2016/2017 Initiative Leads

IxDA relies on individual initiative, contribution, sharing and self-organization as the primary means for us to achieve our goals. Meet some of the individuals from our community who have taken on leadership roles for our initiatives.


The annual interaction design conference organized by IxDA, takes place in New York from 4-8 February 2017: four days of presentations and workshops. You will have unique opportunities to share your point of view and get inspired by stories from around the world. Josh Clark, John Payne and Liz Danzico are the conference co-chairs.

photo: Josh Clarke

Josh Clarke (United States)


Josh Clark is founder of Big Medium, a design agency specializing in connected devices, mobile experiences, and responsive web design. His clients include Samsung, Time Inc, TechCrunch, Entertainment Weekly, eBay, O’Reilly Media, and many others. Josh has written several books, including Designing for Touch (A Book Apart, 2015) and Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps (O’Reilly, 2010). He speaks around the world about what’s next for digital interfaces.

Before the internet swallowed him up, Josh was a producer of national PBS programs at Boston’s WGBH. He shared his three words of Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev, strolled the ranch with Nancy Reagan, hobnobbed with Rockefellers, and wrote trivia questions for a primetime game show. In 1996, he created the uberpopular “Couch-to-5K” (C25K) running program, which has helped millions of skeptical would-be exercisers take up jogging. (His motto is the same for fitness as it is for software user experience: no pain, no pain.)

photo: John Payne

John Payne (United States)


John Payne is Managing Director at Moment, a digital strategy and design consultancy he co-founded in 2002. Moment’s clients include Bloomberg, ESPN, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Weather Channel and American Express. John brings a human-centered approach to the design of systems where software and social complexity come together to make things interesting. His current work explores the positive contribution that interaction design can make to healthcare experiences, with a focus on patient empowerment and participation in management of chronic disease.

Educated at Auburn University and Institute of Design at IIT (the New Bauhaus), John has created and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in design methods at Parsons and NYU. He is a past co-chair and current advisor to EPIC and sits on the board of Public Policy Lab, a non-profit service design consultancy dedicated to creating more helpful public services for low-income and disadvantaged Americans.

photo: Liz Danzico

Liz Danzico (United States)


Liz is founding chairperson of the MFA in Interaction Design Program. Outside of SVA, she is creative director for NPR in digital media, overseeing and guiding both the visual and user experience across NPR-branded digital platforms and content. She is advisor to startups, nonprofits, global companies, and lecturer.

Liz is proud to be on the advisory boards for initiatives that bolster design and technology, including the Bridge Guild, NEA Studio, Thiel Fellowship, and Austin Center for Design. She has written for design-minded publications, including Eye Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Interactions Magazine, and writes part of her time at bobulate.com.

Previously, Liz was an independent consultant, working with businesses on design, planning, and execution of short- and long-term digital programs for global companies and nonprofit organizations. In her practice, she cultivated design and user-centered programs through collaborative methods in education, in digital design, and in technology to foster positive change. Collaborators have included Teach for All, The New York Times, This American Life, and the TED Prize.

Liz has held positions as director of experience strategy for AIGA, user experience director for Happy Cog, headed up information architecture teams at Barnes & Noble.com and Razorfish New York. She helped shape editorial processes for Rosenfeld Media. She’s directed product development at both Daylife and Rodale Digital. She was involved with Boxes and Arrows, a magazine for information architects, lastly as editor-in-chief. She has previously served on advisory boards and juries for AIGA, AIGA/NY, Art Directors Club, Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Design Ignites Change, desigNYC, The Feast, the HOW Conference, NEA Studio, NYCxDESIGN, Rosenfeld Media, the Information Architecture Institute, One Show Interactive, and the Weeksville Heritage Center.

Liz has been thesis advisor in the graduate graphic design program at the Rhode Island School of Design, adjunct faculty at the New School University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and lectured at schools from Columbia University to MICA: Maryland Institute College of Art. She has a BA from Pennsylvania State University and an MA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Interaction Awards

Founded in 2011, the Interaction Awards recognize and celebrate examples of excellence in interaction design across domains, platforms, environments and cultures. The Awards are an annual competition seeking out work that embodies and improves meaningful relationships between people and the products and services they use. For 2016/2017, the Awards are led by Thomas Kueber (Germany) and Molly Wright Steenson (United States).

Thomas Kueber

Thomas Kueber (Germany)


Thomas leads the product organization of banbutsu.com - a Berlin based start-up dedicated to the internet of things - by day and is occupied with running IxDA Berlin at night. To bring interaction design to an even bigger audience he as well co-founded UXcamp Europe, a 500 participant free conference that brings together designers, researchers and developers from all over the world every summer. Thomas is passionate about humanizing technology ever since he got his hands on his first Commodore 64 and never gets tired of speaking about it at conferences, workshops or kitchen-tables. While his professional work regularly takes him to all the right and wrong places across Europe, the US and Asia he as well enjoys his Kreuzberg backyard on a sunny spring-day, a good bass-heavy tune from his kitchen speakers and an occasional sip of crisp of white wine.

Molly Wright Steenson

Molly Wright Steenson (United States)


Molly Wright Steenson is an associate professor in the Carnegie Mellon School of Design. She researches the history of design, architecture, computation and artificial intelligence from the 1950s to the present, and is completing a book titled Architectures of Interactivity that explores these linkages, with a focus on the practices of Nicholas Negroponte, Cedric Price, Christopher Alexander, and Richard Saul Wurman.

From 2013–15, Molly was an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught data visualization, digital studies, and communications courses, and led Mellon-funded research projects in the digital humanities. She was a professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy, where she led the Connected Communities research group, and an adjunct professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in the Media Design Practices Program.

Molly began working with the Web in 1995 at a wide variety of companies including Reuters, Scient, Netscape, and Razorfish. She cofounded Maxi, an award-winning women’s webzine, in the 90s. As a design researcher, she examines the effect of personal technology on its users, including projects in India and China for Microsoft Research and ReD Associates/Intel Research.

Molly holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Architecture from Princeton, a Master’s in Environmental Design (history-theory) from the Yale School of Architecture and a B.A. in German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with honors and distinction.

Interaction Design Education Summit

Formalized in 2013, the goal of the Education Summit is to better understand the global problem space of interaction design education both in formal and informal formats. Academics, mentors, conference speakers, continuing education creators, students, practitioners and employers are all encouraged to lend their voice.

photo: Freed Beecher

Fred Beecher (United States)


Fred Beecher has been working in User Experience since 1998. In that time he’s seen UX mature from a field struggling to prove its value to one driving an explosion of innovation and economic growth. To help feed the ever-increasing demand this explosion has sparked, Fred designed and implemented the UX apprenticeship program at The Nerdery in Minneapolis, MN where he is currently the Director of User Experience Design.

Fred is an established contributor in the UX world. In 2007, he authored the first official Axure training program, which he ran until 2012. He has written numerous articles and blog posts on prototyping, iterative design, and UX career development, and he has spoken on these topics at design conferences worldwide.

IxDA Student Design Challenge

The Challenge is open to current undergraduate or graduate students, or recent graduates. Based on submitted solutions to a defined challenge, winners are selected to travel to the annual Interaction conference and attend a master class with leaders from the Interaction Design community.

Photo: Ana Domb

Ana Domb (Costa Rica)


Ana Domb Krauskopf is the director and founder of the Interaction Design School at Veritas University in Costa Rica, the first IxD graduate program in Central America. Previously she was the Director of Brand Innovation at Almabrands in Chile where she still teaches at the Universidad del Desarrollo. In the US, she worked in user experience research at THE MEME, a design consultancy based out of Cambridge with clients including Samsung and LG.She holds a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, where she was a researcher with the Convergence Culture Consortium under the direction of Henry Jenkins.

In past lives she’s worked as a journalist, filmmaker and music producer. She has consulted with Turner Broadcasting and Comcast, as well as working beside anthropologist Grant McCracken.