Our Friday's Activity Sessions allows you to explore Boulder, stimulate creativity and connect with your fellow attendees outside of the traditional conference setting. The activity signup is closed. If you wish to change your activity, post on Connect to see if you can swap.


Our activities include:

Boulder Design Studio Tour

Sam Davis

Experience three of Colorado's top interactive studios: Disney Online Kerpoof Studios, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and wall st. You will finish the tour around 6:00 pm. Learn about the studios:

  • Disney Online Kerpoof Studios, producer of and, specializes in creating rich and engaging web-based platforms centered around creativity and self-expression.
  • Step inside the world of marketing and design firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Agency leaders will discuss the shops' background, culture, experience design methodology and work. For more information about CP+B's clients and work, please visit
  • wall st. defines, designs, develops and hosts custom websites, reports and tools for the healthcare, government and the financial service industries.

Sam is an Information Technology consultant with 10 years of experience working with private, public sector and nonprofit clients in the financial, telecom and transportation industries.

Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour

Peter March

Find out where tea comes from and taste some samples. Discover how ingredients from around the world become Celestial Seasonings teas. Clear your sinuses in the mint room, get hypnotized by the custom packaging machines, and taste some of the 60+ kosher, natural teas this one-time startup company sells -- to the tune of over $100,000,000 in the US alone. The factory tour will be followed by an informal Q&A with Erin Humphries, Brand Manager for Celestial Seasonings.. And yes, the Celestial Seasonings factory really is on Sleepytime Drive -- a scenic 20-minute journey from downtown Boulder with views of the mountains to the west.

Peter has 10+ years of experience in the fields of Interaction and Information Design working with numerous clients in the retail, technology and financial sectors. He seeks to create environments where UX, Design and Technology teams can work together to find solutions that go beyond the ordinary.

Geocaching: Treasure Hunt

Barbara Holmes, Jill Reed & Michele Marut

Find and hide IxD treasure in the high-tech fun that is geocaching. Treasure hunters wanted! Find some treasure and hide some treasure: Learn the principles of geocaching and help create the Interaction11-themed cache. We'll split into groups outdoors and locate a few caches, then go place the conference cache. Our cache will include a Travel Bug which we'll address to Interaction12 in Dublin and track its progress online.

Come with your GPS or GPS-enabled mobile device, and bring a small-sized trinket to leave in the cache(s). While you're at Interaction11, collect another small trinket or memento of your experience (but no items that will spoil). We'll create our cache and then hide it on campus.

Geocaching [] is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. A Travel Bug is a trackable tag that you attach to an item. This allows you to track your item on The item becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world and you can follow its progress online.

In case of inclement weather, an alternate activity will be provided.

Be prepared for weather; wear layers, water-resistant shoes, hat and gloves.

Barbara Holmes, user experience architect, ISITE Design. Barbara is also the co-leader of the IxDA Portland chapter. Geocaching connects a global community to the environment via GPS technology, the internet, physical artifacts, and the written word. Jill conducts research, UI design and interaction design for electronic medical record software. Michele is a User Experience Researcher at Misys. She is also a Local Leader with IxDA New York and a former Local Ambassador for IxDA Pittsburgh

Hike: Touch the Flatirons

Johanna Kollmann

Invigorating guided hike on one of Boulder's premier trails. Nearby Chautauqua Park, nestled at the foot of the Flatiron rock formations, is the starting point for miles and miles of trails through grasslands, valleys, tree-filled mesas, and boulders. We'll split into two groups - an easy hike, or a more challenging hike - each with a guide to discuss wayfinding and trail design.

Boulder sits about 5500 feet above sea level. While the winters are relatively mild, the weather can be unpredictable so make sure you bring: water-resistant shoes with a tread (it’s a hike, not a walk), a warm jumper and a rain jacket with a cap or hoodie; sunglasses and sunscreen; gloves; and your camera!

Johanna is a UX designer with a background in information design and HCI. She’s also Austrian so when she’s near mountains a hike is in order.

Interaction Design Fundamentals

Jeremy Yuille

A primer for people new to the field. Interaction and UX design draw from many fields to create simple coherent solutions to complex problems. This eclectic mix of ideas and technique can sometimes be daunting to people new to the field or transitioning from other related disciplines.

In this session, we'll explore the fundamentals of IxD. We'll look at some of the big ideas that the field is built on, and how these translate into practices that designers use every day. There'll be talk, discussion, and activities to help you understand the essence of this way of designing.

Jeremy is an interaction designer, digital media artist and academic with a background in music, performance and architecture. He thinks that anyone can learn how to use design and that this can help make the world a better place.

Life & Death IxD

John Milanski

Get hands-on with the software and hardware that firefighters use. What if the decisions you made as a designer, literally did mean life or death? Come to a hands-on session at the Louisville Fire Station to see the products and software that firefighters and EMTs use every day, try out the way that the equipment is intended to be used, and brainstorm how to improve it. You'll get to participate at three different stations: vehicle-based wayfinding, Fire SCBA use (personal air tanks), & Fire pump panel on an actual fire engine. We may even run you through the 'maze'.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes - some of the equipment may be dirty.

John is a volunteer firefighter with 10 years experience in interaction and software design. He is also president of the Rocky Mountain chapter of HFES (Human Factors & Ergonomics Society).

Prototyping with Junk

Nancy Frishberg

Use tangible items to make rapid prototypes of user experiences. This technique adds another communication tool for working with clients, customers and your team. And it's fun! We'll work in teams or individually without a 'net connection or digital tools, using easily available "junk" materials.

Nancy is a user experience strategist, a Certified Facilitator of Innovation Games®, and a former sign language interpreter, trainer and evaluator. Her first entrepreneurial effort (6th grade) was organizing a neighborhood summer pre-school for a dozen kids with plenty of arts & crafts activities.

Sensory Design: Fragrance

Andrea Mignolo

Learn about parallels between scent design and interaction design. Visit the custom perfume shop of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, who is a fragrance designer, visual artist and certified aromatherapist. First, Dawn will introduce us to the terminology and categories of fragrance. Then, Dawn will give a custom fragrance consultation to one random, lucky participant - recommending what types of fragrance are a good fit for that particular person -- keeping in mind that fragrance can serve a number of different purposes. After that, we'll discuss Dawn's process, and the parallels between fragrance design and interaction design.

Please avoid wearing perfume or scented body products.

Andrea is an Interaction and visual designer specializing in web and mobile experiences.

Sensory Design: Sonic Engagement

Noel Franus

Explore sound design at Boulder's Coupe Studios. Sonic wayfinding systems, product sonification, voice menu systems, background music for a demo video--nearly all of us have at least some experience in using music, sound, voice and silence to stir emotions and change behaviors. The team at Coupe Studios has been at it for decades. We'll take a curious, closer look at some ground-level rules and consider real-world inspirations for what it takes to engage the hearts and minds of anyone with ears.

Noel is Associate Experience Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and is also the founder of the Carbon IQ user experience group and the sonic branding and identity consultancy Sonic ID US.

The Design of Craft Beer

Justin Davis

Explore how design has contributed to a craft beer revolution. The recent craft beer revolution is a testament to the intentional design of culinary experiences. This expansion has led to an explosion in awareness and consumption of craft beer, and ultimately, has permanently raised the bar on what consumers should expect from beer.

During this walking tour, we'll taste different kinds of craft beers from Walnut Brewery, Mountain Sun Brewery and BJ's Brewhouse. But this tour isn't a pub crawl; it's an exploration of the beer-making process and its parallels with interaction design methodologies. Participants have the option to purchase their own beer; all are welcome to join in the discussion regardless of sampling.

A former craft beer podcaster and homebrewer, Justin has a deep passion for artisan food and drink products and the experiences that can be designed around them.

Visualizing Climate Change

Mekayla Beaver

How can interaction design spark action about climate change? Boulder's National Center for Atmospheric Research is one of the leading research facilities studying weather and climate change. We'll tour the facility-- designed by architect I.M Pei, and perched on one of the spectacular mesas overlooking Boulder. We'll see how NCAR's visualization tools have changed over the decades, and talk with the engineers and scientists who turn their climate data into interactive models. They'll show us tools they're creating to give researchers, government officials and the general public a better understanding of what climate change means, and what to do about it. What can we learn from the NCAR folks who make these visualizations? How could we all collaborate to expand the impact of this work? Come prepared for a tour of an interesting space, lively discussions, and a beautiful view.

Mekayla is a design researcher and strategist who specializes in human-centered design for social and environmental impact. Her Boulder-based consulting firm is Gloworm.

Yoga in the Wild

Elizabeth Bacon

Relaxation and tea at an ashram near the foot of Eldo Canyon. Relax into a gentle yoga/stress release/meditation session at the Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram. Open to all experience levels, we'll find sanctuary and fellowship in the beautiful meditation dome, adorned with sacred art and permeated by 'shakti' or spiritual energy. Then, we'll enjoy tea and conversation before heading back to town. Make sure to wear stretchy clothes.

Liz, an IxDA Director Emeritus, is passionate about the power of both interaction design & yoga to help improve the human condition.

Boulder Bicycle Tour

David Slayden

Rent a bike and enjoy a leisurely ride along Boulder’s many bike paths. Weather in Colorado is unpredictable, but bluebird days in February aren't as unusual as you might think. And when it is bluebird, biking is one of the best ways to enjoy the weather. The ride begins in downtown Boulder and joins up with the Boulder Creek Path. Riders will head east along various scenic paths and will be afforded expansive views of the Flatirons. The ride ends back in downtown Boulder.

In case of inclement weather, an alternate activity or refund will be provided. Dress for the bike and the weather - wear layers and grippy gloves. The bike rental shop may require its own waiver.

David's students at CU have repeatedly taken top honors in awards competitions. David's creative work has been honored by top awards shows and publications, including the Clios, CA, Creativity, etc.

Indoor Bouldering & Rock Climbing

Lis Hubert

Take a rope-free lesson at an indoor bouldering gym, then climb. Boulder is famous for, well, bouldering and rock climbing. At The Spot bouldering gym, we'll challenge ourselves without ropes, the boulders are replicas of famous rocks from around the world, the handholds are attached, and the floor is bouncy. We'll start with a one-hour lesson on safety and technique; then practice our skills on easy to difficult routes ("problems'). Open to all fitness levels from occasional exercisers to experienced athletes; the higher your fitness level, the more terrain will be available to you. Cost includes rental of climbing shoes, plus use of a harness for the optional toprope wall.

Wear stretchy clothes. This venue has its own waiver to sign.

Lis has 5+ years experience helping clients ranging from one person startups to Fortune 100 corporations in industries ranging from financial to entertainment. Lis makes their products easier and more enjoyable to find and use.

Boulder Brew Bus Experience

Megan Grocki

Roll to 3 breweries on Banjo Billy's private, funky busses. Get a first-hand look at three local microbreweries as we tour the town in school busses disguised as traveling hillbilly shacks. First stop - Avery Brewing. We'll get a peek at their 240-barrel outdoor fermentation vessels and taste one of their full-flavored artisan beers. Next stop - Upslope Brewery, with their signature "Upslope Pale Ale" brewed with Patagonian hops. Final stop - Twisted Pine Brewing Company's 100% natural, unpasteurized pure malt ales. This experience will steep us in the flavor of Boulder, and allow us to enjoy each others' company (and a few pints) in a more casual setting.

Activity fee includes a small “taster” beer at each stop. If desired, additional beer may be purchased separately.

Megan is a Senior Experience Designer at Mad*Pow. She likes her beer as she likes her coffee: dark and extra bold!

Shaken or Stirred: Mixology Design

Jennifer Fraser

Basics of cocktail design, and parallels with product design. At The Bitter Bar, world-renowned Mixologist Mark Stoddard will explain the basic principles for creating a handcrafted cocktail and its fundamental components. We will look at specific examples of a few classic cocktails and see how they map to these basic components. Then, taking cues from these principles, we'll discuss whether or not the same reductive logic can be applied to designing a product, and explore the parallels between these two creative design processes. Price includes two cocktails, a recipe guide, and a gift.

Jennifer has over 12 years experience working as an Interaction Designer, during which she has designed a variety of products for a wide range of target markets. As a hobby, she hones the skills she acquired while completing her Bachelor and Masters of Architecture from Carleton University to design and build cocktails.

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