Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher Microsoft Research

Bill Buxton

Biography: Bill Buxton

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 as well as a columnist on design and innovation for 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.
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 reci-pient of the ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for fundamental contributions to the field of human-computer interaction.  In January 2009 was elected a Fellow of the ACM, in June was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by his alma mater, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and in November was awarded an honourary doctorate in Industrial Design from the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Finally, in 2010, BusinessWeek named Bill among the World's Most Influential Designers.

Software passion: Getting the right design, not just the design right

Bill Buxtons on-line column for BusinessWeek


Presentation: "Keynote: On the Role of Design: What's the Point of Perfectly Coding a Sub-Optimal Solution?"

Time: Monday 17:30 - 18:15 / Location: Store Sal, Musikhuset

Despite all of the best techniques of software engineering, why is it that growth in the software industry is fueled by mergers and acquisitions rather than companies expanding by developing great products in-house? Despite the stars in our eyes, why are most programmers working on n+1 releases rather than developing great new products? Is this due to a failure of software engineering? No. Rather, it is due to failings of the larger process of product development within which software engineering fits. Simply stated, great software engineering is essential, but it is not sufficient. The lack of success in the systematic development of new (as opposed to n+1) products makes this clear. This talk speaks to the role that design can play to improve our success ratio, and raise the possibility that we might actually be able to successfully apply our hard-won software engineering skills to projects that are actually worthy of our efforts – i.e., ones that actually ship and change the world in a positive sense.

The talk will give you insight into "the process of product design – how to get the right design as well as the design right.”
Keywords: Sketching, Design, Design vs Engineering thinking.
Target audience: Anyone making decisions that affect what product is being made and how it is made.