Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences

A book by Ideaplatz founder Cheryl Platz, and enhanced by our talks and workshops

Your customer has five senses and a small universe of devices. Why aren’t you designing for all of them? Go beyond screens, keyboards, and touchscreens by letting your customer’s humanity drive the experience, not a specific device or input type. Learn the techniques you’ll need to build fluid, adaptive experiences for multiple inputs, multiple outputs, and multiple devices.

Ideaplatz founder Cheryl Platz wrote Design Beyond Devices (published by Rosenfeld Media) to bring her unique experience designing expansive multimodal, cross-device experiences to the broader design community. She describes the book to non-designers as “the design manual for people who want to design the bridge of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise.”

In tandem with the book, Ideaplatz is proud to offer multiple workshops and talks based on the book’s content – as well as free downloads for those looking to apply the book’s content to their daily work, and a summary of related podcasts available for your listening pleasure.

Ready for more? Jump to the content you’re interested in:

Downloads Podcasts –Talks Workshops

Haven’t purchased the book yet? Design Beyond Devices is available in print and e-book worldwide from Rosenfeld Media and Amazon’s global network. Check out this Medium post to preview Chapter 7: The Spectrum of Multimodality.

Downloads & Templates


Cheryl has enjoyed appearing on a variety of podcasts related to her book launch. Rather than track them all down, here’s a handy list of everything covered so far. (Want to book Cheryl for your broadcast or podcast? Contact us.)

  • Rosenfeld Review (Sep 17, 2020)
    • Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences
  • Presentable Podcast (Nov 30, 2020)
    • Episode 98: Multimodal Design, or How to Get Everything to Play Well Together
  • UX Podcast (Dec 4, 2020)
    • Episode 251: Multimodal Design; cross-device experiences, natural language processing and speech recognition, voice and culture
  • The Informed Life (Dec 19, 2020)
    • Cheryl Platz on Multimodality: Natural user interfaces, multimodality, the CROW research framework, systems design
  • The Voicebot Podcast (Jan 25, 2021)
    • Episode 190: Multimodality, improv for design, and learning from video gaming and the Echo Look
  • UI Breakfast (Jan 29, 2021)
    • Episode 201: Multimodality, cross-device experiences, accessibility and inclusion
  • Content Strategy Insights (Apr 27, 2021)
    • Episode 96: Multimodal storytelling, multimodal content management, notifications, metadata

Keep an eye out on more recent podcast pages for potential discount codes, usually valid for a limited time!


Cheryl is currently touring a variety of talks through Ideaplatz with content drawn directly from Design Beyond Devices. Want one of these talks at your upcoming event? Contact us.

Some of these talks may be offered to the public as part of Cheryl’s ongoing speaking tour – to see upcoming dates, head to the Event Calendar.

Opti-Pessimism: Design, AI, and our uncertain future

Designers in the last decade have been trained to focus largely on the most common customer experiences. But this best practice was built upon the assumption that the least common experiences can’t cause lasting harm. With newer, more pervasive technology, this assumption is no longer valid. How do we reframe our design process to adapt to this new world?

Design Beyond Websites: What is Dead May Never Die

News of the website’s death has been greatly exaggerated, but we can no longer assume our customers will sit down at a single device to complete tasks. Reality is more complicated: a single experience might span a website, a mobile app, a smart speaker, and a car. The future is multi-modal… and multi-device.  By embracing new frameworks for modeling human experience and a multidevice perspective, our products can adapt to human needs in the moment, as opposed to forcing adaptations upon us.

Capturing Customer Context for an Upside-Down World

Is your customer experience straining at the seams? Have your customers moved from office to home, and your charter along with it? Designing for the next generation of experiences requires upleveling your understanding of your customer’s context. But how do you ask the right questions and set yourself up for success?


Three workshop offerings are available with content solely drawn from Design Beyond Devices, with a fourth workshop that contains updated content from the book.

Capturing Customer Context

An all-audiences workshop that enables designers, researchers, product managers, and anyone else who’s performing customer outreach to broaden your thinking and techniques in order to obtain the richer context you’ll need to support your work on multimodal and cross-channel user interfaces. Directly drawn from Chapter 2 of Design Beyond Devices and the improv-inspired CROW customer research framework.

Multimodal Voice Design

A lightweight 90 minute workshop (can be extended to 2 hours) for designers with some familiarity with voice design, looking to extend their existing skills with a basic awareness of what multimodal design is all about.

Design Beyond Devices: Multimodal Design Fundamentals

A full-day or 3-workshop series that covers a wide array of content from Design Beyond Devices – from the Spectrum of Multimodality to activity models, transitions, and interruptions. (A streamlined version of the Giving Voice to your Voice Designs curriculum is also available as an optional add-on to this content when booked as a workshop series.)

Giving Voice to your Voice Designs

This renowned voice design workshop has been refined over dozens of sessions around the world, and as of 2021 has been adapted for online delivery and updated to include content and an exercise around multimodal interaction design drawn from content in Design Beyond Devices.

Downloads Podcasts –Talks Workshops