We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.
We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.

AIAIO: Our Blog

AIAIO: Our Blog

The pulse and reviews of Alexander Interactive

Archive for the ‘Ai’ Category

Ai Pedals for Puppies to Continue Giving Back

This past December, Ai created a holiday website where each employee committed to making or doing something to raise money for Bideawee, a leading animal welfare organization in New York.  If your commitment were purchased, the money would be donated to Bideawee.  My commitment was to host a charity ride at Swerve Fitness, a team-inspired cycling studio a few blocks south of Ai’s office, to raise even more money for Bideawee beyond the price of my commitment.  As of about a week ago, that commitment was fulfilled!

On Monday night, March 9, 2015, 47 of my closest friends, family, and co-workers joined me for the event I deemed “Pedal for Puppies”.

Pedal for Puppies Collage

We rode for 45 minutes and celebrated afterwards with a fun photo session and time set aside to play with five puppies, two of which were up for adoption.  Together we used our collective energy for some good and raised an additional $1500 for Bideawee.

Both of my dogs growing up at home were adopted from Bideawee, and I went to high school across the street from Bidewee’s Long Island location. That night I rode in their memory, for all the puppies looking for a home, and for the people who work so hard at Bideawee to find them one and keep them comfortable until they do.

Pedal for Puppies Group PhotoThank you to everyone who participated in Pedal for Puppies, to those who donated, to Swerve Fitness for hosting, to Bideawee for doing the great work they do each and every day, and to Ai for being the catalyst that fostered the creation of Pedal for Puppies.


Jessica Lippke chats with BBC on how athletics has helped her become a star Project Manager at Ai

Our very own Jessica Lippke, Associate Director of Project Management, recently received some international recognition for her team leadership skills and experience as a Division I collegiate athlete. BBC Capital’s Alina Dizik spotlighted Jessica in her piece “Are Sporty Employees Better Workers?” Indeed they are. We’re proud of you Jess.

Jessica Lippke - Star Employee, Star Player


Ai Hosts a Design Roundtable with SheSays New York.


On May 28, Ai hosted a Design Roundtable Event in partnership with SheSays .  SheSays is an award-winning, global creative network that organizes events and provides mentoring and recruitment services to enable top females in the industry help others navigate and advance in their careers.

The topic last Wednesday was one near and dear to everyone at Ai: BALANCING SPEED, EFFICIENCY AND DESIGN INTEGRITY.  It was an honor to moderate the discussion and hear from our impressive panel of speakers including Jenine Lurie (Found of Disruptive Experience), Jaclyn Burgan (Senior Interaction Designer at Turner Broadcasting) and our very own Design Lead, Christina Goldschmidt.

A special thanks to Amanda Jaskiewicz and Alessandra Lariu of SheSays! The energy, enthusiasm and perspective shared was incredible– and we met a lot of talented new friends too.


B2B Ecommerce: Design Principles and Best Practices to Boost Sales

Alex Schmelkin, Co-Founder and CEO at Ai, and Girisha Chandraraj, VP, E-Commerce at United Stationers, presented “Smart B2B Design: Strategy & Experience Principles that Boost Sales” at last week’s IRCE in Chicago, IL.

The session focused on how to help companies understand how to incorporate self-service into their B2B site and what investments are necessary. It highlighted the steps a company should follow to prepare for a B2B site design and fundamental principles to the B2B experience.

You can also check out the presentation in full below or download the presentation.


Lean UX and Ecommerce Design

Alex Schmelkin, Co-Founder and CEO at Ai, and Sharon Rodriguez, VP, Strategy at MetLife, presented “Lean UX and Ecommerce Design: How Ai is transforming the insurance industry with MetLife” at the IRCE Focus Design and Mobile conference in Orlando, FL.

The session highlights how MetLife is re-inventing the way that people buy insurance, and focuses on how MetLife’s global applications development team are building out sites and apps for maximum utility and continuity across all consumer-facing channels. Allowing them to work rapidly and gain insights across all of their cross-channel initiatives.

Watch the full presentation of  “Lean UX and Ecommerce Design: How Ai is transforming the insurance industry with MetLife.”

Check out Alex’s presentation below or download the full presentation.


Come see us at IR Focus Design+Mobile!

What’s the most exciting thing to do in Orlando? Duh! Visiting Ai’s booth at the IR Focus Design + Mobile Conference!

We are at booth #300 — stop by, say hi, and talk about all things digital, Disney, or whatever else is on your mind.


While you’re at it, check out our founders Josh Levine and Alex Schmelkin and attend their talks on Monday. Josh gives you the rundown on the good, the bad, and the ugly in Ecommerce design and Alex teams up with Sharon Rodriguez, VP, Strategy at MetLife, to discuss the central role mobile plays in the now and future of MetLife’s consumer offerings.

Have fun, be safe, and always use the buddy system.


Ai Gives the Gift of Warmth

In November 2013, after reading that New York Cares has received more than 100,000 requests for coats this winter, Ai registered to become a coat drive collection team.

For the past few months, Ai employees and their family and friends have donated over 35 coats to those in need!

Ai Coat Drive

All coats were delivered to the New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse this morning.  For the next week, New York Cares is still accepting coats at various drop-off locations throughout all five boroughs.

For more information, you can visit the New York Cares Coat Drive website.


Ai’s Year-in-Review

2013 is coming to a close and it’s time for “Ai’s Year-in-Review”. We here at Ai take great pride in our inherent geekiness, and with that in mind, let’s take a look at the numbers:

40: Total number of launches this year.

3: Site launches in ONE DAY –we are BEASTS!

$2 billion: Yes, we said billion. The sites we’ve designed have generated $2 Billion in sales.

2: Babies born to Ai’ers. Congrats Judy and Kelly!

4000: Number of lights hanging around the office for the holidays.

210,106: Miles Ai’ers traveled to and from Tokyo and Dubai on business.

2: New VPs David Ow and Phil Cotty, our Fearless Leaders!

1: New Creative Director. Welcome Julia!

30: Number of visits to Mayor Jack, VP, Integrity & Security generated by the phrase “Integrity Interactive Corporation”

6: Awards we won this year. Ünst Ünst.

5th: Our ranking on Google when you search “Post Mortem” meeting

18,664: The longest trip in miles made by Anna Perez, Ai’s account director, jet setting around the world: NYC > Moscow > Dubai > Tokyo and back to NYC.

1:  Engagement. Congrats Sammy!!

2013 was the year we grew bigger– but more importantly– better. We continued to establish ourselves as people our clients and colleagues look to solve their biggest challenges and to do so with the strategic thinking and beautiful, effective work they have come to expect from us.

Most important of all, we continue to do this work with the passion, grace and integrity that all Morgan Freemans embody.

As we head into 2014, we are looking forward to continuing this trend and pushing the bounds of our technical and creative offerings. 2014 is going to be all about “more”—more innovation, more growth, and more awesomeness.


Ai’s Annual Halloween Costume Exchange

One of Ai’s most well-known times of year comes in October when we hold our annual Halloween costume exchange.  The workday will be as typical as any Friday, but with a holiday twist…

Candy everywhere? Check.
Office Decorations?  Check.
All things black and orange?  Check.
Costumes?  Check.  But, not your own – your “victim’s”!

Here’s how things go down leading up to October 31st at the Ai office:

Early October:

  • Everyone’s name goes into a bowl
  • Each person picks a name from the bowl
  • The name you pick is your secret victim

Mid October:

  • You ponder ideas of what you can come up with for a costume for your victim (the costume must be in good taste and keep your victim’s personality in mind)
  • You try not to slip and tell anyone who you chose, but we all know the word gets out to a few
  • You choose a costume for your victim (hand made or store bought)

Early during the week of Halloween:

  • We gather as a company at the Sofaplex to exchange costumes
  • One person starts us off and reveals who their victim is, the costume that has been chosen for said victim, and the rationale behind the costume choice
  • The victim then continues the process by sharing who they chose, and so on…

The day of Halloween:

Ai Halloween Collage

  • The day usually starts out with people walking into the office in costume and therefore tons of laughs and photo-ops
  • Scheduled meetings and calls happen as planned, but there’s never a giggle too distant
  • At lunch time we have a pizza party
  • Once we’ve digested we finish off the afternoon with a parade in Madison Square Park to share our costumes with the rest of the Flatiron District
  • An hour before the work day comes to a close, we end the day with a Halloween-themed office happy hour
  • Finally, once we power down our machines and call it a day, we stay in costume and head out for a night on the town in costume

To get a feel for what Halloween has been like for someone who has participated in this Ai tradition over the past seven years, check out the images below.

2006: ANGEL








Pink Lady


Richard Simmons


Morticia Addams

Why do we all find this so fun?  Because I absolutely never would have been any of the characters above for Halloween unless someone else picked out the costumes for me.  Richard Simmons?  I mean, come on.