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Bill Buxton: Sketching and Experience Design

Arrangementet er afholdt
(blev afholdt mandag, 6. marts 2006, kl. 16:00-18:00)

William Buxton
Microsoft Research

The talk will be held at ITU, Rued Langgaardsvej 7, København

We might not all agree on the answer to the question, "What is design?" Yet, we will nevertheless likely come to a strong consensus that sketching is fundamental to the process of design, however we may think about it.

So why is this important?

Think about the Apple iPod. While it is a beautifully styled object, it is not the physi-cal form factor alone that accounts for its success. Its impact has far more to do with the overall experience that one has using it. While the physical object is important, its main function is to advertise, encourage and deliver that experience. It is not the ex-perience itself.

And if the real outcome of the design is the experience, not the object (especially with technology-based products), then does it not make sense that we need to make the experience be more the focus of the design effort?

But this leads to a problem. We know that sketching is fundamental to design. And we know how to sketch things. But if I am right in what I just said, and it is experi-ence that we are designing, then how do we fit sketching into the process? How do you sketch experience?

Well, that is what this talk is about. I argue that it can be done, why it is important, and using lots of examples (images and videos) demonstrate how it can be approached.

With the technologies which are emerging, the blinking clock on the VCR, or the indecipherable microwave oven are going to look like children’s play. That is, unless we learn how to harness the beast and turn it to our, and our cultures’, advantage. I think that informed design has a new and critical role to play in this, and this talk is intended to help lay some of the foundation for doing so.

Bill Buxton, Senior Scientist at Microsoft Research, has a 30 year involvement in research and the design of technologies for creative endeavour, including music, film and industrial design. He was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Chief Scientist of Alias Research and SGI? Inc. He has been a lecturer at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and was principal of his own design and consulting firm, Buxton Design, in Toronto. In the spring of 2006, he is a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge England.

More information on Buxton and his work can be found at:

Bill Buxton

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