Bill Moggridge

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Bill Moggridge : biography

25 June 1943 – 8 September 2012

William Grant "Bill" Moggridge, RDI (25 June 1943 – 8 September 2012) was a British designer, author and educator who cofounded the design company IDEO and was director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York. He was a pioneer in adopting a human-centred approach in design, and championed interaction design as a mainstream design discipline (he is given credit for coining the term). Among his achievements, he designed the first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass, was honoured for Lifetime Achievement from the National Design Awards, and given the Prince Philip Designers Prize. He was quoted as saying, "If there is a simple, easy principle that binds everything I have done together, it is my interest in people and their relationship to things."

Awards and honours

Moggridge was given an honorary doctorate from CCA (California College of the Arts) in San Francisco in 2012.

In FastCompany’s October 2011 issue, Moggridge was profiled as a Master of Design, and named one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America.

In 2010, he was given the Prince Philip Designers Prize.

Moggridge was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at the National Design Awards, in a ceremony at the White House, presided over by First Lady Michelle Obama

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) named Moggridge a Fellow in 2006.

In 1988 Moggridge was named a Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).


In 1991, Moggridge was a co-founder of IDEO with David Kelley and Mike Nuttall, as all four firms merged into one. Moggridge stayed at IDEO until 2010, when he was named an IDEO Fellow.

ID Two

Moggridge returned to the US in 1979 to open another office, called ID Two, first located in Palo Alto, California. An early client was GRiD Systems, for whom he designed what is widely regarded as the first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass. This was the first portable computer with a display that closed over the keyboard, a patented innovation that GRiD licensed for many years. It retailed at $8,150 (£5,097) and flew on board every Space Shuttle mission from 1983 to 1997.

In 1982, designer Mike Nuttall joined ID Two from the London office, and worked on another portable computer project for Convergent Technologies. Because of the potential for conflict of interest, Nuttall left ID Two to form his own firm in Palo Alto, Matrix Product Design.

In this period, Moggridge also began teaching in Stanford University’s Product Design Program, where he met fellow teacher David Kelley, who had his own engineering design firm, David Kelley Design.

Film and video

Moggridge is a central figure in Gary Hustwit’s 2009 documentary on design, .

In 2009, Moggridge directed and produced a short film, , about Doug Wilde, a Stanford Professor Emeritus who began picking up trash on his daily bike rides up a steep mountain highway.


In October 2006, Moggridge published Designing Interactions (The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-13474-8), a 764-page introduction to and history of interaction design comprising 40-plus interviews with designers and entrepreneurs, from Douglas Engelbart to Will Wright to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Moggridge conducted the interviews, recorded and edited the videos (included with the book on a DVD), and designed the book and . Business week named it one of the Best Innovation and Design Books in 2006, and Don Norman wrote, "This will be the book—the book that summarizes how the technology of interaction came into being and prescribes how it will advance in the future."

He followed this in October 2010 with Designing Media (The MIT Press, ISBN 0262014858), another compilation of more than 35 interviews with experts in various media, new and old, including Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, Tim Westergren, Ira Glass, Craig Newmark, Hans Rosling, and DJ Spooky. Again, Moggridge conducted the interviews, wrote the text, and designed the book and .