UX London is a fantastic three-day event which opens with a day of inspirational presentations, followed by two days of practical, in-depth workshops covering core skills, strategic thinking and advanced techniques.

Bill Buxton

On Long Noses, Sampling, Synthesis, Design and Innovation

Bill Buxton

Wednesday 18 April, 9:30 - 10:15

It is kind of ironic that one of the areas where one finds the least creativity and innovation is in discourses on creativity and innovation. I sometimes wonder – especially when it comes to technology and UX design, if this is because we seem burdened by the assumption that answers somehow need to be complex. Perhaps much of what we seek is sitting right in front of us, and while looking directly at it, we are doing so with the wrong eyes.

I would like to convince you that it is so.I t is my belief that professional design has both a rhythm and a process – both of which can be learned and effectively practiced, even if you wake up with a hangover, hate your client, detest the project you are working on, are broke, and would rather be doing anything else but work on that design. My sense is that the techniques are robust enough that they can cut through all of that, and that one could, and should, be able to perform at a professional standard, regardless of any of these circumstances.

Brave words, and perhaps even a tad over-stated. But then, it is our job to push the envelope!

But what isn’t over-stated is my view that the roots of what is to come lie in what is already here, in front of us. And furthermore, I believe that approaching our craft with the same kind of mindset and awareness of our tradition as would, for example, a painter, writer, or film maker, can go a long way towards helping us make more creative and innovative decisions about the future.

There is a reason that I study the history of interaction – and it is not because I am a geezer trying to hang onto the good-old-days. There is a reason that I have always collected the artifacts that mark the last 30 years of our field. And there is a reason that I put so much emphasis on sketching.And there is a reason that I think about the things that we create as cultural artifacts, as – or more – impactful on our culture than the more traditional ones, such as music, art, theatre, cinema, architecture, etc.

It is to speak to these reasons, and their implications on UX design that this talk is directed. And as head-in-the-clouds or foggy as the above words may seem, the intent and result will be grounded in pragmatic, applicable reality.

About the Speaker, Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton is a Toronto-based scientist, designer, writer, and lecturer, who has spent 30 years focusing on human aspects of technology - especially around creative applications such as music, film and industrial design.

He is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Distinguished Professor of Industrial Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven, and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a professor at the University of Toronto, Chief Scientist of Alias Research and SGI Inc., and a professional composer and performer.