Cooper is a design
and strategy firm

Cooper is a design
and strategy firm
based in San Francisco.


We work with companies to create products and services that delight the people who use them.

Since 1992, we’ve designed everything from medical devices to consumer products to sophisticated business tools. Our inventive spark sets us apart, but we know that true innovation requires more than sketching a clever idea; it requires deep insight, close collaboration, and coordinated execution.

Our specialty has always been bringing clarity to complex situations. We know that “simple” isn’t easy and that a breakthrough user experience begins with a deep understanding of people. Our design and research methods focus our creativity, enabling us to uncover opportunities that fit your business and inspire your customers.

We can work with you to shape a product vision, and help you express that vision with killer presentations and demos. When you’re ready to make it real, we can work out the details and guide implementation to keep everyone headed in the right direction.

Our People

We design successful digital products by focusing on human goals.

At Cooper we are passionate about bringing transformative designs and ideas to the marketplace that positively impact people’s lives. Our project teams include a combination of experienced interaction designers, visual designers, and industrial designers offering expertise in fields related to everything from health and finance to education, art and business. Behind the scenes, our professional HR and Operations team ensures that our design teams have the tools, environment, and support they need to fully serve client needs and pull off one superb project after another.

Our Approach

Bringing clarity to complex situations.

Our structured approach focuses our creative ideas on the right opportunities, providing a robust context for collaboration. We sequence our decisions in a meaningful way, so that clients are closely involved, well informed, and able to plan with confidence. And as the project’s vision emerges, we help our clients communicate internally, building in-house momentum towards delivering a successful product.


We wrote the books on designing successful tech products. Literally.

Cooper designers have produced some of the seminal works in the field of interactive design, publishing groundbreaking explorations into what makes an effective design that people will love. From principles and methods to futuristic models and industry analysis, our books offer lessons and insights that will improve your toolkit and inspire creative work.

About Face: The essentials of interaction design, Fourth Edition

by Alan Cooper,
Robert Reimann,
David Cronin
& Christopher Noessel

Wiley; ISBN: 1118766571


The first three editions of About Face shaped the evolution of interaction design, bringing it from development shops and research labs into the everyday language of product marketing, design and development. This fourth edition, the most significant revision yet, features a stunning new design and a full color interior. Addressing the many changes in the design landscape since its last publication, this new edition includes interaction methods and strategies for touchscreen phones and tablets as ell as updated chapters for the web and desktop applications.

“About Face is one of the very rare design books that’s fun to read, even though it rocks fundamental beliefs and packs the page with useful information. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what the software design process should be (but usually isn’t). The perspective is unique: intellectually rigorous enough for academics while remaining focused on helping practitioners. I’d recommend this book to anybody in the business.”

—Harley Manning, Research Director, Forrester Research

Designing for the Digital Age: How to create human-centered products and services

by Kim Goodwin,
foreword by Alan Cooper

Wiley; ISBN 0470229101


Designing successful products and services in the digital age requires a multidisciplinary team with expertise in interaction design, visual design, industrial design, and other disciplines. It also takes the ability to come up with the big ideas that make a desirable product or service, as well as the skill and perseverance to execute on the thousand small ideas that get your design into the hands of users. It requires expertise in project management, user research, and consensus-building. This comprehensive, full-color volume addresses all of this and more with detailed how-to information, real-life examples, and exercises. Topics include assembling a design team, planning and conducting user research, analyzing your data and turning it into personas, using scenarios to drive requirements definition and design, collaborating in design meetings, evaluating and iterating your design, and documenting finished design in a way that works for engineers and stakeholders alike.

“Kim is one of the brightest minds in the world of user experience design. Her work on Goal-Directed Design and persona development has set a standard.”

—Jared Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering

Make It So: Interaction
design lessons from
science fiction

by Nathan Shedroff &
Christopher Noessel

Rosenfeld Media; ISBN 1933820985

Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying these “outsider” user interfaces, designers can derive lessons that make their real-world designs more cutting edge and successful.

“Part futurist treatise, part design manual, and part cultural analysis, Make It So is a fascinating investigation of an often-overlooked topic: How sci-fi influences the development of tomorrow’s machine interfaces.”

—Annalee Newitz, Editor, io9 blog

Visit the book website at and Nathan Shedroff at

The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why high-tech products drive us crazy

by Alan Cooper,
foreword by Paul Saffo

SAMS; ISBN: 0-67231-649-8


The Inmates Are Running the Asylum argues that, despite appearances, business executives are simply not the ones in control of the high-tech industry. They have inadvertently put programmers and engineers in charge, leading to products and processes that waste huge amounts of money, squander customer loyalty, and erode competitive advantage. They have let the inmates run the asylum. Alan Cooper offers a provocative, insightful, and entertaining explanation of how talented people repeatedly design bad software-based products. More importantly, he uses his own work with companies big and small to show how to create products that will both thrill users and improve the bottom line.

“Once again, Alan Cooper shows the way. His books should be required reading for all those technology companies who think they are serving their customers: Think again. We need more books like this one, and more people like Alan Cooper.”

—Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group, author of Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things


We’re on a mission to make the digital world a better place. Join us.

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