Ruth Schmidt


Ruth Schmidt

Ruth Schmidt is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Design (ID). Her teaching and research focus on the intersection of humanity-centered design (HCD)’s deep understanding of here-and-now latent user needs with behavioral economics’ “evergreen” insights into human judgment, decision-making, and behavior. Pulling from nine years in the innovation space, she combines practical application, theory, tools, and frameworks in her work to blur the line between these two disciplines, integrating behavioral insights into design methodologies and integrating design thinking into behavioral problem solving. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art/semiotics from Brown University and a Master of Design (MDes) from ID.

In May 2017, while serving as ID’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Ruth was the Executive Conference Chair for the Design Intersections: Design + Data + Behavior conference. This event brought together professional and academic leaders from across design, data science, behavioral science, health care, and financial services to share future-driven perspectives on the intersections of these fields.

Before joining ID, Ruth held several design consultancy and leadership positions. From 2009 to 2017, she served as a senior leader at Doblin|Deloitte, where she developed applied behavioral design methodologies and led teams to advance innovation efforts within client organizations.  Concurrently, for two years she was funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to apply strategic and behavioral design to interest-driven youth learning experiences, pathway “trajectories,” and badging systems. She continues to consult on behavioral design for startup and established companies in the health care, financial services, education, and food sectors.

Read Ruth’s full bio.