Mountford, Joy

Mountford 1989
Joy Mountford at the HCI International Conference in Boston, MA in 1989.

S. Joy Mountford is an internationally recognized leader in the field of human-computer interaction who has designed and led teams responsible for developing a wide variety of systems. Mountford began her career as a designer at Honeywell, where she designed displays and controls for military aircraft, helmet display systems, and the space shuttle. While pursuing her graduate degree on a scholarship in aviation psychology, Mountford had learned how to use various flight simulators with extremely complex control systems. Her work at Honeywell improved the usability of such systems for many users.

Mountford at the Stein Conference 1993.
Mountford with Charles Kreitzberg at the Stein Conference in Philadelphia, PA in 1993.

In the late 1980s, Mountford created and managed the acclaimed Human Interface Group at Apple Computer, the team that invented the initial use of QuickTime. She joined Interval Research in 1994 and served as a senior project lead on a series of musical and book development projects. Mountford went on to lead her own interaction design consulting company, building interactive products and Web site designs using data visualizations for a range of clients.

Mountford continues to serve as a consultant to a variety of companies and frequently teaches and presents at top conferences in the field, including ACM SIGCHI, IDCA, and TED.

Mountford at CHI 2012.
Mountford with Elizabeth Churchill (left) and Wendy Kellogg (right) at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Austin, TX in May 2012.

She also promotes and challenges the next generation of interdisciplinary graduates through the International Design Expo. With various industry partners, it has sponsored design classes around the world for more than 20 years, creating a legacy of over 4000 students, now in influential industry and educational positions. While at Apple the Expo sponsored the classes that initiated the D school at Stanford and CRD at RCA.

SIGCHI awarded Mountford the 2012 Lifetime Practice Award for her outstanding contributions to the practice and understanding of human-computer interaction.

Joy Mountford’s design and research leadership in Apple’s Human Interface Group helped shape early ideas for many new products.  I was a consultant for Apple in the late 1980s and enjoyed my visits to One Infinite Loop. Joy Mountford gave me a great opportunity during a 1993 visit, when I gave five talks in five days. It was great fun, and I learned a lot. Joy came to University of Maryland to speak in the User Interface Strategies 1990 satellite TV program. She gave the first ever live broadcast from a Mac which was exciting. – Ben Shneiderman


  • University College London
  • Graduate degree in Engineering Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Senior Director, Akamai Technologies (2012 – 2015)
  • Osher Fellow, Exploratorium (2011 – 2011)
  • Founder and Director, Interaction Design Expo (1989 – 2011)
  • Vice President of User Experience Design, Yahoo! (2005 – 2008)
  • Founder and Principal, idbias (2000 – 2005)
  • Senior Project Lead, Interval Research (1994 – 2000)
  • Head of Human Interface Group, Apple Inc. (1986 – 1994)
  • Project Leaders, Interface Research Group, Microelectronics Computer Consortium (1984 – 1986)
  • Human Computer Interaction Designer, Honeywell (1979 – 1986)


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