Kevin Hoffmann

Director of Engineering

Kevin not only designs prototypes and tames complex user interfaces, he seeks to understand how people work so that those interfaces help people do a better job.

The artifacts around his desk might give the impression that he spends most of his time writing software that controls or monitors electronic devices. He believes strongly in the value of building a prototype and testing it with users.

As a project manager, Kevin helps clients and MAYA’s interdisciplinary teams work well together, ensuring that our clients receive what they need on time and within budget.

Kevin is a 16-year veteran of MAYA and has also been one of the key designers for several of MAYA’s research projects, including Visage (a data visualization-and-manipulation environment, and a precursor to CoMotion from MAYA Viz); Expeditions (a project to redesign the personal computer for the 21st Century); and Renex (a visual programming environment).


MS Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
BS Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Blog Posts

The Benefit of Working With SMEs
Feb 18 2016 in Human-Centered Design

Subject matter experts (SMEs) can be your greatest collaborators when designing product solutions that delight users. Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your partnership.

Why do we prototype?
Dec 03 2009 in Human-Centered Design

Over the last several years, I’ve developed the mantra, “Just prototype it.” The experience of having to think through how things are built makes you ask all sorts of questions you never get around to in a design/brainstorming meeting. There are a few things to keep in mind before you begin though.

The Vision of MAYA
Sep 25 2006 in Notes from the Field

When I joined MAYA in November of 1997, I was excited by the ideas of new challenges, working on all types of user interfaces. I had found myself in previous jobs building user interfaces (a voice response application, an interface to compile large mainframe applications and run regression tests). During my first week I had a meeting with Peter Lucas, one of the founders of MAYA, to gain some insight into what MAYA is and what they were doing with Visage and Interstacks. After a couple of hours of Pete diagramming things on a whiteboard, talking in what seemed like a foreign language (it sounded like English, but with a bunch of odd words like ‘uforms’, ‘repositories’, ‘transducers’, etc.) I went home that night and wondered if I was in over my head.


11 Principles to Guide HMI Design for Critical Drilling Equipment
Aug 31 2016

11 principles to keep in mind when applying Human-Machine Interface design to drilling equipment from the MAYA team who worked with Transocean via

Human-centered design pushes reliability, safety for offshore drilling
Jun 27 2016

MAYA Design’s Kevin Hoffman and his team employed HCD strategies to help engineer a better experience for Transocean employees working on offshore rigs.

MAYA selected as 2015 Innovation by Design Award Finalist
Sep 14 2015

Fast Company honored MAYA for the StoryCorps app. Finalists in the mobile category exemplify tiny details that make the best mobile designs sing.