This year, September 25 marks the inaugural World Interaction Design Day (IxDD), an annual celebration of interaction design and how it improves the human condition, created in partnership with the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).
This year’s theme is “advancing diversity and inclusion in design,” and on September 25, the global design community will come together at events all over the world to discuss and learn how we can use design to create a more equitable future for everyone.
To celebrate the annual event, we want to reflect on the design pioneers who came before us — people who made significant, but often under-recognized, contributions to diversity and inclusion in design.
Before the industry began studying how to make website and apps accessible, and before the tech industry coined the term “UX design,” there were designers innovating new products that made every day experiences — from driving a car to peeling the potatoes — more user-friendly for everyone. And before companies implemented diversity and inclusion initiatives, there were design pioneers blazing their own trails to make way for a more inclusive approach to design and creativity.
Here are some of their stories:
Betsey Farber, founder of OXO Cookware
Next time you’re in charge of opening a locked-shut jar, say thanks to Betsey. A talented former architect, Betsey helped revolutionize the kitchen utensil industry after she struggled to find tools that were comfortable to use with her arthritis. She went on to found OXO, the first line of ergonomic cooking tools, with her husband, Sam.