On this page....
The Interaction Design Foundation - the IDF - is a ten year old transformative non-profit enterprise focused on educating, informing and stimulating the global design community. The organization has created a powerful cloud based publishing model, blending free video material and textbooks with an immersive web site and social media presence for thought leaders, students, authors, academia, and design professionals.
IDF provides anytime/anywhere "absolutely free" access to original educational materials developed in collaboration with top tier Universities, Companies, Authors and Thought Leaders from Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, SAP Labs, IBM Research, and such noted authors as: Clayton Christensen, Don Norman, Alan Dix, Steve Mann, Eric von Hippel and Tom Erickson.
Each day tens of thousands of students and professional designers of all kinds (product design, User Experience, software development, visual design, graphics) access and engage with IDF's curated content in the form of courses, interactive text and video, TV channel, membership forums and global design events. The high-growth ten year old non-profit has been self-financed from day one, recently supported by a corporate sponsorship from SAP.
Arhus, Denmark, May 18, 2013 -- The Interaction Design Foundation, (IDF), a ten year old, transformative non-profit publisher focusing on the global technology design community today announced their “Share the Knowledge Tour.” One rider, “Max”, on a noble mission to spread the word about “free knowledge” across six thousand lonely miles in six months! Kicking off in Orlando on May the 16th and blazing through major college towns in North America - with generous support and sponsorship from SAP, the world’s leader in business software.
IDF passionately supports the global technology design community and is using the “Share the Knowledge Tour” to connect with and provide an all access pass to its published content for over 7,000 SAP University Alliances professors and participating students at major universities on the tour. The eco-friendly tour incorporates cooperative events jointly sponsored with SAP, broadening and strengthening IDF’s global brand as the market leader/publisher of curated content and educational materials for students and professionals in the technology design community.
“This tour bears the slogan “Share the Knowledge” which supports the future higher education environment where Learn, Apply, and Share is key and where the innovation portfolio’s goal is to enable students, faculty members, leading global brands, and industry participants to collaborate with SAP creating a new digital, integrated and delightful consumer experience. In this environment the new SAP Ecosystem will be created and the students and universities will be one of the key channels for innovation within and together with the SAP Ecosystem,” said Ann Rosenberg, Global head of SAP University Alliances.
“The Share the Knowledge Tour” embodies our core non-profit driven principals, jointly co-sponsored with SAP, who will be helping us create high-impact awareness in major universities that have in-place relationships with SAP,” said Rikke Friis Dam, the co-founder of IDF. “We are a well-established market leader as a new media publisher, with significant global awareness; and we want to support and leverage SAP’s marketing resources to make a difference by giving more students and design professionals free access to high quality textbooks and online education materials.”
“We are leveraging Web 2.0 and the social web, with an interactive "Share the Knowledge Tour” map on our web site, connecting via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to drive broader awareness with students, targeting each university the tour is passing through and national and local media (student and mainstream) when/where appropriate.” After crossing the US and Canada, the bike tour will continue, with an estimated four year time span, “touching down” in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.”
About the Interaction Design Foundation
IDF is a ten year old transformative non-profit enterprise focused on educating, informing and stimulating the global technology design community. The organization has created a powerful cloud based publishing model, blending free educational materials with an immersive web site for thought leaders, students, authors, academia, design professionals, futurists and even tech-challenged consumers.
The Denmark based foundation has self-funded throughout its ten years in existence but is now sponsored by SAP and partly funded by professionals who become supporting Foundation Members, Corporate Sponsorships and Grants.
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/interacting #sharethetour
Aarhus, Denmark, March 17th, 2013 -- Today it has been announced that SAP has become prime sponsor of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF). The IDF executive board, authors and foundation members are among the top and most influential professionals in the global User Experience community.
Here at the Interaction Design Foundation we are very proud that the world’s leading technology designers, professors, and bestselling authors are willing to join forces with us to provide free online access to top-grade educational materials. For everyone, everywhere. From New York to New Delhi. Rich and poor. In academia and in industry.
The IDF provides free textbooks and online education materials created by leading academics and practitioners of software design at http://www.interaction-design.org/. Topics are User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Business innovation, Design Thinking and Design Doing. The 100+ authors are leading designers, IT Leads, CEOs and Ivy League professors from e.g. IBM, SAP, MIT, Microsoft, University of Cambridge and Harvard Business School.
However, creating and providing top-grade educational materials on this scale is a cost-intensive mission. And since we insist that our millions of readers get free access—we need sponsors.
We are delighted to announce that our mission has gained sponsorship from SAP—the world’s leader in business software (NYSE: SAP).
SAP believes that our top-grade educational materials can be of great value to designers of IT systems in both industry and academia and wishes to help us make these materials freely available and accessible to everyone around the world.
SAP, with their focus on business software, are particularly interested in helping to educate technology designers so that they can design products that are more efficient, productive, and pleasurable to use. SAP’s sponsorship is an expression of their genuine wish to improve the design, function, and usability of technology on a global scale. Put simply: Businesses run better through better designed technology.
SAP is committed to simplifying solution development with design thinking, which puts people and their problems at the center of software. The sponsorship of IDF is a meeting of the minds and a natural outgrowth of SAP's work to create an ecosystem that supports a more organic relationship between people and software. SAP and IDF will collaborate on spreading the word and democratize access to the top minds in the User Experience community.
Making high-quality educational materials like this available for free via an Internet platform will help educate the next generation of designers so they are qualified to enhance the design, function, and usability of technology worldwide.
Over 300 major universities globally are currently using IDF’s textbooks regularly in their classes. Giving access to free high quality textbooks can help bridge the higher education accessibility gap between privileged and underprivileged by making higher education affordable to all.
Our search for sponsorship is inspired by and based on the way in which companies sponsor academic conferences and professional associations: it’s all about involving industry while maintaining academic freedom.
This philosophy is exemplified by our first main sponsor, SAP, which supports academic freedom and rights with regard to Interaction Design Foundation's publications. SAP does not wish to exert any editorial influence over any content produced and published by The Interaction Design Foundation. The Interaction Design Foundation maintains an open organization, independent of industry and competition.
SAP actively encourages support for The Interaction Design Foundation from all interested companies and universities.
As part of the sponsorship, IDF will collaborate closely with the SAP User Experience Community on educational initiatives — both for SAP employees and for the whole world. IDF will also team with the SAP University Alliances program to help its members create learning material that promotes simpler, more innovative and efficient product design. Working with more than 1,300 universities worldwide using SAP solutions in the classroom, SAP University Alliances plans to bring IDF content to these institutions. The initiative includes a bicycle tour to major metropolitan areas in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where IDF and SAP University Alliances representatives will raise awareness by delivering IDF's free materials to universities and software design companies.
More on the tour at: tour.interaction-design.org
More on sponsorships at: http://interaction-design.org/about/sponsorships.html
A sketch by Bill Buxton inspired the computer touch-screen’s touch. An early copy of Don Norman’s Living with Complexity, a 2010 book about how well-designed devices can tame a complex world, made its way to Al Gore’s cluttered desk.
Today the Interaction Design Foundation, the IDF, has announced its new executive board. The executive board includes Norman; Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research; Ken Friedman, professor and formerly dean of the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University, Australia; Michael Arent, vice president of user experience at SAP Business Objects; Olof Schybergson, founder and CEO of Fjord, a digital service design consultancy; Jonas Lowgren, a professor of interaction design at Sweden’s Malmo University; and Dan Rosenberg, a user experience executive, consultant and professor. All executive board members are serving gratis.
The foundation’s keystone project is Interaction-Design.org, a website that publishes free and open educational materials for students, industry leaders and individual tech designers. The present centerpiece of the IDF is the ever-expanding Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction written by 100+ leading designers, Ivy League professors, CEOs, futurists and bestselling authors from across the high-tech universe. Currently the encyclopedia numbers 35 short textbooks or chapters which students, professors and professionals can assemble in any way they want in order to make their own individualized compendium.
Don Norman has also contributed to a chapter. Three other contributing authors are Clayton Christensen, the Harvard professor praised as “brilliant” by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as Steve Mann, known as the father of wearable computing and the inspiration for Google’s high-profile “Project Glass”, and Stu Card, a senior research fellow at Xerox PARC and leading pioneer in human-computer interaction. Other contributing authors are from MIT, Stanford University, Google, IBM, SAP, Microsoft, Cambridge University, Stockholm University, Yahoo, Carnegie Mellon University, and many more companies and universities.
The website also includes a TV station with educational videos and interviews filmed around the world by the team behind Interaction-Design.org.
The goal is nothing less than making technology more user-friendly by giving designers free educational material at the highest quality. For everyone, everywhere. From New York or New Delhi. Rich and poor.
“We’re leading a battle against frustrating and time-consuming technology — poor designs that drain our productivity, our dignity and sometimes our sanity,” says Founder of the IDF Mads Soegaard. “Too many PCs, mobile devices, household appliances and software applications are designed with engineers in mind, not consumers. In fact, study after study shows that computers are the leading cause of lost productivity. One survey revealed that crashes, printer jams and network problems cost the average UK employee 48 minutes per day. That’s one reason why we’re reaching out to the next generation of tech designers with free, world-class educational materials.”
Don Norman has been called a peerless critic in his quest to expose the flaws of ill-designed machines. He is a cognitive scientist who worked for Apple, has written half a dozen books on technology and design, and taught at USC San Diego and Northwestern University. His book, The Design of Everyday Things, published in 1986 and reissued in 2002, became a best-seller and, according to Harold Thimbleby of Middlesex University, “defined the field of human computer interaction.” He is a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, a consulting and research firm specializing in user interfaces.
Bill Buxton, a Toronto-based computer scientist, designer, writer and lecturer, has spent 30 years studying the human aspects of technology. He is a principal researcher for Microsoft and taught at several universities worldwide. He pioneered multi-touch interfaces and music composition tools in the 1970s and in 2010 BusinessWeek named him among the World’s Most Influential Designers. He is the author of the 2007 book, Sketching User Experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design.
DENMARK, June 6th, 2012 — If you feel like a dunce whenever you try to decipher the instructions to a new microwave, format a paragraph in the latest version of Word, or coax a wireless printer into talking to a computer, Mads Soegaard has a message for you: “It’s not your fault. It’s the technology that’s dumb, not you.”
The 37-year-old former IT worker is so convinced that better tech design will improve everyone’s quality of life that he and his wife Rikke sold their car, mortgaged their home and lived on a semi-deserted island for a time in order to re-launch www.interaction-design.org — a nonprofit organization dedicated to distributing educational materials to industry, academia and individuals across the globe — free of charge.
Interaction-Design.org wants to democratize knowledge by distributing free materials produced by the world’s leading technology designers, professors, futurists and bestselling authors. Two contributing authors are Clayton Christensen, the Harvard professor praised as “brilliant” by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as well as Steve Mann, known as the father of wearable computing and the inspiration for Google’s high-profile “Project Glass.” Unlike nonprofits such as the Khan Academy, however, Interaction-Design.org also aims to democratize the usability of technology through improved product designs.
“We’re leading a battle against frustrating and time-consuming technology — poor designs that drain our productivity, our dignity and sometimes our sanity,” says Soegaard. “Too many PCs, mobile devices, household appliances and software applications are designed with engineers in mind, not consumers. In fact, study after study shows that computers are the leading cause of lost productivity. One survey revealed that crashes, printer jams and network problems cost the average UK employee 48 minutes per day. That’s one reason why we’re reaching out to the next generation of tech designers with free, world-class educational materials.”
Interaction-Design.org currently distributes (and constantly updates) The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, a magnum opus featuring 30 chapters on topics ranging from “User Experience and Experience Design” to “Wearable Computing,” “Visual Aesthetics” and “Semiotics.”
Since its founding in 2002, the organization has helped to modernize the publishing industry by:
Headquartered in Arhus, Denmark, the primary goals of Interaction-Design.org are to:
Says Interaction-Design.org founder Mads Soegaard: “Every day, I hear people say, ‘I’m not tech-savvy. I should take a course to learn this. I must not have read the manual properly.’ People should know that their frustrations with technology are not symptoms of their own intellectual inadequacy, but symptoms of badly designed technology. Technology shouldn’t need a manual. If you need to include a manual, you haven’t designed the product properly. One of our goals is to create a more people-oriented generation of designers and programmers. We want them to reimagine high-tech products that are intuitive and easy to use.”
Through multimedia materials such as The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, the organization’s authors, editorial team and advisory board are working to create a publishing venue tailored to authors and readers instead of profits.
Already, Interaction-Design.org’s free online approach to publishing has helped authors reach 20,000% more readers than their previous records, which is quite an achievement when you consider that only best-selling technology and design authors have submitted materials.
The Interaction Design Foundation was founded in 2002 by Mads Soegaard, formerly an employee of The Danish National Technological Institute; a partner at a web development company and a lecturer at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In 2010, Mads was joined at Interaction-Design.org by his wife Rikke Friis Dam, an independent consultant, filmmaker and photographer with degrees in philosophy, journalism and teaching.
Mads and Rikke had to sell their car, re-mortgage their house, find a tenant to pay rent, and invest more than $100,000 of their own money in order to launch Interaction-Design.org. In 2010, they moved to Thailand to keep costs to a minimum, living on a semi-deserted island so they could focus 100% on the work. They brought plenty of extra laptop batteries, since their only source of power was a diesel generator that supplied power five hours a day. Here are some photos
Today, Interaction-Design.org is helping to reinvent learning materials as a genre, mixing HD video interviews, interactive illustrations, online integration of basic research and regular text, and focusing on tablets and ebook-readers. It also provides aid for educational institutions and companies in developing countries, giving them free access to materials they otherwise could not afford. Currently, 20% of Interaction-Design.org’s readers are from developing countries, and that percentage is climbing rapidly.
Every day, Mads and Rikke receive dozens of emails from around the world — many of which tell touching stories about the positive impact that their free materials are having on readers.
We produce free, top-grade educational materials by the world's design elite. Through free and open access to top-grade educational materials on how to design technology, we educate millions of technology designers on how to make more people-oriented and easy-to-use technology - like websites, household appliances, software applications, and mobile devices. For us, it's a battle against frustrating, time-consuming, and poorly designed technology that drains our productivity, dignity, and sometimes our sanity. Better design of technology will improve everyone's quality of life.
We foster synergy between academia and high-tech companies. We mix top professors from Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, etc. with elite designers from Google Research, Apple, IBM Research, etc. And together we produce top-grade, open, and free online learning materials to the benefit of both industry and academia all over the world.
We continually improve and reinvent learning materials as a genre by, for example, producing HD video interviews and including interactive elements. All the educational institutions we visit express need for innovation in this field. At Cambridge University, for example, they closed a museum in order that we could make a video with a professor.
We provide aid for educational institutions and companies in developing countries by giving them free access to materials that otherwise would be out of their financial reach. 20 % of our readers are from developing countries, and the number is increasing exponentially.
We modernize the publishing industry by building a conceptual, legal, editorial, and technical platform for the publication of first-rate online material in a world where 1) people prefer free content over paid content for reasons of both time and money 2) the physical book is being outmanoeuvred by the e-book 3) authors prefer that publishers use technology to maximize readership and not use it to limit readership as in the case of paywalls.
We lay out our results in total openness so they can be used within any other area - from astronomy to psychology.
We contribute to the creation of a better world - in agreement with the UNESCO statement, "Universal access to high quality education is key to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue."