I'm Michael Siepmann, aka The Tech Design Psychologist


I’ve been helping Snowdrift.coop with Interaction Design and User Research for about 3 years. I got into this kind of work, which I do on a freelance consulting basis (see TechDesignPsych.com), via Psychology, in which I did a PhD at UPenn, focused mostly on Social Psychology and JDM (Judgment and Decision Making, of which Behavioral Economics is a subset).

I’m motivated by a hopeful vision of a world in which we use technology to support psycho-social-spiritual flourishing for everyone. I consider Snowdrift.coop to be a very important effort in this direction. Software and other “information goods” have so much potential both to help and to harm that it’s absolutely critical that we find a way to align the interests of those creating these goods with those using and being influenced by them.

I’ve been happy to see the fields of “positive psychology” and “positive computing” emerge in academia in the years since I completed my PhD and entered the technology industry. However, I’m concerned about attempts to implement (or even fund research in) “positive technology” via business models that have fundamental conflicts of interest between the funders and users of the technology. I’m very happy to be able to contribute toward Snowdrift.coop’s goal of enabling the users to be the funders.

I’m a dual US/UK citizen and have lived near Boulder, Colorado, USA, since 1999. I grew up in London, England, and went to college in Scotland.