Being as accomplished as Bill was, it surprised me that he was such a humble, nice person. I would see Bill at conferences and talks after my time at IDEO and he would always make time to come by and say hello, chat for a while, tell a few jokes or amusing stories.

I often wondered why a chat with Bill had this uncanny way of putting you at ease and leaving you on a high note. But then again he always reminded me a little of Obi Wan Kenobi…. Hmm….

Thanks Bill.

submitted by Douglas Stewart


He was an idealistic fighter, each section of his dramatic life requires a lifetime effort for others to achieve, but he never met, always wanted to do something for the future and this world. We have been invited to talk at the same conference at least for three times. Although what he said was always similar, you can always be inspired by his insights and super nice personality. I still remember he was so proud to say that he made the graphic design of (the interior of) Designing Interactions by himself.

He said the reason he took the job of the museum is to communicate design to the mass, and enable design to enter people’s daily life. I went to the museum to see him in 2012, he was so excited to show me every details of the museum, introduce how they move a TATA car into the old museum. He was so proud to say that he had raised so many funds for the museum. He said my DESIGN Harvests project should been shown in his museum when the renovation is completed. At that time, Jobs was just passed away, in order to see the apple flagship store on Fifth Avenue, I declined the invitation to his apartment for lunch. I did not expect it became our last meeting, as he health condition seems great at that time. Later, I heard he had some problems and had already returned to California, after that came the bad news.

“Design for a meaningful life and a better world”, this is his life. We all know that he is now in paradise.

submitted by LOU Yongqi


I knew about Bill when I was deciding to become an Industrial Designer 35 years ago. There was an exhibition about british design in México City, I saw his work and decided to became an ID. I lost his track during years, the I knew he co-founded IDEO. I established contact with him to invite him to come to Universidad Panamericana campus Bonaterra in México, he came to give 4 conferences. Then we created a postgraduate program called Biointeractive Innovation. Now I have an investigation line about interaction in the virtual world. And you ask me how he changed my life…

submitted by Luis Arturo Méndez Alba


I was lucky enough to spend an evening meal sitting opposite Bill and share stories about Denmark, design and our opinions on user experience and usability. His way of insight driven problem-solving has inspired me and I look back at that chance encounter as a defining moment in my professional life. We lost a great man in so many ways and much too soon. But the legacy and memories he has left I am truly grateful for.

submitted by James Kelway


dear bill,
i miss you! i think of you almost every day. you lived in an exemplary way. ”WWBD?”


submitted by katie shelly


“If there is a simple, easy principle that binds together everything I’ve done, it’s my interest in people and their relationship to things. … I’m interested in why people like things, and what gives them a feeling of long-term reward, what gives them pleasure, and what excites them. Ultimately, my interest centers on the effect that design has on someone.”

Lovely piece from Maria Popova today, Bill’s birthday, on Brain Pickings.

submitted by Katie Clark


Letter from Bill Moggridge to Cass Moggridge (Bill’s sister-in-law), 23rd of June (year not given).

Dear Cass,

Well I suppose I must tell you the story of my terrible adventure in Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo sounds as if it should be in the middle of the Sahara desert doesn’t it, but it is in the flat lands of Michigan between three of the great lakes.

I was staying in the Sheraton hotel in one of those hotel rooms on the sixth floor which was entirely indistinguishable from all those other hotel rooms on the sixth floor of any Sheraton anywhere. I went to sleep at about 11.30 pm and slept soundly for a time; then woke up suddenly, put on the light and walked straight to the door of the hotel room. I opened it and checked that the corridor was empty and then took half a step forward. I can still feel the sensation of the door pushing against my bottom and gently propelling me into the corridor, followed by that inexorable click as it shut leaving me in the corridor without a stitch of clothing on.

My room was near the lift so I thought it would be wise to head off in the other direction in search of an open door to a laundry cupboard with a towel in or something, or perhaps a waste paper basket, or a polythene bag, or anything.

The corridor was completely empty; just locked doors and an ice machine, with an exit staircase at the end. I tried going up to the roof but even that was locked.

By this time I realized that I’d probably been woken by the urgent need to pee. But where? No receptacles visible, so I was forced to dismantle a wall mounted ashtray, which when duly filled I deposited on the exit staircase.

Well would the next floor down be exactly the same or would it offer some magical garment or covering? It was exactly the same of course – just locked doors and an ice machine. And so was the next and the next. Finally I arrived at the ground floor level and cautiously peered into the corridor, to find with some dismay that it could not be the witching hour as the music was still coming from the bar and that someone was walking along the corridor towards the bar and the reception desk beyond it.

There seemed no alternative to the parking lot. Quite cool and refreshing really. Round the back of the hotel I spied an enormous skip and thought. “Ah- lovely rubbish.” Lifting up the heavy steel lid I rummaged around inside, just reaching in by standing on tiptoe. And then the reward. Newspaper! Folding the sheets together I manufactured a sort of Hawaiian skirt; unfortunately it was not entirely secure so I had to walk with both elbows tucked in to hold it up.

I then marched into the hotel along past the bar and up to reception where a guest was talking to the receptionist. “ You’ll never believe this but I locked myself out of my room” was my explanation. The receptionist had never moved so fast I had another key in my hand within 3 seconds.

Then back past the bar, up in the lift, dressed, down the corridor, picked up my ashtray and brought it back, emptied cleaned and returned it, back to bed and fell into a dreamless sleep.

The poltergeist had not quite left however; before I got back to Palo Alto I missed 2 planes and got myself booked on another which had been cancelled for the last four months.


PS I hope you will be persuaded by Karin’s suggestion and take a week off (or two) with us.

submitted by Cass Moggridge


Bill is one of my all-time heroes, & one of the nicest & best human beings I’ve ever been lucky enough to know.

I first met Bill in Palo Alto in 1982, when we were neighbours. I was 9. So Alex & Eric became our play buddies, their house became a den of fun, & Bill would tuck all us kids into bed with his amazing terrifying hugs. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde was genius.

When I was a teenager Bill helped foster my interest in design, giving me tips for remembering the difference between 1st & 3rd degree projections, & inviting me to visit ID2′s studios. He insisted I could sit in on the discussions about top secret prototypes, despite his colleagues’ frowns.

I remember him showing off one prototype of sheer wonder: a pair of lip-shaped devices where one pair of lips glowed according to how you blew a kiss into the other pair of lips. Bill had the same cheeky glint in his eye as when he explained his real pride in designing the GRID was the little trick to scoop out your pencil so it doesn’t block the clamshell.

I remember family holidays with Bill & Karin; hiking up an insanely steep Italian hillside at dawn & sitting painting watercolours with Bill. His insanely fast & swervy driving. His intense love of life. His kindness & generosity & humility.

So remembering Bill today on what would be his 70th birthday brings a big smile for all these fond memories, thanks for all he gave me, & sadness that he’s no longer with us. What a life.

Happy Birthday & thank you for everything, Bill. The world is far, far better off than it would have been without you.

submitted by Chris McCarthy


Dear Bill,

I first met you twenty-five years ago in your London Office. I later had an opportunity to work with IDEO in Japan and San Francisco and you taught me that designing really requires love and care.

When I decided to leave design work and Japan to study management, you gave me heartfelt encouragement and wrote me a wonderful recommendation letter. In London Business School, I was blessed to learn what design management is from you and how a designing mind is important in all aspects of business even when one is not working as a designer. All your teaching has been my asset to this date.

Thank you for welcoming me to your home in the United States and in London. Thank you also for empowering me with your warm smile when I was heart-broken and down. Bill, when think of your blue eyes, it makes me miss you even more. Thank you and I shall see you again. I look forward to that day…

submitted by Chitose


Potsdam 30.03.2007 11:20; Bill Moggridge , INNOVATIONSFORM INTERKTIONSDESIGN – Ein Kongress der Interaktionsspezialisten in Deutschland – Danke für die Impulse und den Bericht auch über Doug Engelbart, Entwickler der Computermaus. Großartige Präsentation, liebenswerter Kollge.

submitted by Bernd Schröder (VDID)


As a student of Industrial design circa 1987-1990 at Central School of Art and Design (latterly Central St Martin’s) I intuitively adored the work of Moggrdige associates & ID two. Then circa 1995 I met Bill (once), I was in IDEO’s Kentish Town Modelstudio, I was on my knees- labouring away at some prototypes for a Steelcase Strafor video, Bill walked in, cheerily, observed progress and mentioned something about how long it takes to embed a concept/pitch within a commercial….15 seconds as I recall.

Later on after work was finished we all retreated to the local “acid yellow pub” (Quinns) and Bill was there (most likely jet lagged) just sitting observing -soaking up the atmosphere.- just as designers should.

In hindsight, our earlier interaction lasted about 15 seconds-his concept as a design leader/thinker/sage has been embedded as part of my practice as a designer and educator ever since.

Thank you.

submitted by Andrew Forkes