Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer

Designer, Director of Interaction Design at Smart Design.

San Francisco, California

Areas of Expertise:

  • interaction design
  • touchscreens
  • gestural interfaces
  • product design
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • training
At the intersection of new technology and everyday life you'll find Dan's work, changing how people think, work, and connect. The son of a plumber and a psychologist, Dan feels the interaction design he does is a little bit of both. Since 1995, he's designed everything from websites to consumer electronics to robots. He feels that design isn't only about problem solving, but about creating a better, more humane, future. At Smart Design, Dan is one of the directors of the interaction design practice, leading and advising teams to create new interaction paradigms across a wide range of products, spanning both digital and physical. Dan's insightful, thoughtful approach to design has been captured in the three books he's written—Designing for Interaction, Designing Gestural Interfaces, and Designing Devices—which are required reading for any student of interaction design. Dan has worked with a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 giants such as Microsoft and Time Warner to startups like AnyBots. He speaks and teaches workshops on design around the world. In 2008, he coined the term "topless meeting" (for a meeting without laptops), which was a finalist for Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year and Time Magazine's #10 Buzzword of 2008. He has a Masters of Design in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

Microinteractions: Full Color Edition Microinteractions: Full Color Edition
by Dan Saffer
October 2013
Print: $24.99
Ebook: $19.99

Microinteractions Microinteractions
by Dan Saffer
May 2013
OUT OF PRINT

Designing Gestural Interfaces Designing Gestural Interfaces
by Dan Saffer
November 2008
Print: $49.99
Ebook: $39.99

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Dan blogs at:

Getting to Signature Moments with Microinteractions

June 17 2013

Microinteractions are the small pieces of functionality that are inside or around features. They are brief, single use-case moments. Turning off the ringer on your phone is one example. While no one buys a phone for the ability to turn … read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

"Please buy this book. I say that selfishly as I want better design in the world. But I also say it generously: so many design books are fluffy affairs, lost in abstraction and ego. Saffer has hit the bullseye of problems the design world desperately needs to solve, and written a book every designer needs to read."
--Scott Berkun, http://scottberkun.com/

"I recommend this book for anyone who needs to know how to approach designing intelligent tangible systems, from the Wii, to ATM's to Arduino Physical Computing projects, and Mobile Physical Computing projects combining the power of Android with Arduino, to smart phones and facial expression recognition systems...This is the first and best book to date which has addressed the physical, software, electronic design, and interaction paradigm issues which must be confronted in designing these new systems. "
--Janette Dimitrova, Austin Adobe Users Group

"If you have anything to do with designing any kind of consumer electronics device, you should get a copy of Designing Gestural Interfaces and get a second copy to give to the marketing department who will, no doubt, be trying to stuff multitouch interfaces on everything."
--Andy Polaine, The Designers Review of Books