Alex Grishaver is a Design Director for Knowledge Sharing at IDEO in Palo Alto, where he focuses on systems that facilitate communication and collaboration within organizations. Alex and his team are responsible for developing tools that help IDEO and its clients leverage their global networks of expertise and experience; they specialize in using technology to enable more intuitive, adaptive, and rewarding human interactions. Alex also mentors IDEO’s community of 50-plus interaction designers.
Alex joined IDEO in 1997 and, since then, he has served in various capacities, from working as an interaction designer during the first dot-com bubble to managing the firm’s long-term relationship with HBO. In 2006, Alex’s team partnered with Hakuhodo on a strategic project for Tokyo Metro in Japan; the project’s success kick-started IDEO’s relationship with the prestigious brand-marketing agency. Alex went on to work with many other clients in Asia, including TCL in China and LG and GS Home Shopping in South Korea, while helping to build IDEO’s portfolio of digital work. He and his team are currently collaborating with Moxie Software to develop a commercial version of IDEO’s award-winning internal knowledge-sharing platform, The Tube.
Before coming to IDEO, Alex oversaw user-research efforts at the online health and wellness startup Personal Health Connections. He also worked as an art director, illustrator, and designer for weekly newspapers before attending grad school at the Institute of Design in Chicago. While earning his master’s in product design, Alex explored the relationship between people and the built environment through activities such as studying the commuter experience in Chicago’s elevated train stations and designing products for teachers in public high schools. He also interned at McDonald’s, where he flipped burgers, observed workers, and developed training materials based on people’s mental models of cooking.