Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer


San Francisco, California

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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. 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.

Areas of Expertise:

  • interaction design
  • product design
  • internet of things
  • consumer electronics
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • training



“Overall, Saffer has broken the interactions users have with digital products and services into basic elements that apply to a broad array of contexts. Each element works as both a discrete aspect of microinteraction, as well as a case-in-point for thinking about design from the standpoint of its smallest working parts. At an even finer level, individual elements such as the trigger mentioned above are broken contextually into common conditions in which they are found, such as during errors, changes in user location, and new additions of data. This cogent balance between structure, context, and usability makes Microinteractions a recommended read for anyone interested in the finer details of design.”
— Guiseppe Getto, Technical Communication, Volume 61, Number 3, August 2014
“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