About Kel Smith

I own a social design company called Anikto. The purpose of Anikto is to remove barriers separating people from basic human needs. The company is eight years old and today it is my full time job.

I was recently interviewed as part of the Oliver Russell "Change Makers" series, which spells out what I do and why I do it.


I wrote a book on accessibilty and innovation called Digital Outcasts. It was published by Morgan Kaufmann in 2013 and has since received very positive reviews.

Digital Outcasts is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Elsevier, Safari Books Online, O'Reilly and GoodReads.

During a 2013 book signing in Chicago, the hosts stacked copies of my book next to Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte. That was pretty neat, although by no means am I on par with Negroponte.

stacks of the book Digital Outcasts on a table

My articles and papers have appeared in a number of scientific, academic, legal and technical publications. I've been published by Springer Press, the Pentagon Library, UX Magazine, the E-Access Bulletin and STC Intercom Magazine, among many others.

Cover of Kel Smith's upcoming book entitled Pixel PushersI have begun work on my next book, entitled Pixel Pushers, about the strange and evil things people do online. If you have a morbid curiosity about cyberbullying, selfies, memes and trolls, then holy moly is this the book for you.

Pixel Pushers is very much in the early research stages, but it has a nice cover and website already.

There's even an Amazon author page about me, which for some reason I find totally hilarious.


Since 2010 I've delivered presentations in over 100 cities spanning seven different countries. I'm reasonably entertaining and people seem to genuinely enjoy watching me speak about accessibility, healthcare, product strategy and business development.

Organizations who have hosted me as speaker include Google, Royal National Institute of the Blind, Stanford University, Unitech ICT Network, Ontario College of Art & Design, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Society for Technical Communication, and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Selected Presentation Venues

Aisle Won®

In 2013, I launched Aisle Won, a program that connects people living in low-economic areas to local sources of healthy, affordable food.

The first pilot took place in Baltimore in partnership with Real Food Farm, who saw a 540% increase in food assistance spending within eight months of launch.

The second Aisle Won pilot is currently taking place in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The app accrued over a thousand downloads in 2014 and resulted in a 112% increase in food revenue the first month of activation.

Kel Smith presenting the Aisle Won concept in New Orleans

Beginning in 2015, a partnership with The Renaissance Project (funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation) will allow for expansion across the southeastern United States over a three-year period.

Aisle Won was named one of Baltimore Magazine's "favorite mobile apps" and was mentioned on WBAL Radio and Technically Baltimore. Aisle Won was also cited by the Austin Chronicle as a "future of food" innovation at SXSW 2014 and garnered a favorable review on The Food Tank.

In 2016, we're taking Aisle Won outside the United States, thanks to our continued partnership with the Institute for Local Innovations and the wonderful Greta Gladney.

Media Appearances

Every now and then, I'm asked to provide an expert opinion on something related to healthcare, technology or disability. I'm no expert but I do have opinions, so it's my pleasure to advance the cause of inclusive design for the greater social good.

In 2013 I was interviewed by CBC "The Current" (sort of Canada's version of NPR's "All Things Considered") on how human-based technology is changing life for people with disabilities.

Kel Smith being interviewed for Web Able TV

After leading the team that won the Project Blue Button Health Design Challenge for "Best Lab Summary," I was interviewed by Healthcare Informatics about the importance of optimizing digital health records to benefit patients.

When I worked for a healthcare communications agency in 2011, I launched a digital innovation business unit dedicated to accessibility.

Following an appearance at SXSW, I was interviewed by Yahoo! Food on the role technology plays in relieving the problem of food deserts.

In early 2015, I was interviewed by Sarah McCool of TakePart about food deserts. Fun fact: I did the interview with a nasty respiratory infection that left me bedridden and only borderline coherent.

George Dvorsky of io9 did a piece about my research in virtual therapy.

The BBC once spelled my name wrong.

Et Cetera

I went to art school, so occasionally I feel compelled to take odd photos and post them to my Tumblr site, Maximum Minimum. The titles are totally random and make no sense whatsoever.

After my appearance at CUSP Conference in Chicago, Julia Kuo did a lovely sketchnote summation of my presentation.

Chris Noessel of Cooper did a really cool sketchnote of me after attending my presentation in Dublin.

I appear in Eva-Lotta Lamm's book of 2012 sketchnotes and Andy Pratt's book on interactive design theory.

I'm a composer of strange minimalist music, which I post on SoundCloud from time to time under a pseudonym.

Best way to contact me is via the Anikto website. Please don't try to sell me anything. If you're a recruiter, perform your due diligence first.

sketchnote of me

Kel Smith presenting at the CUSP Conference in Chicago, October 2014

Confirmed 2015 Appearances