Bill Buxton: Designing User Experience

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Bill Buxton is a researcher in MSR. I got the chance to sit down with him recently to learn about user experience from the design guru himself.

His bio:

"Bill Buxton is a designer and a researcher concerned with human aspects of technology. His work reflects a particular interest in the use of technology to support creative activities such as design, film making and music. Buxton's research specialties include technologies, techniques and theories of input to computers, technology mediated human-human collaboration, and ubiquitous computing. "

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      j_h_o
      DNS problems, anyone?
    • User profile image
      raymond
      Bravo.

      Fascinating interview.

      Charles asks the "perfect question"! Wink

      He is very right about making as many mistakes or failures as possible as quick as possible and learning from them.

      Quote of the day:

      "Paranoia is a wonderful thing." Wink

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia

      Bill reminds me of the writings of Peter Drucker.

      OMG-- Bill is hanging out with the Expression Team. 

      http://www.billbuxton.com/ 

      Three Cheers.

      More interviews like this please.

      Followup interview with Alan Cooper would be perfect. Tongue Out

      Congratulations Charles, one of your very best interviews. Smiley

      Cool

      PS

      I believe the quote that Bill mentions was on President Ronald Reagan's desk was spoken by President Harry S. Truman:

      "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

      http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman

       Reagan started out as a Democrat but switched in 1962 saying ""I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan


    • User profile image
      nektar
         "I spend a lot of my time thinking ..." Indeed, it seems that in Microsoft there is a lot of (really lots of) thinking but ... little doing. You might be thinking about new innovative designs but it is Apple which produced the IPhone and not Microsoft. It is apple which produced the IPod and not Microsoft. It is Google which first produced the better interface to online maps and it is first Google which acquired and introduced the great 3d Google Earth software. And it is first Google which innovated on the web mail design interface and not Microsoft, all though it had lots of Hotmail users, years and research thinking time to    "think about it".Whilst, Microsoft Tablet PC has not been a success. Media Center has barely succeeded and its Media Extendors have been a complete failure. Xbox 360 is being outsold by the WEE partly because of the WEE's new type of motion-sensing controllers, although Microsoft had done lots and lots of user interface "thinking" before producing the 360. And what is happening with the once "innovative" SPOT technology? MSN Wrist Watches remember? Finally, Zune is still a joke and even incompatible with Microsoft's Plays for Sure, even one year after its release. Where was the "thinking" there?I am not saying that everything the competition does is better of course. But with these points I am trying to raise a simple and honest question that you should be able to answer: Where is all that thinking going? In other words: What is wrong with the company? Why does Microsoft appear       at least to fail where its competitors are successful?
    • User profile image
      Duncanma
      To continue your long line of questions nektar... why did you put your post all in 'black out' text?
    • User profile image
      staceyw

      Great talk guys.  Thanks.  Also love the new SL vid control - just feels better.

    • User profile image
      Cyonix
      Great video, thanks

      nektar wrote:
      "I spend a lot of my time thinking ..." Indeed, it seems that in Microsoft there is a lot of (really lots of) thinking but ... little doing. You might be thinking about new innovative designs but it is Apple which produced the IPhone and not Microsoft. It is apple which produced the IPod and not Microsoft. It is Google which first produced the better interface to online maps and it is first Google which acquired and introduced the great 3d Google Earth software. And it is first Google which innovated on the web mail design interface and not Microsoft, all though it had lots of Hotmail users, years and research thinking time to    "think about it".Whilst, Microsoft Tablet PC has not been a success. Media Center has barely succeeded and its Media Extendors have been a complete failure. Xbox 360 is being outsold by the WEE partly because of the WEE's new type of motion-sensing controllers, although Microsoft had done lots and lots of user interface "thinking" before producing the 360. And what is happening with the once "innovative" SPOT technology? MSN Wrist Watches remember? Finally, Zune is still a joke and even incompatible with Microsoft's Plays for Sure, even one year after its release. Where was the "thinking" there?I am not saying that everything the competition does is better of course. But with these points I am trying to raise a simple and honest question that you should be able to answer: Where is all that thinking going? In other words: What is wrong with the company? Why does Microsoft appear       at least to fail where its competitors are successful?
      You raise some good points, why hide them?
    • User profile image
      dentaku
      nektar wrote:
         "I spend a lot of my time thinking ..." Indeed, it seems that in Microsoft there is a lot of (really lots of) thinking but ... little doing. You might be thinking about new innovative designs but it is Apple which produced the IPhone and not Microsoft. It is apple which produced the IPod and not Microsoft. It is Google which first produced the better interface to online maps and it is first Google which acquired and introduced the great 3d Google Earth software. And it is first Google which innovated on the web mail design interface and not Microsoft, all though it had lots of Hotmail users, years and research thinking time to    "think about it".Whilst, Microsoft Tablet PC has not been a success. Media Center has barely succeeded and its Media Extendors have been a complete failure. Xbox 360 is being outsold by the WEE partly because of the WEE's new type of motion-sensing controllers, although Microsoft had done lots and lots of user interface "thinking" before producing the 360. And what is happening with the once "innovative" SPOT technology? MSN Wrist Watches remember? Finally, Zune is still a joke and even incompatible with Microsoft's Plays for Sure, even one year after its release. Where was the "thinking" there?I am not saying that everything the competition does is better of course. But with these points I am trying to raise a simple and honest question that you should be able to answer: Where is all that thinking going? In other words: What is wrong with the company? Why does Microsoft appear       at least to fail where its competitors are successful?


      I get what you're saying. I've felt like that about MS too and I'm guessing it has something to do with the company just being too big and over-thinking stuff instead of just doing it. They're also hindered by having to deal with so much legal junk ever time they even think about making a new product so the creative people get disappointed when they can't create the products they want and the final product ends up being a watered down version of their original vision. It's like creating art by committee, it works but it's never as good as what they originally envisioned. It also doesn't help that Microsoft is not very good at marketing.

      ALSO, on a related note:
      I wish they'd stop trying to conquer every market and just concentrate on doing a few things really well because they definitely have the resources and the talented employees to do that but maybe they're putting too much effort and "thought" into too many different areas. Bill talked about taking out stuff from software and avoiding feature creep so maybe they should stop expanding to avoid doing the same with the company.
      The many different versions of Vista is a good example of Miscrosoft's people (I don't know which division that would be) over-thinking instead of just releasing one OS for regular PCs and one OS for servers. (not taking in to account he embeded and mobile stuff which is quite different)

      By the way... If avoiding feature creep was what lead to the overly dumbed down Vista photo import wizard, then I'm all for feature creep Smiley
      At least Live Photo Gallery fixes that problem.
    • User profile image
      Beetlejuice
      Thanks for video!
      Smart man!
      Bill Buxton looks like Patrick Bauchau - the actor http://imdb.com/name/nm0000872/
    • User profile image
      alygator
      Is it too late to request a higher-quality version of this file? Whatever way I view or listen to this, everything Bill Buxton says sounds like RJD2 - I can't make out a single word he says.
      Sad
    • User profile image
      Yankee
      Beetlejuice wrote:
      Thanks for video!
      Smart man!
      Bill Buxton looks like Patrick Bauchau - the actor http://imdb.com/name/nm0000872/


      Just that he does it for real Big Smile
    • User profile image
      spottedmah

      fyi: missing tag, "Bill Buxton" on video

    • User profile image
      Charles

      Thanks. Fixed!

      C

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