The Blog

Find out what’s happening.
Ethan Parry
Feb 24, 2020
Announcing our 2020 Winners

Introducing the 2020 Interaction Awards Winners

This year’s Interaction Awards projects had difficult and diverse problems in their sights: from improving the lives of asthma patients to building an interactive world of play, to optimizing hotel housekeeping management to teaching kids coding, the 2020 Finalists tackled issues both practical and playful and were compassionate yet ambitious.

On 7 February 2020, the winners were revealed at the annual Interaction Awards ceremony on the closing night of Interaction Week 2020 in Milan, Italy. The range of work answers the question, “What is interaction design?” by showcasing that there is no one answer. The honorees are 12 projects from a shortlist of 68, selected by an international jury from 202 submissions representing 24 countries. Notably, this year’s Awards include the first Best in Show project from India, which accounted for almost 10% of this year’s submissions.

Without further ado, we are honored to present the winners of the 2020 Interaction Awards!


Our goal with Simple is to make clinicians’ work life easier and to improve patient outcomes across entire populations.

Obvious x RTSL, India (Professional)
Hypertension is a “silent killer.” While easily treatable, one in four adults in India are hypertensive, tending to neglect their treatment because it is asymptomatic. 90% of 200 million hypertensive adults are not on regular treatment. Simple is an app that helps busy clinicians to manage hypertensive patients by tracking their blood pressure and medications and ensuring, through regular check-ups, that patients stay on treatment.
Today, Simple is used in 400 rural hospitals and clinics to manage 130,000+ patients. Simple will be rolled out to most Indian states, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh in 2020. At this time next year, we anticipate having more than a million patients managed in Simple.


Facilitating communication between people and communities

‘Enhans’ is a system designed to improve doctor-patient communication within the NeuroImaging and Interventional Radiology (NIIR) Department at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore, India.

Enhans — Reimagining Doctor-Patient Communication at NIMHANS
Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, India (Student)
This student project consists of a collection of interventions that are designed to reduce miscommunication between doctors and patients. The interventions include animated explainer videos, audiovisual consent forms, interactive pamphlets, and an application that holds all the collaterals together.

Re-imagining completely an existing product or service by creating new behaviors, usages or markets

The world’s cities are facing explosive growth. Over the next 30 years, cities will grow by 2+ billion people. This requires building higher, denser and faster than before — while also providing high living quality and sustainable urban environments. Achieving this is a global challenge, recognized by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Spacemaker: Design better cities with AI
Spacemaker, Norway (Professional)
Spacemaker has developed a game-changing AI technology that helps architects, urban planners, property developers and municipalities to discover smarter ways to maximize the potential of a building site. This means saving time, realizing high quality living spaces, and achieving more livable areas in dense city environments.

Helping people to do things they otherwise couldn’t do

In 2013 I attended a concert where I lost some of my high-frequency hearing and gained tinnitus due to an acoustic trauma. It completely changed the way I experienced the world and sound; as a former classical singer, that was a big shift.

School of Visual Arts, United States (Student)
Form is a blanket and music-therapy tool that translates audio music into varied, haptic feedback for pediatric patients who are deaf or hearing impaired, who have varied body shapes, sizes, and abilities.

Pediatric patients who are deaf or profoundly hearing impaired rely on the tangible aspects of music to gain benefit from music therapy, a creative and clinical practice that can play a key role in their multi-faceted growth and development.

Capturing attention, creating delight and delivering meaning

Interactive Play at Sesame Street Land is a brand-new experience at SeaWorld, Orlando, with twelve interactive opportunities for kids to explore the show’s iconic neighborhood like never before. For many families, a day at a theme park is usually spent trying to corral children from touching everything. At Sesame Street Land it’s not only encouraged, but kids are at the heart of the land’s design.

Interactive Play at Sesame Street Land, SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando & Sesame Street, United States (Professional)

The focus at Sesame Street Land is always on fun (we are in a theme park, after all!), but in true Sesame Street fashion, early learning goals are subtly hidden behind each interactive. Starting with over 30 original interactive concepts, our team worked closely with Early Learning expert, Dr. Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, and the Sesame Workshop curriculum team, to better understand how children learn and grow through play. Just like on the show, all of this playful learning is cleverly disguised by the characters’ trademark humor, reinforcing the brand’s core values of inspiring kids to be smarter, stronger, and kinder with each visit to Sesame Street Land.

Enabling self expression and/or creativity

The idea of Stic Stac Code blocks was born when I realised that most of the augmented reality (AR) based mobile applications out there let children only consume digital content …. Creativity lies in the power of Making and Tinkering and I believe a better part of technology should be designed to foster learning.

Stic Stac Code Blocks
University of the Arts Bremen, Germany (Student)

Stic Stac Code Blocks is designed for children in the age group of 9–14 years and cover several interesting design considerations like:

  • It lets children CREATE unique content like Stories, Music, Pixel art, Games etc. in a more immersive augmented environment.
  • Instead of touchscreen-based interactions, children’s physical interaction with wooden blocks and Controller provides more natural haptic feedback.

The work is based on 14 months of research work at the Digital Media Education Bremen and the University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany.

Making daily activities more efficient

In the design process, we found out several opportunities to innovate in streamlining a hotel’s rooms assignment task and inter-departmental coordination for faster resolution of guest requests and room turnover. … We learned how cultural and demographic differences should be considered when creating a digital product that works for low wage workers on a global scale.

Innovating Housekeeping with ALICE
ALICE, United States (Professional)
Housekeeping is a very big deal for hotels. It is by far the largest and most expensive department. With rising labor costs, complex operations and high employee turnover, it remains a top challenge in the hotel industry. Housekeeping operations includes several pain points for users involved.

ALICE Housekeeping creates a direct line of communication among managers, supervisors and room attendants and other departments, improves the transparency of the department’s operations and ultimately get guests into rooms faster. Released in June 2019, ALICE Housekeeping speeds up the room assignment process in 80% and is currently being used by beta customers. 250 properties across the world have signed up for it.


TAMI proposes a fun, engaging and hands-on experience during the initial stages of learning trigonometry: fostering free exploration where mistakes are allowed, and learning is achieved through discovery.

School of Design, Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile (Professional)
TAMI (Tangible Mathematics Interface) is a tabletop interface with tangible controllers that when manipulated modify mathematical models on a screen and modulates sound elements. Using multiple senses (touch, vision, hearing) makes the experience richer and provides different ways of understanding abstract concepts. TAMI supports collaborative interaction, where a group of students gather and interact with the interface.


Living with asthma is a long term journey, and improving the treatment process would increase patients’ well being, without limiting their activities.

Otto — Improving daily asthma management
Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden (Student)
For many asthmatics, the daily routines of asthma management can be a complex process entailing; monitoring the condition, logging results and inhaling the medicine in the right way. Life-long treatment often has a huge impact on people’s daily life. For an asthmatic regular, the measuring of one’s condition and tracking in the long term, is crucial to learn their own triggers. With several products and routines, living with asthma can be a constant daily challenge. Otto creates one seamless experience and redefines the asthma treatment process.


Innovating Housekeeping with ALICE
ALICE, United States (Professional)
The People’s Choice Award was selected through public voting by the IxDA community between 1 January and 6 February 2020. This year, almost 10,000 votes were cast to select our honoree from the shortlist of 68 projects.


In selecting this year’s Future Voice Award, I found myself looking at designers who are looking around at how do human beings interact with the planet … In brief, Precious Plastics is trying to solve the horrific environmental crisis of the waste of ocean plastics … what I’m recognizing is tens of thousands of individuals around the world who are bringing out their own Interaction Designer … addressing some of the most problematic carnages that come from how we live on this world.

Precious Plastics Community
United States, (Professional)
The Future Voice Award is selected annually by the Jury Chair, in consultation with the members of the jury. It can recognize a project that is from the current year’s submissions, but it not limited to the pool of entries. Created in 2013, the Future Voice Award is intended to highlight work that demonstrates the profound potential of Interaction Design, which at its heart deals with the dynamics and depth of human relationship and conversation. Recognizing its recipient celebrates evidence of what Interaction Design could choose to become.

The 2021 Interaction Awards will mark the 10th anniversary of the program. The Interaction Awards are committed to furthering participation from all regions of the world, transparency in the selection process, and providing a platform to showcase interaction design work that demonstrates IxDA’s mission of improving the human condition through the advancement of the practice.

Join the


You may use these HTML tags: <a href=""></a> for links, <strong></strong> for bold, <em></em> for italic, <blockquote></blockquote> for quoting text.



The Interaction Awards are an initiative of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), a global community of more than 120,000 individuals worldwide dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design. Find out how to join your local group and get involved at

© 2012 - 2023 Interaction Design Association