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Search results for 'buxton'
14 September 2010

Extensive interview with user interface expert Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton
Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has published an extensive, three-part interview that Chad Sapieha conducted with Microsoft Principal Researcher (and fellow Canadian) Bill Buxton.

“You’ve likely never heard of him, but he has almost certainly had an impact on your life. A principal researcher with Microsoft Research who commutes from his home in Toronto to Redmond, Washington one week out of every month, he conceives and develops innovations in user interfaces. He played a chief role on the team that invented the multi-touch user interface. That was in 1984. He was also co-recipient of an Oscar for scientific and technical achievement in film in 2003. And he’s currently lending a hand developing an exciting consumer technology that he predicts will begin its march toward ubiquity in just three short years (no spoilers here—you’ll have to read on to discover what it is).

A conversation with Mr. Buxton is filled with fascinating digressions about the history of current technologies and how decades-old innovations can be the foundations of some of the most stimulating modern gadgets. The interview I had with him in July was arranged so that we could discuss Kinect, Microsoft’s new controller-less interface for the Xbox 360, but that ended up being just one part of our lengthy and enlightening discussion. That’s why I’ve decided to transcribe the bulk of the conversation. To do anything less would deprive readers of his captivating tales of technology.”

The first part deals with the back stories of several modern consumer devices, from touch screen phones to smart watches.
The second part focuses on Kinect, the motion-based, controller-less interface that will come to the Xbox 360 this November.
In the final part Buxton reflects on what the next big thing will be.

21 March 2010

A conversation with Microsoft’s UX gurus Bill Buxton and Albert Shum

Bill Buxton and Albert Shum
Microsoft’s Channel 9 conducted a half hour video interview with Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research and Albert Shum, Director of Mobile Experience Design for Windows Phone 7 Series on creating compelling user experiences, how developers and designers can work together in harmony and random Canadian trivia.

View interview

Check also this interview with Lili Cheng on designing experiences for social computing:

“Meet Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, which focuses on software and services that are centered on social connectivity, real-time experiences, and rich media. Lili’s a big fan of and active participant in social communication and the interactive design of social computing on the web.”

5 December 2009

Bill Buxton, Martin Raymond & Anna Kirah presentations – Imagine 09

Imagine09
Bill Buxton, Martin Raymond and Anna Kirah were some of the speakers at Imagine09, a conference organised by Microsoft Advertising on 28 October in London.

Living in the age of turbulence
Anna Kirah, partner, CPH Design (and former senior design anthropologist, Microsoft Corporation)
Anna explores how advertisers can flourish in the new Age of Turbulence by understanding the needs of people in their everyday and not so everyday lives. This is the age where people’s values, their needs and their desires change abruptly, and where people no longer view their ‘digital’ and ‘real’ lives as separate.
Reflecting on the impact people have on technology, as well as the impact technology has on people, Anna will introduce ‘BIG SISTER’, a concept where benevolent, caring, technology guides you through the Age of Turbulence with seamless convergence.

Dreamtelligence
Martin Raymond, co-founder, The Future Laboratory
Barack Obama describes it as the ‘audacity of hope’, innovators, planners, academics and authors are referring to it as Dreamtelligence, a new vital and visionary way to use play, fantasy, dream- thinking and innovation to kickstart ideas and stimulate consumer engagement. Martin unpacks the trends and outlines what dreamtelligence means to digital business amidst the continued growth of a content-savvy consumer.

The long nose of innovation
Bill Buxton, principal researcher, Microsoft
Hear Bill Buxton share his vision for ‘The Long Nose of Innovation’ addressing the impact of future technologies on advertisers and marketers.

Watch videos

10 April 2009

Bill Buxton on design and return on experience

Bill Buxton
Canadian designer and computer scientist Bill Buxton is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Last month Bill gave a good 20-min keynote at Mix09 that kicked off a longer keynote by Scott Guthrie (corporate vice president of Microsoft’s .NET Developer Division).

Bill Buxton is the author of Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, published jointly by Morgan Kaufmann and Focal Press. He is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and has a 30 year involvement in research, design and commentary around human aspects of technology, and digital tools for creative endeavour, including music, film and industrial design, in particular. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Chief Scientist of Alias Research and SGI Inc. – where 2003 he was co-recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement. In 2007, he was named Doctor of Design, Honoris Causa, by the Ontario College of Art and Design, in 2008 became the 10th recipient of the ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for fundamental contributions to the field of human-computer interaction, and in January 2009 was elected a Fellow of the ACM. More information on Buxton and his work can be found at: www.billbuxton.com

Watch video

(via Presentation Zen)

1 April 2009

Bill Buxton on thinking outside the box

Bill Buxton
Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton argues that “by thinking outside the parameters imposed by technology, executives and designers can build businesses by creating an experience that truly resonates”.

“User-centered design commonly tries to take into account different canonical user types through the use of persona. Perhaps one thing we need to do is to augment this tool with the notion of “placona,” that is, capturing the canonical set of physical and social spaces within which any activity we are trying to support might be situated. After all, cognition does not reside exclusively in the brain. Rather, it is also distributed in the space in which we exercise that knowledge—in the location itself, the tools, devices, and materials that we use, and the people and social context in which all of this exists. “

Read full story

24 March 2009

Microsoft Research publishes interviews with Bill Buxton and danah boyd

Microsoft Research
The website of Microsoft Research seemed to have been redesigned recently and contains some nice interviews:

Buxton putting design into MIX
Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research, who delivered a keynote address in Las Vegas on March 18 during MIX09, the Web Design and Development Conference, discusses his talk and his work.

>> See also: related story on eWeek’s Microsoft Watch

boyd: Taking the pulse of social networks
danah boyd of Microsoft Research New England discusses her research into the dynamics of social network sites.

danah boyd was also interviewed by Microspotting, a Microsoft blog profiling some of the company’s most notable employees:

An IMterview with NERD researcher danah boyd
The Microspotting blog got a chance to have an IM session with Microsoft Research New England’s danah boyd.

We like her new “I am the empire” look.

30 September 2007

Bill Buxton talks user experience on Microsoft video

Bill Buxton
Bill Buxton, the human-computer interaction and computer graphics pioneer, joined Microsoft Research two years ago as a principle researcher two years ago to help foster a design oriented culture at Microsoft.

In this interview with Charles Torre, Buxton talks about design thinking, experience design, and how design, technology and business interlink together focusing on end users.

(via UX Connection Canada)

29 September 2005

Bill Buxton on designing for experience

Bill_buxton
During the recent Interact 2005 conference in Rome, Italy, Bill Buxton spoke about designing for experience, a topic that he discusses in more detail in his upcoming book.

It is not the physical entity or what is in the box (the “material” product) that is the true outcome of the design process, he argued. Rather, it is the behavioural, experiential and emotional responses that come about as a result of its existence and use in the “wild”.

Read report in Usability News and presentation abstract (alternative link)

17 January 2013

World’s “tech elite” named to interaction design board

the_encyclopedia_of_human-computer_interaction,_2nd_ed-dot-_medium

From the press release:

Today the Interaction Design Foundation, the IDF, has announced its new executive board. The executive board includes Donald Norman; Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research; Ken Friedman, professor and formerly dean of the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University, Australia; Michael Arent, vice president of user experience at SAP Business Objects; Olof Schybergson, founder and CEO of Fjord, a digital service design consultancy; Jonas Lowgren, a professor of interaction design at Sweden’s Malmo University; and Dan Rosenberg, a user experience executive, consultant and professor. All executive board members are serving gratis.

The foundation’s keystone project is Interaction-Design.org, a website that publishes free and open educational materials for students, industry leaders and individual tech designers. The present centerpiece of the IDF is the ever-expanding Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction written by 100+ leading designers, Ivy League professors, CEOs, futurists and bestselling authors from across the high-tech universe. Currently the encyclopedia numbers 35 short textbooks or chapters which students, professors and professionals can assemble in any way they want in order to make their own individualized compendium.

A range of new chapters are in the making.

22 March 2011

Meet Microsoft’s guru of ‘design matters’

Bill Buxton
Seattle Times technology reporter Sharon Pian Chan profiles Bill Buxton, principal researcher at Microsoft Research.

“Bill Buxton is multiplatform the way Leonardo da Vinci was multiplatform.

The Microsoft researcher is a technologist, a designer, a musician, an author, outdoorsman and a nationally ranked equestrian.

He has spent decades working on the future of tech, but he paddled the rivers of Saskatchewan last summer in 1,000-year-old technology: a birch-bark canoe sealed with tree sap and bear fat.

At Microsoft, Buxton is a researcher who also has been charged with spreading the “design matters” message to engineers who would rather hack code than clay.”

Read article

22 October 2009

The mad dash toward touch technology

Watches
True innovators need to know as much about when, why, and how not to use trendy technology as when to use it, says Microsoft Research principal scientist Bill Buxton.

“Rather than marveling at what someone else is delivering today, and then trying to copy it, the true innovators are the ones who understand the long nose, and who know how to prospect below the surface for the insights and understanding that will enable them to leap ahead of the competition, rather than follow them. God is in the details, and the details are sitting there, waiting to be picked up by anyone who has the wit to look for them.”

Read full story

2 May 2009

On engineering and design: an open letter

Bill Buxton
Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton calls for engineers and user-experience designers to learn to appreciate one another:

“End-user satisfaction and quality of experience need to be the fundamental pillars of any worthy company’s value system. Hence organizations must be structured in a way that tilts the odds in favor of achieving these goals. Good intentions are a start, but they are not sufficient. Appropriate tools and skills at the highest professional standards, applied according to best practice, are what’s needed.

Every project thus needs equally high levels of competence in the mutually dependent but different disciplines of engineering and UX. Professional stature is equally hard to achieve in each, and there are no simple shortcuts that let one jump from one to the other: This is no place for amateurs.”

Read open letter

20 February 2009

How to keep innovating

Bill Buxton
Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton outlines some counter-propositions to the idea of achieving mastery and the dogged pursuit of excellence:

  • Always be bad at something that you are passionate about.
  • You can be everything in your life—just not all at once.
  • When you get good at one skill, drop another in which you have achieved competence in order to make room for a new passion at which you are—yet again—bad.
  • Life is too short to waste on bad teachers and inefficient learning.
  • Remember: You can learn from anyone.

Read full story

26 September 2008

Microsoft Research New England inaugural symposium

Microsoft Research
On Sept. 22, 2008, Microsoft Research New England conducted an inaugural symposium in Cambridge, Mass., hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to open an extensive collaboration with leading research institutions in the region.

The symposium included introductions to Microsoft Research and its New England lab, discussed the possibilities inherent in interdisciplinary research projects, and examined some of the ways that computing will enhance the sciences of tomorrow.

Two talks are very aligned with the themes of this blog, and can be viewed online:

Understanding Socio-Technical Phenomena in a Web 2.0 Era (video)
danah boyd, Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Web 2.0 signals an iteration in Internet culture, shaped by changes in technology, entrepreneurism, and social practices. Beneath the buzzwords that flutter around Web 2.0, people are experiencing a radical reworking of social media. Networked public spaces that once catered to communities of interest are now being leveraged by people of all ages to connect with people they already know. Social network sites like MySpace and Facebook enable people to map out their social networks in order to create public spaces for interaction. People can use social media to vocalize their thoughts, although having a blog or video feed doesn’t guarantee having an audience. Tagging platforms allow people to find, organize and share content in entirely new ways. Mass collaborative projects like Wikipedia allow people to collectively create valuable cultural artifacts. These are but a few examples of Web 2.0.

Getting to the core of technologically-mediated phenomena requires understanding the interplay between everyday practices, social structures, culture, and technology. In this talk, I will map out some of what’s currently taking place, offer a framework for understanding these phenomena, and discuss strategies for researching emergent practices.

(via apophenia)

Designing Experience/The Experience of Design (video)
Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

I have a personal mantra:

Ultimately, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the “things” that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have. Design that ignores this is not worthy of the name.

If I am right and that the real outcome of the exercise is the experience, then does it not make sense that the quality of that experience be front and centre in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of any product or service? Yet, the vast majority of technology-based products and services stand as testament that this is currently not the case. Unless we consciously take steps to change this situation, we risk losing the potential benefits that such products and services were intended to deliver. Furthermore, as we go further and further down the path of ubiquitous computing, the consequences of not doing so will become ever more serious.

Consequently, the intent of this talk is to address the nature of design, and how design thinking and practice can be integrated into our processes, and help address this situation. From the perspective of integration, we describe a process which is based on three interdependent and equally important pillars that must drive everything from day one: design, technology and business. The argument made is that if there is not a comparable investment, competence, and degree of innovation in each, from the start, then the endeavour will be seriously jeopardized.

In discussing this, we then drill down a bit deeper into what we mean by design. The argument made here is that, despite frequent claims to the contrary, everyone is not a designer; rather, design is a distinct profession, with a distinct practice, which is just as specialized and essential as engineering, for example.

The historian Melvin Kranzberg stated that technology is not good, it is not bad, but nor is it neutral. The whole point of this talk is to help us land more firmly and consistently on the positive side of the equation through an appropriate focus on users and experience through an improved appreciation of the role of design.

3 May 2008

Reviewing the CHI 2008 conference

CHI 2008
A few weeks ago I attended the CHI conference in Florence, Italy.

I was only there for a day and a half, and this being my first CHI conference, I am not in a position to give it a solid review.

One thing that stands out of course is that it has a strong academic angle, which can make some of the presentations and discussions quite irrelevant for practitioners such as me. On the other, there was a lot of emphasis on the term “user experience”, which came back in titles, abstracts, presentations and papers.

Combing through the (Mac unfriendly) conference DVD, I found quite a few treasures, and I selected 40 papers out of a total of 556, that I will be presenting in ten separate posts, under the headings: emerging markets, mobile banking, mobility, product design, security, social applications, social context, strategic issues, sustainability, and usability.

The conference is not set up in order to help you meet new people, and this is a real pity. You just tend to meet those you know already, or those whose presentations you attended. (Unless you are lucky enough to be a speaker of a well attended session, so everyone else knows you.)

During CHI, I conducted interviews with Bill Buxton (Microsoft), Elizabeth Churchill (Yahoo!) and Mike Kuniavsky (ThingM), on which I will report in the coming weeks. Also in the coming weeks I will publish reviews of the books: Sketching the User Experience by Bill Buxton and Keeping Found Things Found by William Jones.

Because of this blog, and in particular a post of praise, I was part of a panel (others were Elizabeth Churchill, Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko) on the relaunched Interactions Magazine, now under the inspiring and volunteer (!) leadership of the latter two. Check out the magazine!

3 May 2008

CHI 2008: a selection on usability

CHI 2008 proceedings
Here is my selection on usability related papers presented at CHI 2008.

(Papers are linked to their pdf downloads, if available.)

Usability evaluation considered harmful (some of the time) [abstract]
Authors: Saul Greenberg (University of Calgary) and Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research)
Abstract: Current practice in Human Computer Interaction as encouraged by educational institutes, academic review processes, and institutions with usability groups advocate usability evaluation as a critical part of every design process. This is for good reason: usability evaluation has a significant role to play when conditions warrant it. Yet evaluation can be ineffective and even harmful if naively done ‘by rule’ rather than ‘by thought’. If done during early stage design, it can mute creative ideas that do not conform to current interface norms. If done to test radical innovations, the many interface issues that would likely arise from an immature technology can quash what could have been an inspired vision. If done to validate an academic prototype, it may incorrectly suggest a design’s scientific worthiness rather than offer a meaningful critique of how it would be adopted and used in everyday practice. If done without regard to how cultures adopt technology over time, then today’s reluctant reactions by users will forestall tomorrow’s eager acceptance. The choice of evaluation methodology – if any – must arise from and be appropriate for the actual problem or research question under consideration.

Defending design decisions with usability evidence: a case study
Authors: Erin Friess (Carnegie Mellon University)
Abstract: This case study takes a close look at what novice designers discursively use as evidence to support design decisions. User-centered design has suggested that all design decisions should be made with the concern for the user at the forefront, and, ideally, this concern should be represented by findings discovered within user-centered research. However, the data from a 12-month longitudinal study suggests that although these novice designers are well versed with user-centered design theory, in practice they routinely do not use user-centered research findings to defend their design decisions. Instead these novice designers use less definitive and more designer-centered forms of evidence. This move away from the user, though perhaps unintentional, may suggest that design pedagogy may need to be re-evaluated to ensure that novice designers continue to adhere to the implications of user-centered research throughout the design process.

Using participants’ real data in usability testing: lessons learned [abstract]
Authors: Todd Zazelenchuk, Kari Sortland, Alex Genov, Sara Sazegari and Mark Keavney (Intuit, Inc.)
Abstract: In usability testing, we place great importance on authentic tasks, real users, and the appropriate fidelity of prototypes, considering them carefully in our efforts to simulate people’s real-life interactions with our products. We often place less importance on the data with which we ask participants to interact. Commonly, test data are fabricated, created for participants to imagine as their own. But relating to artificial data can be difficult for participants, and this difficulty can affect their behavior and ultimately call our research results into question. Incorporating users’ real data into your usability test requires additional time and effort, along with certain considerations, but it can lead to richer and more valid usability results.

Revisiting usability’s three key principles [abstract]
Authors: Gilbert Cockton (School of Computing and Technology)
Abstract: The foundations of much HCI research and practice were elaborated over 20 years ago as three key principles by Gould and Lewis: early focus on users and tasks; empirical measurement; and iterative design. Close reading of this seminal paper and subsequent versions indicates that these principles evolved, and that success in establishing them within software development involved a heady mix of power and destiny. As HCI’s fourth decade approaches, we re-examine the origins and status of Gould and Lewis’ principles, and argue that is time to move on, not least because the role of the principles in reported case studies is unconvincing. Few, if any, examples of successful application of the first or second principles are offered, and examples of the third tell us little about the nature of successful iteration. More credible, better grounded and more appropriate principles are needed. We need not so much to start again, but to start for the first time, and argue from first principles for apt principles for designing.

23 April 2008

Stanford University’s Human-Computer Interaction Seminar

Stanford iTunes U
iTunes U is an area of iTunes that lets universities in the US share – for free! – audio and video from their lectures, talks and events. The contents are globally accessible.

By clicking on Power Search, you can easily limit the regular iTunes search to iTunes U.

Of particular interest to the readers of this blog is Stanford University’s Human-Computer Interaction Seminar, consisting of no less than 36 lectures by people such as Bill Moggridge, Bill Buxton, Elizabeth Churchill, Paul Dourish and Donald Norman.

17 April 2008

CHI ’08 – a bite-size review

CHI 2008
Joanna Bawa, editor of Usability News, has published a short review of the CHI conference.

She appreciated that the main feeling of the conference was more closely allied to design, as clearly expressed by Irene McAra McWilliam and Bill Buxton.

But it was hard to meet people: “My editorial gripe: no way to find out who was there or how to contact them, except by chance – immensely frustrating when so many great minds were within a few minutes’ walk. Surely we can find a way to make available a delegate list without compromising anyone’s privacy? Or just a simple internal messaging system?”.

Read full story

(Later this month, I will post my own reflection on the conference and on some books that I was given).

12 February 2008

Videos of Interaction 08 presentations now online

IxDA
Most of the presentations of the recent Interaction 08 conference are now online. 

Here they are in alphabetical order of the speaker’s last name:

There is also a Sunday recap video.

13 September 2007

Articles from current InfoDesign newsletter

InfoDesign
The current (September) edition of the InfoDesign newsletter, edited by Peter J. Bogaards, contains a rich assortment of user experience related articles. I selected some here:

User Experience: Towards a unified view (pdf)
Proceedings of the 2nd COST294-MAUSE International Open Workshop (October 2006, Oslo Norway) – “The concept of usability has been evolving, along with the emerging IT landscape and the ever-blurring boundary of the field of HCI. Specifically, the so-called user experience (UX) movement is gaining gound.”

The Art of the Conceptual Prototype [Blink Interactive]
“Conceptual prototypes are often very interesting projects because the ideas are leading edge. But they also present some unique challenges compared to more traditional projects where we are designing for actual implementation.”

XcD
“The scope of human-computer interaction design has widened to include concerns with fun, emotion, beauty, aesthetics and values. There is an increasing emphasis on holistic approaches to user experience and what is now called experience design. A number of frameworks and theoretical approaches to experience design have been developed and a range of methods and techniques have also been proposed. This website is part of the work carried out on the EPSRC grant Theory and Method for Experience Centred Design. This site links to our own work and that of others on theory and method for experience centred design or XcD as we seem to have started calling it.”

Design for the Dream Economy [uiGarden.net]
“After the eras of the Commodity Economy, the Manufacturing Economy, the Service Economy and the Information Economy, we have now entered the era of the Dream Economy.The key to success in the Dream Economy is an in-depth and holistic understanding of people. It’s not only about meeting people’’s practical needs, but also about meeting their aspirations and providing a positive emotional experience.”

Multi-Touch Systems That I Have Known and Loved [Bill Buxton]
“Since the announcement of the iPhone, an especially large number of people have asked me about multi-touch. The reason is largely because they know that I have been involved in the topic for a number of years. The problem is, I can’t take the time to give a detailed reply to each question. So I have done the next best thing (I hope). That is, start compiling my would-be answer in this document. The assumption is that ultimately it is less work to give one reasonable answer than many unsatisfactory ones.”

Card Sorting: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned [UXmatters]
“Card sorting is a simple and effective method with which most of us are familiar. There are already some excellent resources on how to run a card sort and why you should do card sorting. This article, on the other hand, is a frank discussion of the lessons I’ve learned from running numerous card sorts over the years. By sharing these lessons learned along the way, I hope to enable others to dodge similar potholes when they venture down the card sorting path.”

Conducting Successful Interviews With Project Stakeholders [UXmatters]
“A simple, semi-structured, one-on-one interview can provide a very rich source of insights. Interviews work very well for gaining insights from both internal and external stakeholders, as well as from actual users of a system under consideration. Though, in this column, I’ll focus on stakeholder interviews rather than user interviews. (And I’ll come back to that word, insights, a little later on, because it’s important.)”

A Map-Based Approach to a Content Inventory [Boxes and Arrows]
“After giving it some thought, I find that the thing I like most about the map is that it is pure, stripped down navigation. Harry Beck decided that including streets, districts and other geographical information on his underground maps was distracting and added little value. All you need to know is how to get from A to B. I suspect that the same may be true in information spaces.”

Social Networks And Group Formation [Boxes and Arrows]
“Humans suffer from information overload; there’s much more information on any given subject than a person is able to access. As a result, people are forced to depend upon each other for knowledge. Know-who information rather than know-what, know-how or know-why information has become most crucial. It involves knowing who has the needed information and being able to reach that person.”

The Tagging Growth Curve [tagsonomy]
“The apparently irregular growth and spread of tagging is simply example of the real nature of how innovations spread. Professional analysts and other meaning makers tend to draw smooth graphs to depict these things. But in reality, natural systems (and the tagging / technology landscape is a legitimate ecosystem) are noisy, cyclical, chaotic, complex, fuzzy, non-linear, and unpredictable. They only appear to follow smooth curves at a high level of abstraction, or a low level of resolution.”

Looking Back on Data-Driven Design Research Personas [Todd Zaki Warfel]
“The primary goal of the tutorial was to show people how to work data into developing personas and how they can be used for more than just design.”