About Erin

Erin Malone is an author, design historian, educator and a recently paused senior level user experience designer and researcher who has spent her career deconstructing complex systems, designing web and software applications, and social experiences and leading experience design teams.

She is the Chair of the Interaction Design BFA program at California College of the Arts and is an Associate Professor. She teaches IXD Foundations, Visual Interaction Design, Systems Thinking, Interaction Design History and Behavior. Her most recent consulting involved working with the Center for Technology and Society at the Anti Defamation League, where she spent close to four years working a variety of user centered projects including the ADL Social Pattern Library, a series of diagrams and models to help educate constituents about the ecosystem of online spaces and various other research projects.

Prior to running her own firm, she spent 10+ years at Tangible UX as a founding partner, where she led User Experience Design projects for several Fortune 500 companies including Capital One, AutoDesk, Netflix, Spotify, Comcast, Macmillan Education, and Verizon as well as working hands on with a host of startups.

Before becoming a consultant, she spent over 4 years at Yahoo! building and managing the Platform User Experience Design team where her team was responsible for creating the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library and for providing design expertise to the popular YUI (Yahoo! User Interface Library). Additionally, she led the redesign of the Yahoo! Developer Network, oversaw the redesign of Yahoo!’s registration system and worked on other cross-company initiatives including community products and the social platform.

Before Yahoo!, she was a Design Director at AOL with teams working across community and personalized products, Creative Director at AltaVista where she launched the AltaVista Live portal and their community offerings. She built first generation entertainment guides and community tools at Zip2 for national newspaper partners including the NY Times, San Jose Mercury News and early websites for AOL greenhouse partners. She began her Silicon Valley life working at Adobe on their first website—way back in web 1.0.

She has taught workshops and been a guest lecturer at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Centre Center, Tradecraft and General Assembly and at conferences including the IXDA Interaction week—Zurich, Online, Montreal, Vancouver, Savannah—, IA Summits—New Orleans, Online, San Diego, New Orleans, Vancouver, Memphis, Miami, Montreal, Baltimore—, O’Reilly Media Webinars, WebVisions, IDEA, Web 2.0—SF & NY—, WebApp Masters, UIE webinars, BayChi, EuroIA, the German IA Konferenz, and The Design Writing Summit.

She was a founding member of the IA Institute, former chief editor of Boxes and Arrows, author of several articles and is the co-author of both editions of the book Designing Social Interfaces for O’Reilly Media.

In her spare time she is a photographer—erin malone photography—and a letterpress printer—8 Paw Press

She has a dog and a couple of black cats.

Career Highlights include:

  • Designed & built Kodak’s first website, 1995
  • Designed & built Adobe’s first website, 1995-1997
  • 1st Designer in Engineering department at early web start up Zip2, 1997-1999
  • Managed Community team at AOL—released 1st blogging tool,  polls tool among others, 2000-2004
  • Founding Editor, Boxes & Arrows, 2001-2006
  • Founding member IA Institute, 2002
  • Founder Yahoo! Pattern Library, 1st corporate interaction library published publicly, 2004-2008
  • Co-Author Designing Social Interfaces 1st & 2nd editions, 2009 & 2015
  • Chair, Interaction Design BFA program, California College of the Arts, 2020-present
  • Author of the forthcoming book from MIT Press In Through the Side Door: Fifty Years of Women in Interaction Design
    Coming Fall 2024