2014/2015 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 Amsterdam from 9-11 February 2015: three 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. Ben Fullerton (Unites States) and Catherine Nygaard (United States) are the conference co-chairs.

photo: Ben Fullerton

Ben Fullerton (United States)


Ben is an interaction designer who has spent his career so far working across the realms of digital and physical products, services and brands.  He has worked within teams that expanded what we expect from the web at one of the first big agencies in the UK, helped to articulate what service design is as an early employee at the very first design firm to focus on it, explored mobile technology at the London design studio of Samsung, introduced design to an engineering led culture at Twitter, worked on & led projects solving a diverse set of problems for all sorts of clients at IDEO & Adaptive Path, led the interaction design team at Method, and most recently helped define new types of connected devices -- along with a new company's voice and everything that goes along with it – at a startup, Aether. His work has been recognized by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, the Spark Awards, the Webbys, the Pixel Awards & the Interaction Design Association's Awards.  Ben has also taught and been a thesis advisor for the inaugural class of the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and for the past three years has served as part of the founding faculty of the BFA Interaction Design program at the California College of Art, teaching students a module on foundational interaction design concepts.  Things Ben has written have been published by Fast Company, Core77 and the Association for Computing Machinery's "Interactions" magazine. He’s spoken & given workshops at Design Engaged, South by Southwest, Wisdom 2.0, True University, WebVisions & UX Week, among others. And he still wishes he'd paid more attention in physics lessons.

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 2013/2014, the Awards are led by Janna DeVylder (Australia) and Niklas Mortenson (Norway).


Janna DeVylder (Australia)


Janna DeVylder is Principal and Co-Founder of Meld Studios, an interaction and service design studio in Sydney, Australia. She has over 15 years experience as a researcher and designer in the United States and Australia. Her work has focused on humanizing products and services, in leadership roles defining the strategic plan and positioning of products and services down to the most detailed of interactions within them. Janna has been very active in IxDA, from starting IxDA Chicago, to serving as President of IxDA's Board of Directors, to now serving as Co-Chair of the Interaction Awards.


Niklas Mortenson (Norway)


Niklas is UX lead and Deputy CEO at Laboremus, a web technology provider for the creative industry. He is a founding member of IxDA Oslo, a 1600-member strong local group started in 2009. He has overseen and executed a range of projects; consulting with everything from small start-ups to large brand owners in everything from retail to finance. Recently he has been working with online banking and as a consultant for McCann/Mediafront on the Rimi Pluss service for norwegian retailer Rimi. The project has won several national and international awards including the Lovie awards, Eurobest, London International Awards, the Echo Awards and the Norwegian Design for Excellence. Niklas holds a BA (First-Class Honours) in interaction Design from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, and has spent over a decade working with emerging technology and IxD. He tends to use every opportunity to assert the gospel of tech, and yes; he thinks interaction designers should be able to code...

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.


Dave Malouf (United States)


Dave Malouf is an observer and pattern recognizer who is passionate about how technology can be a force for positive impact on human beings. With a background in anthropology, design, technology, education and management he is a consultant who helps organizations amplify the impact of their design teams through organizational strategy, recruitment planning, and team mentorship.

Dave is also an entrepreneur who has co-founded Peer Loft. The mission of Peer Loft is to create products and services that help teams amplify their creativity. Their first product, Studio Stream, will help design organizations and education institutions expand their design studios over distances without sacrificing the key elements that make a studio a powerful tool for creativity and team learning.


Simona Maschi (Denmark)


Simona Maschi is a co-founder and CEO of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Leading the overall organisation at CIID she heads a team that encompasses a world class consultancy, education programme and a research lab.

Simona has over 15 years teaching experience at various institutions including Denmark’s Design School (DKDS) and the IT University in Copenhagen. She has lectured at the Politecnico University in Milan, and was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Until June 2006, she was an associate professor and researcher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy. Simona studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan where where she completed both her PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication (2002), and her MA in Architecture (1996).

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. The 2015 Student Design Challenge is being led by Izac Ross (United States) and Noel Franus (United States).


Izac Ross (United States)


Izac Ross is a Service and Interaction Designer at Cooper. Izac received his BFA in Service Design, with concentrations in industrial and interaction design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He blends methods from interaction design, industrial design, service management, and design research to create new approaches and frameworks to solve problems that go beyond a single device, channel, or medium.


Noel Franus (United States)


Noel Franus is VP/Experience Design Director with CP+B in Boulder, Colorado, where he applies his 20 years of experience in interaction design, sensory design and invention to launch consumer platforms for brands like Domino’s, Best Buy, Windows, American Express and Kraft. He is also founder of P.INK, a CP+B fueled movement connecting breast cancer survivors with tattoo inspirations and artists who can help them move on after a mastectomy. Noel’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, PSFK and the Huffington Post.

Prior to joining CP+B, Noel was partner of the sonic branding and interaction agency Sonic ID US+UK. He helped lead the sonic branding practice at Elias Arts, and in 1999 was founding partner of the San Francisco user-experience consultancy Carbon IQ.