The Women
of Interaction Design

Telling the Other Half of the Story

Coming from MIT Press
Spring 2024

The history of computing and interaction design is full of tales of the lone genius white male and occasionally gives a nod to the same handful of women we see in history book after history book. This collection looks to challenge the status-quo with stories about early interaction and information pioneers—the women of all colors who were trailblazers in male dominated areas, who created new practices and methods; the women who started programs in universities; who founded journals, magazines and professional organizations to celebrate our practices; the women who ran departments in the tech companies and became founders of agencies and Vice Presidents and CXOs or startup founders.

My goal is to highlight many people you may not have heard about before, as well as a few familiar names, but mostly it’s about women breaking ground, leading the way, leading teams, founding disciplines, starting magazines, creating professional organizations to cultivate community, and creating new programs in universities. These women are innovating the design processes and techniques of our craft, they are teaching to codify common practices, starting companies, and creating opportunities for others to come into a mature well-defined profession.

Without women, the field of interaction design would not be as rich as we find it today. While the stories we learn are usually about the men—the myth of the lone genius is strong—WORK was and still is being done by women behind the scenes. Team collaborations and research done by women is mostly unsung and often forgotten. Design done by women often times goes uncredited—we tend not to seek the spotlight as collaborators, and we like to share credit with our teams. 

This collection focuses on the applied practice of women across interaction design—& ux design—and the subdisciplines that have evolved out of this practice including interaction design, information architecture, content strategy & governance, user research, information visualization and visual interface design. 

Portrait of Erin Malone

About the Author

Erin Malone is principal at Experience Matters Design, specializing in designing systems, complex internal tools, user research and social interfaces. She is currently working with the Anti-Defamation League's Center for Technology and Society, fighting hate in online social spaces and games. She was a founding member of the IA Institute, former chief editor of Boxes and Arrows for 5 years and is co-author of the book Designing Social Interfaces, 2nd and 1st editions, published by O’Reilly Media. She holds a BFA in Communication Design from East Carolina University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been working in digital interactive spaces since 1993.

She is also the Chair of the Interaction Design BFA program at California College of the Arts and teaches Interaction Design History (among other classes) and thinks a lot about the missing stories.

Stay up to date with the project and book release information.

© 2022 erin malone 

Share this page with a friend