Francine Gemperle

Senior Design Strategist

Francine collaborates with teams and clients at MAYA Design to bring human experiences to the forefront of our design work on innovative technologies. She is an expert in human-centered design methods and their application in a variety of complex situations for MAYA’s healthcare, military, and industrial clients. She shapes better product experiences by building an understanding of users’ context, goals, and desires, then exploring and developing new forms for interaction with digital technology.

With 5 patents and more than 15 publications to her credit, Francine has exhibited and lectured about her work at schools and institutions around the world.

Francine headed up MAYA’s training initiative prior to passing the torch to the team who founded LUMA Institute. She is currently leading the Human Sciences Group. Prior to working at MAYA, Francine spent 8 years teaming with engineers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Wearable Computing Group and Robotics Institute.


MDes Interaction Design, Carnegie Mellon University
BFA Industrial Design, Carnegie Mellon University

Places I’ve Lived

Chicago, IL
Pittsburgh, PA

Books I Love

Cookbooks - because they expose a very complex ecology of plants, animals and humans through simple making exercises.

Earliest Memory of Using Something High-Tech

1992 CMU email account, which seemed high-tech largely because my parents had no idea what it was.

First Thing I Built

Life size terra cotta hamburger - age 5.

Blog Posts

Information Centricity 101
Apr 24 2009 in Architectural Approach

Information-centric design places primacy on the information itself to support direct interaction between people and information.

Speaking Engagements

World IA Day Panel
Feb 20 2016

Francine Gemperle joins a panel of experts to discuss the importance of information architecture for the next generation of design, and bringing order to chaos.

UX Pittsburgh
Aug 06 2014

Francine Gemperle will present the basics of planning and running usability tests. She’ll focus in particular on running your own guerrilla user research. Done correctly, guerrilla research is a fast and cheap way to bring human centered design to your projects.

Designing for Big Data
Apr 26 2013

Francine Gemperle will discuss how human-centered design relates to the challenges and opportunities presented by ‘Big Data’ at a special event hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club.


MAYA Design is in this month’s Inc Magazine
Jul 12 2006

“Brave New Office” July, 2006 Francine Gemperle, a relatively new mom, and a talented Human Scientist, at MAYA is interviewed, along with a photo shot of her and her son, Milo, at our Pittsburgh office. They both look fabulous. A couple of points related to the article — we are pro Mom and pro Dad, not just pro Mom. We are gender insensitive. MAYA spelling is incorrect.

Brave New Policy: Babies In the Office
Jul 06 2006

This look at MAYA’s baby-friendly workplace included focused on designer Francine Gemperle and her son, Milo.