Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

30 May 2007 - 10:07pm
7 years ago
15 replies
1474 reads
Chris Bernard
2007

Some people have asked on this list how Microsoft Surface was created and who worked on it, with specific inquiries into Bill Buxton. Bill has consulting on the project since about 2004 (About a year before he came into Microsoft. The principal folks in Microsoft that made the project a reality are guys named Andy Wilson and Steve Bathiche.

As Will Parker points out there is a large body of work from a number of companies and efforts that have focused on similar topics (The most notable and relevant perhaps being Philips under Irene Mccara Williams).

http://www.design.philips.com/About/Design/Section-13506/Index.html

Will also brings up some very relevant and real issues with disruptive technology and one will have to presume that the initial partners in these efforts have perhaps pondered and solved these issues for the scenarios they are going to focus on for now and that new issues will arise that will require us to fundamentally rethink things we take for granted with existing computer and human interactions models.

I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our fellow peers to participate here.

IxD as a profession needs to embrace curiosity and although I'd suggest that new product announcements do need to be managed for mass audiences I'm certain that a majority of this board's members don't need to be spoon fed scenarios to understand the power and potential that new innovations can enable. In fact a cursory overview of mainstream media outlets and the blogosphere seem to indicate at least a passing interest in what Microsoft is doing with Surface and (gasp) even ponder that it might be ever so slightly...innovative.

As an IxD designer I think the onus is on US to determine how to embrace and leverage the intersection of market needs, technical capability and user needs and be curious and look outside of the obvious. For many, Microsoft Surface just does that. On a personal level it's probably the first thing I showed anyone in my family (wife and young children) about my work at Microsoft where they actually went, "Wow, that is cool and I want one."

I think a dialog among design professionals and peers is what the IxDA list does best (and was in fact the intent of IxDA). However this list doesn't feel like a very comfortable place for many due to the critical and judgmental nature of these discussions that occur on this board. Folks that work for Microsoft or on Microsoft products have thick skins and my commentary is really focused on how I think IxD professionals need to engage each other as peers in talking about our work (any work) that is worthy of mention on this board.

As I learn more about what I can share about Microsoft Surface I will share it here. I suspect that it might get mentioned in a few weeks at the UPA conference in Austin where Bill Buxton is speaking.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

Comments

31 May 2007 - 1:03am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

I'm glad that Microsoft finally put into a product some aspects of the
Touchlight prototype, but I don't see how it's innovative given so much
prior art. In fact, the Microsoft Surface demos all seem to
demonstrate a crippled piece of hardware compared to the Touchlight
prototype I saw Andy Wilson demonstrate at UIST 2004 in Santa Fe. The
biggest Wow factor for that demo, for me, came when I realized that it
could scan any document you placed on its surface, in addition to doing
all those mutliple touch manipulations. It wasn't a new idea, since
Sun computers touted this kind of screen interaction when Tognazzini
did their Starfire video prototype way back in 1992, but it was a
concrete realization of that idea. What happened to it?

Alain Vaillancourt

--- Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> a écrit :

> Some people have asked on this list how Microsoft Surface was created
> and who worked on it, with specific inquiries into Bill Buxton. Bill
> has consulting on the project since about 2004 (About a year before
> he came into Microsoft. The principal folks in Microsoft that made
> the project a reality are guys named Andy Wilson and Steve Bathiche.
>
> As Will Parker points out there is a large body of work from a number
> of companies and efforts that have focused on similar topics (The
> most notable and relevant perhaps being Philips under Irene Mccara
> Williams).
>
> http://www.design.philips.com/About/Design/Section-13506/Index.html
>
> Will also brings up some very relevant and real issues with
> disruptive technology and one will have to presume that the initial
> partners in these efforts have perhaps pondered and solved these
> issues for the scenarios they are going to focus on for now and that
> new issues will arise that will require us to fundamentally rethink
> things we take for granted with existing computer and human
> interactions models.
>
> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy is
> this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on this
> board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our fellow
> peers to participate here.
>
> IxD as a profession needs to embrace curiosity and although I'd
> suggest that new product announcements do need to be managed for mass
> audiences I'm certain that a majority of this board's members don't
> need to be spoon fed scenarios to understand the power and potential
> that new innovations can enable. In fact a cursory overview of
> mainstream media outlets and the blogosphere seem to indicate at
> least a passing interest in what Microsoft is doing with Surface and
> (gasp) even ponder that it might be ever so slightly...innovative.
>
> As an IxD designer I think the onus is on US to determine how to
> embrace and leverage the intersection of market needs, technical
> capability and user needs and be curious and look outside of the
> obvious. For many, Microsoft Surface just does that. On a personal
> level it's probably the first thing I showed anyone in my family
> (wife and young children) about my work at Microsoft where they
> actually went, "Wow, that is cool and I want one."
>
> I think a dialog among design professionals and peers is what the
> IxDA list does best (and was in fact the intent of IxDA). However
> this list doesn't feel like a very comfortable place for many due to
> the critical and judgmental nature of these discussions that occur on
> this board. Folks that work for Microsoft or on Microsoft products
> have thick skins and my commentary is really focused on how I think
> IxD professionals need to engage each other as peers in talking about
> our work (any work) that is worthy of mention on this board.
>
> As I learn more about what I can share about Microsoft Surface I will
> share it here. I suspect that it might get mentioned in a few weeks
> at the UPA conference in Austin where Bill Buxton is speaking.
>
> Chris Bernard
> Microsoft
> User Experience Evangelist
> chris.bernard at microsoft.com
> 312.925.4095
>
> Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
> Design: www.microsoft.com/design
> Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
> "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed."
> William Gibson
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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31 May 2007 - 8:30am
Doris Lamontagne
2005

Hi all,
In 1999, while working in ui research we proposed a gestural interface and patented it
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6313853-fulltext.html It had many similarities with the Surface but it was for a very different group of users.

We did user testing--even if the prototype was clunky but we made it work. The users loved it. The developers, my colleagues/designers well... I do not know if at the time it was the lack of vision or if it is just what designer are about, but they just did not want to see the possibilities opening up...

It was not related to the traditional ui enough, it was too different from what any other designers were doing at the time, it was just not possible to make it work smoothly with the existing technology, it was too much work to code it, there was no money left to continue the exploration, it was just simply too different and we could not possibly move away from the Microsoft ui interface available at the time. Everyone believed, except for my team, that the users would not be able to understand it.... but they loved it and they wanted to join our team! However, the funding to continue the research was not available anymore and the prototype was taken apart.

When I saw the Microsoft Surface, I thought this is a great day for the UI field. It opens up many new possibilities on interacting with computer... It also give the user testing/usability/etc. specialists a lot to chew on for the coming years.... But the most important of all, this new interface is a step forward...

Doris Lamontagne
User experience designer

----- Original Message ----
From: Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com>
To: "discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com" <discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:07:16 PM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

Some people have asked on this list how Microsoft Surface was created and who worked on it, with specific inquiries into Bill Buxton. Bill has consulting on the project since about 2004 (About a year before he came into Microsoft. The principal folks in Microsoft that made the project a reality are guys named Andy Wilson and Steve Bathiche.

As Will Parker points out there is a large body of work from a number of companies and efforts that have focused on similar topics (The most notable and relevant perhaps being Philips under Irene Mccara Williams).

http://www.design.philips.com/About/Design/Section-13506/Index.html

Will also brings up some very relevant and real issues with disruptive technology and one will have to presume that the initial partners in these efforts have perhaps pondered and solved these issues for the scenarios they are going to focus on for now and that new issues will arise that will require us to fundamentally rethink things we take for granted with existing computer and human interactions models.

I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our fellow peers to participate here.

IxD as a profession needs to embrace curiosity and although I'd suggest that new product announcements do need to be managed for mass audiences I'm certain that a majority of this board's members don't need to be spoon fed scenarios to understand the power and potential that new innovations can enable. In fact a cursory overview of mainstream media outlets and the blogosphere seem to indicate at least a passing interest in what Microsoft is doing with Surface and (gasp) even ponder that it might be ever so slightly...innovative.

As an IxD designer I think the onus is on US to determine how to embrace and leverage the intersection of market needs, technical capability and user needs and be curious and look outside of the obvious. For many, Microsoft Surface just does that. On a personal level it's probably the first thing I showed anyone in my family (wife and young children) about my work at Microsoft where they actually went, "Wow, that is cool and I want one."

I think a dialog among design professionals and peers is what the IxDA list does best (and was in fact the intent of IxDA). However this list doesn't feel like a very comfortable place for many due to the critical and judgmental nature of these discussions that occur on this board. Folks that work for Microsoft or on Microsoft products have thick skins and my commentary is really focused on how I think IxD professionals need to engage each other as peers in talking about our work (any work) that is worthy of mention on this board.

As I learn more about what I can share about Microsoft Surface I will share it here. I suspect that it might get mentioned in a few weeks at the UPA conference in Austin where Bill Buxton is speaking.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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31 May 2007 - 1:05pm
Greg Petroff
2004

Hi Chris,

First I think many people miss a key point. There are many aspects to
innovation that have to do with productizing, marketing, engineering
and ixd that make an idea move from the abstract to reality. Major
Kudos to you guys.

I for one am very excited about Surface and the fact that Microsoft
is behind it.

I think its' named right. Surface computing is the idea of what
happens when tangible objects interact within our world. It stakes
out a broad vision for things we can do next. I also like that the
surface device is a commercial platform and not a prototype.

What I want most to back you up on is around the spirit of discourse
within this community.

I think it is essential that we are honest with our own personal
biases re platforms and companies, that we remain curious, that we
encourage each other, and that we celebrate success.

That does not mean we shy away from offering critique. One of the
things I like about this community is we "usually" have very
healthy and respectful professional discussions about things.

IxDA should be the home for all of us to talk openly and
inquisitivley and with respect for each other regardless of who we
work for.

Keep us posted on what happens next with Surface!

-greg

1 Jun 2007 - 1:35am
natekendrick
2005

Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
year in life drawing =)

destruction is the only way to create.

On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
> fellow peers to participate here.

1 Jun 2007 - 10:32am
Chris Bernard
2007

I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.

I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.

But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.

The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.

It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?

We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.

Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
year in life drawing =)

destruction is the only way to create.

On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
> fellow peers to participate here.

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

1 Jun 2007 - 10:45am
lachica
2006

"I dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring
an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch
the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze
and scatter it. It would multiply not judgments but signs of existence; it
would summon them, drag them from their sleep. Perhaps it would invent
them sometimes -- all the better.

"Criticism that hands down sentences sends me to sleep; I'd like a
criticism of scintillating leaps of imagination. It would not be sovereign
or
dressed in red. It would bear the lightning of possible storms."

-Michel Foucault, "The Masked Philosopher," interview in *Le Monde,*
1980

On 6/1/07, Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for
> over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry
> and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking
> about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>
> I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being
> a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in
> teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their
> foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer
> at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about
> this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also
> caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most
> likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically
> if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my
> perspective.
>
> But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people
> constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary
> teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this
> approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why
> design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out
> of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>
> The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this
> list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that
> people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what
> is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad
> hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's
> all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot.
> I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>
> It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that
> involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members
> of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>
> We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and
> necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard
> asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how
> to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it
> should.
>
> Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this
> community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved
> with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My
> comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general
> tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm
> encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own
> 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>
> Chris Bernard
> Microsoft
> User Experience Evangelist
> chris.bernard at microsoft.com
> 312.925.4095
>
>
>
> Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
> Design: www.microsoft.com/design
> Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
> "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William
> Gibson
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:
> discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan
> Kendrick
> Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
> To: IxDA Discuss
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>
> Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
> year in life drawing =)
>
> destruction is the only way to create.
>
> On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>
> > I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
> > is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
> > this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
> > fellow peers to participate here.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

1 Jun 2007 - 10:53am
Mark Schraad
2006

Chris,

I see tha participation on this group quite differently. And for the moment I will speak to my specific reasons for participation.

The primary reason that I participate here is to through out ideas and concepts that stew in my head for peer review. I engage in dialog and discussion here specifically for the sometimes harsh critic that comes with learned professionals. If all I got here was (earnest or false) accolades, I would not bother coming. This is incredibly self serving. I know that and have even made that a point of record.

In return, I share as much perspective and expereince as possible. I weigh in when I feel I have something to contribute and hope that it is taken the proper spirit - and helpful.

I too, tend to see old ideas resurected by large compaies with some skeptisism. Especially when they have a lot of promotional sizzle - but limited immediate application. This is as I see it, the case with Surfaces.

I do not come here to sell or to be an evangelist, but I have not proble with others doing so. I am by-and-large very appreciative of advances in technology and methods when they are applicable and useful. I do not think you can equate colleg level critiques with general critism about a large corporation or product PR announcement.

Mark

On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 11:32AM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>
>I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.
>
>But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>
>The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>
>It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>
>We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.
>
>Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>
>Chris Bernard
>Microsoft
>User Experience Evangelist
>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>312.925.4095
>
>
>
>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
>To: IxDA Discuss
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>
>Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
>year in life drawing =)
>
>destruction is the only way to create.
>
>On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>
>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>> fellow peers to participate here.
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

1 Jun 2007 - 11:52am
Chris Bernard
2007

Mark you're presuming my comments are coming from the perspective of someone that is just here to evangelize and sell or solely focused on Surface and in this particular instance that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking more generically about how this list can better serve all the constituencies that IxDA aspires to serve as a design professional just like you. But when all we have is criticism (even valuable and insightful criticism) I think we're under-serving ourselves and the skills that this community brings to the table. Two quotes come to mind although Clement isn't talking about IxD here I think there's context there that could be applied to the current state of IxD. (although neither are as eloquent as the one posted by Julia).

"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." --Benjamin Disraeli

"I was amused initially when the design community was dragged kicking and screaming into the wired digital economy. Instead of embracing this brave new world and trying to learn the consequences and potentials, many practitioners complained about the displacement and disruption without assessing any course correction. They just complained about being victimized." --Clement Mok

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:53 AM
To: Chris Bernard
Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

Chris,

I see tha participation on this group quite differently. And for the moment I will speak to my specific reasons for participation.

The primary reason that I participate here is to through out ideas and concepts that stew in my head for peer review. I engage in dialog and discussion here specifically for the sometimes harsh critic that comes with learned professionals. If all I got here was (earnest or false) accolades, I would not bother coming. This is incredibly self serving. I know that and have even made that a point of record.

In return, I share as much perspective and expereince as possible. I weigh in when I feel I have something to contribute and hope that it is taken the proper spirit - and helpful.

I too, tend to see old ideas resurected by large compaies with some skeptisism. Especially when they have a lot of promotional sizzle - but limited immediate application. This is as I see it, the case with Surfaces.

I do not come here to sell or to be an evangelist, but I have not proble with others doing so. I am by-and-large very appreciative of advances in technology and methods when they are applicable and useful. I do not think you can equate colleg level critiques with general critism about a large corporation or product PR announcement.

Mark

On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 11:32AM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>
>I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.
>
>But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>
>The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>
>It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>
>We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.
>
>Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>
>Chris Bernard
>Microsoft
>User Experience Evangelist
>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>312.925.4095
>
>
>
>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
>To: IxDA Discuss
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>
>Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
>year in life drawing =)
>
>destruction is the only way to create.
>
>On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>
>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>> fellow peers to participate here.
>
>________________________________________________________________
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>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

1 Jun 2007 - 12:17pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Hi Chris,

Almost took that line out of my Email - and in hindsight wish I had.

I was not arguing against or for how this forum could be improved. I was just stating a use case (that I am familiar with).

I think it is human nature to respond viscerally to a new (or slightly new) concept by testing it in a 'how can I break it' mode. Understanding where it might not work helps to focus on where it might work... which of course takes more thought and much more effort. Coming up with new and useful applications for the Surfaces product might be of benefit to the members here - I am not sure. Would an individual be likley to share their brainstorm of application here? I don't know, but I have my doubts.

As a manager and a parent I am always inclined to use positive reinforcement when possible. Similarly, I think a collaborative environment here could be beneficial. But, I can't think of situation where this sort of forum was used effectively for divergent group think. Off the top of my head... I have used both chat and Email, but my gut tells me this forum is more applicable to the divergent part of the process.

I am probably a little to grounded in reality at the moment... but I am certain that in just a few hours I will be more aspirational...

On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 12:52PM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>Mark you're presuming my comments are coming from the perspective of someone that is just here to evangelize and sell or solely focused on Surface and in this particular instance that's not what I'm talking about.
>
>I'm talking more generically about how this list can better serve all the constituencies that IxDA aspires to serve as a design professional just like you. But when all we have is criticism (even valuable and insightful criticism) I think we're under-serving ourselves and the skills that this community brings to the table. Two quotes come to mind although Clement isn't talking about IxD here I think there's context there that could be applied to the current state of IxD. (although neither are as eloquent as the one posted by Julia).
>
>"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." --Benjamin Disraeli
>
>"I was amused initially when the design community was dragged kicking and screaming into the wired digital economy. Instead of embracing this brave new world and trying to learn the consequences and potentials, many practitioners complained about the displacement and disruption without assessing any course correction. They just complained about being victimized." --Clement Mok
>
>
>Chris Bernard
>Microsoft
>User Experience Evangelist
>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>312.925.4095
>
>
>
>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:53 AM
>To: Chris Bernard
>Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>Chris,
>
>I see tha participation on this group quite differently. And for the moment I will speak to my specific reasons for participation.
>
>The primary reason that I participate here is to through out ideas and concepts that stew in my head for peer review. I engage in dialog and discussion here specifically for the sometimes harsh critic that comes with learned professionals. If all I got here was (earnest or false) accolades, I would not bother coming. This is incredibly self serving. I know that and have even made that a point of record.
>
>In return, I share as much perspective and expereince as possible. I weigh in when I feel I have something to contribute and hope that it is taken the proper spirit - and helpful.
>
>I too, tend to see old ideas resurected by large compaies with some skeptisism. Especially when they have a lot of promotional sizzle - but limited immediate application. This is as I see it, the case with Surfaces.
>
>I do not come here to sell or to be an evangelist, but I have not proble with others doing so. I am by-and-large very appreciative of advances in technology and methods when they are applicable and useful. I do not think you can equate colleg level critiques with general critism about a large corporation or product PR announcement.
>
>
>Mark
>
>
>On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 11:32AM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>>I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>>
>>I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.
>>
>>But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>>
>>The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>>
>>It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>>
>>We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.
>>
>>Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>>
>>Chris Bernard
>>Microsoft
>>User Experience Evangelist
>>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>>312.925.4095
>>
>>
>>
>>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>>
>>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>>
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
>>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
>>To: IxDA Discuss
>>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>>
>>
>>Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
>>year in life drawing =)
>>
>>destruction is the only way to create.
>>
>>On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>>
>>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>>> fellow peers to participate here.
>>

1 Jun 2007 - 12:23pm
Chris Bernard
2007

All fair points and I believe with one more good kick this subject will be good and dead and we can move on to other more enlightening conversations.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 12:18 PM
To: Chris Bernard
Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

Hi Chris,

Almost took that line out of my Email - and in hindsight wish I had.

I was not arguing against or for how this forum could be improved. I was just stating a use case (that I am familiar with).

I think it is human nature to respond viscerally to a new (or slightly new) concept by testing it in a 'how can I break it' mode. Understanding where it might not work helps to focus on where it might work... which of course takes more thought and much more effort. Coming up with new and useful applications for the Surfaces product might be of benefit to the members here - I am not sure. Would an individual be likley to share their brainstorm of application here? I don't know, but I have my doubts.

As a manager and a parent I am always inclined to use positive reinforcement when possible. Similarly, I think a collaborative environment here could be beneficial. But, I can't think of situation where this sort of forum was used effectively for divergent group think. Off the top of my head... I have used both chat and Email, but my gut tells me this forum is more applicable to the divergent part of the process.

I am probably a little to grounded in reality at the moment... but I am certain that in just a few hours I will be more aspirational...

On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 12:52PM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>Mark you're presuming my comments are coming from the perspective of someone that is just here to evangelize and sell or solely focused on Surface and in this particular instance that's not what I'm talking about.
>
>I'm talking more generically about how this list can better serve all the constituencies that IxDA aspires to serve as a design professional just like you. But when all we have is criticism (even valuable and insightful criticism) I think we're under-serving ourselves and the skills that this community brings to the table. Two quotes come to mind although Clement isn't talking about IxD here I think there's context there that could be applied to the current state of IxD. (although neither are as eloquent as the one posted by Julia).
>
>"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." --Benjamin Disraeli
>
>"I was amused initially when the design community was dragged kicking and screaming into the wired digital economy. Instead of embracing this brave new world and trying to learn the consequences and potentials, many practitioners complained about the displacement and disruption without assessing any course correction. They just complained about being victimized." --Clement Mok
>
>
>Chris Bernard
>Microsoft
>User Experience Evangelist
>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>312.925.4095
>
>
>
>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:53 AM
>To: Chris Bernard
>Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>Chris,
>
>I see tha participation on this group quite differently. And for the moment I will speak to my specific reasons for participation.
>
>The primary reason that I participate here is to through out ideas and concepts that stew in my head for peer review. I engage in dialog and discussion here specifically for the sometimes harsh critic that comes with learned professionals. If all I got here was (earnest or false) accolades, I would not bother coming. This is incredibly self serving. I know that and have even made that a point of record.
>
>In return, I share as much perspective and expereince as possible. I weigh in when I feel I have something to contribute and hope that it is taken the proper spirit - and helpful.
>
>I too, tend to see old ideas resurected by large compaies with some skeptisism. Especially when they have a lot of promotional sizzle - but limited immediate application. This is as I see it, the case with Surfaces.
>
>I do not come here to sell or to be an evangelist, but I have not proble with others doing so. I am by-and-large very appreciative of advances in technology and methods when they are applicable and useful. I do not think you can equate colleg level critiques with general critism about a large corporation or product PR announcement.
>
>
>Mark
>
>
>On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 11:32AM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>>I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>>
>>I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.
>>
>>But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>>
>>The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>>
>>It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>>
>>We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.
>>
>>Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>>
>>Chris Bernard
>>Microsoft
>>User Experience Evangelist
>>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>>312.925.4095
>>
>>
>>
>>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>>
>>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>>
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
>>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
>>To: IxDA Discuss
>>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>>
>>
>>Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
>>year in life drawing =)
>>
>>destruction is the only way to create.
>>
>>On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>>
>>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>>> fellow peers to participate here.
>>

1 Jun 2007 - 12:02pm
Dave Malouf
2005

What a great discussion.

first, I want to thank chris for challenging us. I have to say I
agree with a lot of what he says about "design critique" on this
list. I do think though that it isn't as bad as he puts it, but I
have noticed issues.

I think that the medium (not the community) plays a large part of the
reason why we are skewed a bit. I think it is a lot harder in email
(or even web board) to be thoughtful in your criticisms, and for that
matter to be positive.

Further, I do think that we all jump to conclusions and often do not
look at complete scenarios and total contexts of the designs &
products being presented. What that means is that often the
technology and business cases for design decisions are not made
apparent to us and for good business reasons are often kept secret.

I do like the direction that Pauric has taken the initial thread
about Surfaces and asked the question about what good uses
multi-touch has.

The one big push-back that I would give Chris is his expectations
about what can be done in a public forum of some 3000 people. Even
if you only count the some 50 or so active participants, you end up
with a very large "studio". Further, this group spans many
different work environments which skew us all. When we are in a
design studio, well we are all working in that studio. We have a
chance to do proper presentation before the critiques and we also
know that b/c we are in a studio we will have the same chance to
critique those who have criticized us. That is not the case here. We
aren't in some program in person, face-to-face together.

But this brings up something the NYC Face-to-face group of IxDA is
working on, hopefully for this coming fall, and that is exactly this.
An in-person studio/salon that meets on a periodic basis, with the
guidance and supervision of a "master" interaction designer (or 2
or 3).

This would be something that would be open to practitioners of all
levels, that people can bring in their existing work, or we can work
on new ideas together and it would be something that people have to
pay for and commit to coming to on a periodic basis (weekly,
bi-weekly, monthly). Something not too hard to commit to, but not too
far way that you forget about it.

The details are not all squared away yet and we have an idea for a
1-time evening workshop that we are working on as well as a trial
run, but its an idea we are working on.

I personally don't see the list as a place to get true design studio
criticism. I try to punch out provocation to get spirited debate to
see where that makes my own mind lead me. I learn a ton from the
popcorn cooker of ideas and thinking that comes out of this machine,
but coming here for direct practice level critique feels like a poor
use of this medium.

Now, does that mean we can't find some way to do things in a virtual
way? I guess we could. we would have to have a more closed list, with
full active participation, something about non-disclosure. Make sure
everyone is in a non-compete situation, and set up a heft set of
rules of etiquette. Short of that, this list is for people to ask
advice, and to make their brains explode. That's why I have always
pushed people to create off-line face-to-face communities of IxDA.

Maybe we can create some spaces like this at future conferences.

One example of this, was what Christina Wodtke led on behalf of the
LA Times at the IA Summit. We got to work with a senior IA or two on
a real world problem from a company. We weren't given critique per
se, but we got to learn from each other while working on a "real"
project.

Maybe we can do this for say an open source project or two. Maybe the
studio idea I mention above is geared towards that. Maybe if we do
this right, we create our own open source project built from the
ground up with IxD and design research in mind.

Maybe different locales can do the same and share back to the global
universe their findings, designs, etc. and at congresses we can work
towards melding the local group work into a larger whole. maybe we
can find an active engineering organization like our own that can
work with us and help us actualize and execute the outcomes of the
project.

Lots of maybes, eh?

Anyway, just some ideas.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16809

1 Jun 2007 - 12:49pm
Chris Bernard
2007

I'll offer to champion the same type of event in Chicago with IxDA peers after a trial run by David in NYC.

In addition, in SF on June 22 Microsoft is doing something similar to this. Check out my blog here on the event and come on by (I'm actually flying out to see how this goes--and for wine country but don't tell MS).

http://chrisbernard.blogs.com/design_thinking_digest/2007/05/express_yoursel.html

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David Malouf
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 12:03 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)

What a great discussion.

first, I want to thank chris for challenging us. I have to say I
agree with a lot of what he says about "design critique" on this
list. I do think though that it isn't as bad as he puts it, but I
have noticed issues.

I think that the medium (not the community) plays a large part of the
reason why we are skewed a bit. I think it is a lot harder in email
(or even web board) to be thoughtful in your criticisms, and for that
matter to be positive.

Further, I do think that we all jump to conclusions and often do not
look at complete scenarios and total contexts of the designs &
products being presented. What that means is that often the
technology and business cases for design decisions are not made
apparent to us and for good business reasons are often kept secret.

I do like the direction that Pauric has taken the initial thread
about Surfaces and asked the question about what good uses
multi-touch has.

The one big push-back that I would give Chris is his expectations
about what can be done in a public forum of some 3000 people. Even
if you only count the some 50 or so active participants, you end up
with a very large "studio". Further, this group spans many
different work environments which skew us all. When we are in a
design studio, well we are all working in that studio. We have a
chance to do proper presentation before the critiques and we also
know that b/c we are in a studio we will have the same chance to
critique those who have criticized us. That is not the case here. We
aren't in some program in person, face-to-face together.

But this brings up something the NYC Face-to-face group of IxDA is
working on, hopefully for this coming fall, and that is exactly this.
An in-person studio/salon that meets on a periodic basis, with the
guidance and supervision of a "master" interaction designer (or 2
or 3).

This would be something that would be open to practitioners of all
levels, that people can bring in their existing work, or we can work
on new ideas together and it would be something that people have to
pay for and commit to coming to on a periodic basis (weekly,
bi-weekly, monthly). Something not too hard to commit to, but not too
far way that you forget about it.

The details are not all squared away yet and we have an idea for a
1-time evening workshop that we are working on as well as a trial
run, but its an idea we are working on.

I personally don't see the list as a place to get true design studio
criticism. I try to punch out provocation to get spirited debate to
see where that makes my own mind lead me. I learn a ton from the
popcorn cooker of ideas and thinking that comes out of this machine,
but coming here for direct practice level critique feels like a poor
use of this medium.

Now, does that mean we can't find some way to do things in a virtual
way? I guess we could. we would have to have a more closed list, with
full active participation, something about non-disclosure. Make sure
everyone is in a non-compete situation, and set up a heft set of
rules of etiquette. Short of that, this list is for people to ask
advice, and to make their brains explode. That's why I have always
pushed people to create off-line face-to-face communities of IxDA.

Maybe we can create some spaces like this at future conferences.

One example of this, was what Christina Wodtke led on behalf of the
LA Times at the IA Summit. We got to work with a senior IA or two on
a real world problem from a company. We weren't given critique per
se, but we got to learn from each other while working on a "real"
project.

Maybe we can do this for say an open source project or two. Maybe the
studio idea I mention above is geared towards that. Maybe if we do
this right, we create our own open source project built from the
ground up with IxD and design research in mind.

Maybe different locales can do the same and share back to the global
universe their findings, designs, etc. and at congresses we can work
towards melding the local group work into a larger whole. maybe we
can find an active engineering organization like our own that can
work with us and help us actualize and execute the outcomes of the
project.

Lots of maybes, eh?

Anyway, just some ideas.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16809

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1 Jun 2007 - 3:26pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Agreed - besides, I am much more interested in Seadragon ;-)

On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 01:23PM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>All fair points and I believe with one more good kick this subject will be good and dead and we can move on to other more enlightening conversations.
>
>Chris Bernard
>Microsoft
>User Experience Evangelist
>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>312.925.4095
>
>
>
>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 12:18 PM
>To: Chris Bernard
>Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
>Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>Hi Chris,
>
>Almost took that line out of my Email - and in hindsight wish I had.
>
>I was not arguing against or for how this forum could be improved. I was just stating a use case (that I am familiar with).
>
>I think it is human nature to respond viscerally to a new (or slightly new) concept by testing it in a 'how can I break it' mode. Understanding where it might not work helps to focus on where it might work... which of course takes more thought and much more effort. Coming up with new and useful applications for the Surfaces product might be of benefit to the members here - I am not sure. Would an individual be likley to share their brainstorm of application here? I don't know, but I have my doubts.
>
>As a manager and a parent I am always inclined to use positive reinforcement when possible. Similarly, I think a collaborative environment here could be beneficial. But, I can't think of situation where this sort of forum was used effectively for divergent group think. Off the top of my head... I have used both chat and Email, but my gut tells me this forum is more applicable to the divergent part of the process.
>
>I am probably a little to grounded in reality at the moment... but I am certain that in just a few hours I will be more aspirational...
>
>
>
>On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 12:52PM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>>Mark you're presuming my comments are coming from the perspective of someone that is just here to evangelize and sell or solely focused on Surface and in this particular instance that's not what I'm talking about.
>>
>>I'm talking more generically about how this list can better serve all the constituencies that IxDA aspires to serve as a design professional just like you. But when all we have is criticism (even valuable and insightful criticism) I think we're under-serving ourselves and the skills that this community brings to the table. Two quotes come to mind although Clement isn't talking about IxD here I think there's context there that could be applied to the current state of IxD. (although neither are as eloquent as the one posted by Julia).
>>
>>"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." --Benjamin Disraeli
>>
>>"I was amused initially when the design community was dragged kicking and screaming into the wired digital economy. Instead of embracing this brave new world and trying to learn the consequences and potentials, many practitioners complained about the displacement and disruption without assessing any course correction. They just complained about being victimized." --Clement Mok
>>
>>
>>Chris Bernard
>>Microsoft
>>User Experience Evangelist
>>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>>312.925.4095
>>
>>
>>
>>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>>
>>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>>
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
>>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:53 AM
>>To: Chris Bernard
>>Cc: Nathan Kendrick; IxDA Discuss
>>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>>
>>Chris,
>>
>>I see tha participation on this group quite differently. And for the moment I will speak to my specific reasons for participation.
>>
>>The primary reason that I participate here is to through out ideas and concepts that stew in my head for peer review. I engage in dialog and discussion here specifically for the sometimes harsh critic that comes with learned professionals. If all I got here was (earnest or false) accolades, I would not bother coming. This is incredibly self serving. I know that and have even made that a point of record.
>>
>>In return, I share as much perspective and expereince as possible. I weigh in when I feel I have something to contribute and hope that it is taken the proper spirit - and helpful.
>>
>>I too, tend to see old ideas resurected by large compaies with some skeptisism. Especially when they have a lot of promotional sizzle - but limited immediate application. This is as I see it, the case with Surfaces.
>>
>>I do not come here to sell or to be an evangelist, but I have not proble with others doing so. I am by-and-large very appreciative of advances in technology and methods when they are applicable and useful. I do not think you can equate colleg level critiques with general critism about a large corporation or product PR announcement.
>>
>>
>>Mark
>>
>>
>>On Friday, June 01, 2007, at 11:32AM, "Chris Bernard" <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>>>I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact as a professional group of peers.
>>>
>>>I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that how you interact with your fellow students in school will most likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll get an idea of my perspective.
>>>
>>>But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how people constructively create new things and work together in cross disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem to be the topic of the day.
>>>
>>>The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>>>
>>>It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the participation of members of this list or community. Why do you think that is?
>>>
>>>We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't exist here as much as it should.
>>>
>>>Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and like them both. :)
>>>
>>>Chris Bernard
>>>Microsoft
>>>User Experience Evangelist
>>>chris.bernard at microsoft.com
>>>312.925.4095
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
>>>Design: www.microsoft.com/design
>>>Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>>>
>>>"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson
>>>
>>>
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Nathan Kendrick
>>>Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
>>>To: IxDA Discuss
>>>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>>>
>>>
>>>Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
>>>year in life drawing =)
>>>
>>>destruction is the only way to create.
>>>
>>>On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>>>
>>>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>>>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>>>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>>>> fellow peers to participate here.
>>>

1 Jun 2007 - 10:55am
natekendrick
2005

I absolutely agree with you... to a point.

Do we think that in person or face-to-face this "interaction" may
have been different? I do. Interaction designers, in my opinion, tend
to be ones on the team that can see most sides, biz to tech to
marketing to design. And I know I spend inordinate amounts of time
simply on the social dynamics of this group.

I am not so sure that the IxDA group is unduly critical or
maladjusted in compared to other lists of other professions. But I am
sure that any email-based thread or discussion involving more than 10
people quickly becomes negative for a host of reasons. I am sure many
a graduate student out there has made this virtual social dynamic a
topic of their paper.

--

If I can offer another reason for Surface being overwhelmingly
criticized: is that its simply so large in scope that there are
always going to be detractors and people standing on their soapboxes.
It is certainly not the case where it is so large in scope we
immediately think its the holodeck... which would have an alarming
amount of positive feedback if it was released by MS. But it lands
squarely in that area that its been researched and designed well
beyond an industrial design student's senior thesis (and again, there
are many a student's project based on Surface's key concept of
collaborative spaces) but somehow falls short of true innovation.

my two cents, still critical, but hopefully not negatively.
-N

On Jun 1, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> I've been through a crit or two and as creative and design director
> for over a decade so I've also played the role of destructor and
> made people cry and all that business but you're comparing apples
> and oranges and talking about how we teach versus how we interact
> as a professional group of peers.
>
> I'd also disagree with most old school art and design folks on this
> being a 'best' practice in terms of teaching people how to work
> effectively in teams (although I admit all designers need a bit of
> a boot camp during their foundational knowledge in both academia
> and the workplace). And as lecturer at the Institute of Design I
> talk extensively with incoming students about this very practice
> during a teaming and collaboration workshop but also caution that
> how you interact with your fellow students in school will most
> likely follow you for your entire career. I being polite here but
> basically if you're into Bob Sutton's work over at Stanford you'll
> get an idea of my perspective.
>
> But THAT as opposed to the craft of interaction design and how
> people constructively create new things and work together in cross
> disciplinary teams is different. Many designers don't get how self-
> destructive this approach can be in collaborative environments and
> I'll submit it's why design as a profession is still in a bit of
> stasis and is largely left out of some of these efforts that seem
> to be the topic of the day.
>
> The bottom line is that the majority of people that are active on
> this list (although not all) bitch about what is wrong with
> everything that people submit versus offering up ways to make it
> better or acknowledge what is done well and then conversation
> typically falls into summary and ad hominem judgments on the
> creators or sponsors of such work. I mean if that's all I or other
> designers want we can have this debate on Amazon or Slashdot. I
> simply expect more out of this community I guess.
>
> It's not a small irony that much of what is discussed on this board
> that involves IxD is not work that has actually had the
> participation of members of this list or community. Why do you
> think that is?
>
> We certainly don't need sycophant here and criticism is valid and
> necessary but anyone that's been to design school knows that the
> best hard asses that broke you down also frequently gave you the
> best advice about how to make things better. That last part doesn't
> exist here as much as it should.
>
> Also, we all know I work for Microsoft but I'm also a part of this
> community and have been a practicing designer way before I ever got
> involved with Microsoft and I'm passionate about advancing our
> profession. My comments here are not just about or specific to
> Surface but the general tenor of this list and the perception this
> tenor projects on all of us. I'm encouraged however by how this
> thread is evolving. And for the record I own 4 iPods and 1 Zune and
> like them both. :)
>
> Chris Bernard
> Microsoft
> User Experience Evangelist
> chris.bernard at microsoft.com
> 312.925.4095
>
>
>
> Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
> Design: www.microsoft.com/design
> Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
> "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed."
> William Gibson
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf
> Of Nathan Kendrick
> Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 1:35 AM
> To: IxDA Discuss
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Microsoft Surface (Who Made It)
>
>
> Clearly someone didn't go to a art school and experience foundation
> year in life drawing =)
>
> destruction is the only way to create.
>
> On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>
>> I'll also agree that we are all critics from time to time but boy
>> is this a self-destructive posture for this community to embrace on
>> this board if we want to advance our profession and encourage our
>> fellow peers to participate here.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

1 Jun 2007 - 9:10pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Hey Chris,

Thanks for responding to my original query.

It's great that you want to champion an IxDA Studio in Chicago. One of us
from the NYC planning group will be in touch off-list to coordinate. (If
Dave hasn't already done so :-)

To everyone else: this is one of the visions of the IxDA F2F program. We're
eager to develop event ideas in one local area that can be re-used by other
local groups. If you would like to start a local group--if only to get
together over beers and moan and groan about MS Surface--please drop me a
note, or better yet, use the list to reach out to others in your town.

To learn more about our Local Groups effort, or to get involved, please
check out http://www.ixda.org/en/join_us/IxDA_face_to_face.shtml

Thanks,
JS

On 6/1/07, Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> I'll offer to champion the same type of event in Chicago with IxDA peers
> after a trial run by David in NYC.
>
>

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