of design democracy – happy, healthy designers and developers working and playing together to create beautiful, inspirational products.

Sara speaks often and loves to talk about big ideas, changing everything, breaking your toys, throwing away your designs and capturing new ideas. In search for the best design process recipes she has worked for several renowned agencies; Frog Design, Young Rubicam, Projekt202, and with good people like; AMD, HP, Logitech, Microsoft, Motorola, NFL and Sony. For over 14 years, she has been deeply involved in the production and development of product strategy, vision and design, guiding and influencing design process with each team and project.

Sara reads everything she can get her hands on and prides herself in being an armchair social and cognitive scientist and researcher. Academically, she is trained as a technologist and visual designer, with a BS in Computer Graphics Technology, from Purdue University.

Laurie Holcombe

Laurie Holcombe is a web developer with over 10 years of experience driving innovative, successful solutions for clients. Laurie resides in Athens, GA, where she has served as Lead Developer at The Adsmith, a small award-winning advertising and design agency, for six years running. In this role, she evolved the product development process – teaching and walking clients through each benchmark, research insight, IA and development strategies, through product launch and life cycle.

She loves thinking about problem solving, developing great markup and best practices for development teams. Laurie draws upon both her fine arts and technical backgrounds to create a unique perspective; visually compelling, technically sound design from the inside out. Laurie’s formal education includes a BFA in Telecommunications from the University of Georgia, graduating cum laude, and a New Media Interdisciplinary Certificate (NMIC) from UGA’s New Media Institute, along with extensive training in photography. Laurie’s “free time” is spent producing head-nodding podcasts and indulging her photographic pursuits. Her photography has been published in several books; The Quiet Life Vol. 2, The University of Georgia’s G Book. Laurie plans
to have her second solo photography show later this year.

Microsoft Expression: The team that plays together stays together

Indi Young

You will find Indi working on design projects and running mental model research for clients, teaching, writing, and craving chocolate in Marin County, where she unfortunately does not have a hot tub. She thinks she got turned on to design research by reading C.J. Cherryh’s Cyteen series while she was a software engineer back in the 80′s. She’s a co-founder of Adaptive Path and writes a blog at Rosenfeld Media. If anything can be said about her workshops, she will honestly make you feel more comfortable chatting to strangers at cocktail parties.

Mental Model Diagrams Workshop (Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior)

Russ Unger, Will Evans, Fred Beecher & Todd Zaki Warfel

Russ Unger

Russ Unger is the Director of Experience Planning for Draftfcb, the largest advertising/marketing agency in the Midwest. Russ has been working on websites since 1993 – when there was only Notepad to code with and Mosaic was the only browser around. That was when he found his interest in User Experience Design and Information Architecture began to flourish.

Since then, he has worked with a number of major brands, including Gatorade, Propel, Quaker and Celebrity Cruise Lines, as well as on large scale Intranet and Extranet applications for such companies as Volkswagen Credit, Audi Financial Services, Information Resources, Inc. and Marsh. He has been involved in the Information Architecture for large-scale public-facing sites for such companies as Metromix,, United Airlines and Hewlett-Packard. He has also worked off-line, creating unique biometric (fingerprint reader) applications and has worked as the Design Lead for Motorola’s Connectivity domain where he was responsible for creating user interfaces for mobile applications in Motorola’s Consumer Experience Design group. Russ worked closely with such major carriers as T-Mobile, Cingular/AT&T and Vodafone to design features for Bluetooth, WiFi and over-the-air updates. He has also taught courses in Web and Interactive/Flash Design.

In his spare time, he is an author and editor for Boxes and Arrows, a well-known online Information Architecture magazine. In addition to being a mentor for the Information Architecture Institute, Russ also serves on the 2200+ member organization’s Board of Directors as the Director of Events and Marketing. As if that is not enough, he tries to actively blog on topics in User Experience Design at UserGlue UserBlog.

Russ is co-author of the book A Project Guide to User Experience Design with Carolyn Chandler for Peachpit Press (Voices That Matter).

Todd Zaki Warfel

Todd Zaki Warfel is a Principal Design Researcher and founder of Messagefirst, a Philadelphia-based design research consulting firm, where he blends research and design to evolve products in innovate and beautiful ways. Todd is a dynamic speaker and storyteller by nature. He’s rarely short on details. He is an active member in a number of industry communities and organizations, including the Information Architecture Institute, IxDA, and UPA.

Todd’s clients have included Albertsons, AT&T Wireless, Bankrate, Bank of America, Citibank, Comcast, Cornell University, IntraLinks, The Hartford, LA Times, Motorla, Palm, and SBC.

Todd currently lives in Philadelphia and blogs at His upcoming book Practical Prototyping will take a hands-on approach, enabling you to develop prototypes with minimal muss and fuss. The book will discuss how prototypes are more than just a design tool by demonstrating how they can help you market a product, gain internal buy-in, and test feasibility with your development team. Anticipated publication is in 2009.

Will Evans

Will Evans is founder and Principal User Experience Architect for Semantic Foundry with 14 years industry experience in information architecture and user experience design. His experiences includes directing user experience design and information architecture for AIR Worldwide, UX Architect for web 2.0 social networking site; and UX Architect responsible for information architecture and interaction design for Before Kayak, he was the senior information architect at IBM working on their enterprise learning management platform. Before IBM, he worked at Curl – a DARPA-funded MIT project when he was at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. Most recently Will has lead design projects for Pillsbury, General Mills, HiveFire and CrowdSprout.

A distinguished speaker, Will provides lectures and seminars on such topics as user experience, strategic design, social interaction design, and findability. Will’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal.

Fred Beecher

Fred Beecher is a Senior User Experience Consultant at Evantage Consulting in Minneapolis. Fred has been working in the user experience design industry for 11 year, doing research, information architecture, interaction design, and usability evaluation for a diverse array of clients like Medtronic, UnitedHealthcare, 3M, RBC Dain Rauscher, General Mills, Thomson Reuters, and the National Marrow Donor Program.

A recognized expert in rapid prototyping, Fred speaks frequently on the topic at national professional conferences and local user experience group meetings. In 2007, Fred developed the official training program for the Axure RP Pro rapid prototyping tool at the request of the makers. He has since trained additional consultants to give the courses and currently leads a broader Axure training program for Evantage.

Fred and the rest of the Evantage user experience consultants blog on all things UX at

The Right Way to Wireframe

Harnish Jani, Deepa Prahalad, Ko Nakatsu

Harnish Jani

Jani brings to RKS extensive experience in research and strategy. He has a Masters in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University and two undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai. He has an eclectic mix of experience from working at Dell, Ignition, Larsen & Toubro, NCSU College of Management, SymbientPD, and Gamil. Jani passionately leverages his multifaceted background in strategy, design, technology and culture to create compelling strategic solutions for user experience and brand enhancement.

Deepa Prahalad

Deepa Prahalad is co-author of Predictable Magic. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan as well as an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Passionate about emerging markets and innovation, her career has included roles as a commodities trader (based in Asia) and as a management consultant. She also authored the first business plan and raised capital for Safe-Med, now an analytic engine used by Google Health.

Ko Nakatsu

Ko Nakatsu is a senior design researcher and strategist at RKS Design. He works on product and service strategies for international clients. His excitement for design led him to work as an interaction and search designer at McMaster-Carr, a site that ranked third (behind Amazon and Barnes and Noble) in trust and credibility by Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab. Ko continued his design passion in the Advanced Planning and Strategy department at Nissan North America where he developed future 2013 to 2023 human transportation concepts for global production and cultural inspiration. He received a BFA in industrial design from Carnegie Mellon University.

Predictable Magic: Designing Emotional Interactions and Business Results