April 20th - 2nd UPA Meeting in Cambridge (UK): Performance by De sign: The Role of Design in Software Product Development" - Bill Buxton

31 Mar 2005 - 9:52am
1571 reads
carl myhill

Apologies for cross posting.

Thought some of you might be interested in this event...


April 20th - "Performance by Design: The Role of Design in Software Product
Development" - Bill Buxton - at Microsoft Research, Cambridge

More information here: http://www.ukupa.org.uk/cambridge/ and reproduced

Bill Buxton has very kindly offered to make a presentation on, "Performance
by Design: The Role of Design in Software Product Development" whilst he is
still around in April. Thanks Bill!

Bill recently made an excellent presentation to a packed audience at a
meeting of The Cambridge Network, so expect this to be a cracker!

Date: Wednesday 20th April 2005
Time: 6.30 for 6.45pm
Venue: Microsoft Research, Cambridge
Cost:It is essential that anyone wishing to attend reserves a place. To do
this, please email cambridge.usability at gmail.com. The event is FREE and you
do not need to be a UKUPA member to attend but it would be great if you
could join up! Future events may not be free for non-members.

Here's the introduction...

Performance by Design: The Role of Design in Software Product Development

This talk could just as well be titled "What I have learned about software
product design in 8 1/2 years of working with some of the best industrial
designers and film makers in the world." The underlying premise is that
filmmakers and industrial designers approach the design of new products in a
fundamentally different way than the software industry. More often than not,
software products are green-lighted, and then work begins. With films and
product design, green-lighting comes at the end of a front-end process, not
the beginning. Stated another way, software projects tend to go directly to
development/engineering, leapfrogging over anything that an industrial
designer, for example, would recognize as a design process.

Our argument is that our industry's bypassing such an explicit and formal
front-end design (or in film terms, pre-production) process lies at the root
of many of our problems of quality, cost over-runs, and late delivery.
Furthermore, I would argue that the absence of this front-end process lies
at the root of the software industry's abysmal track record in bringing out
successful new (as opposed to n+1) products. To put my argument into
perspective, I will briefly summarize the process followed in film and
product design, and discuss how it can apply to software product design.

Bill Buxton is an interaction designer and researcher, and Principal of the
Toronto-based design and consulting firm, Buxton Design. During the spring
of 2005, he is a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge,

Bill is one of the pioneers in computer music, and has played an important
role in the development of computer-based tools for film, industrial design,
graphics and animation. As a researcher, he has had a long history with
Xerox' Palo Alto Research Center and the University of Toronto (where he is
still an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, and
Visiting Professor at the Knowledge Media Design Institute). As well, during
the fall of 2004, he was a lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design
at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

>From 1994 until December 2002, he was Chief Scientist of Alias|Wavefront,
and from 1995, its parent company SGI Inc. In 2001, the Hollywood Reporter
named him one of the 10 most influential innovators in Hollywood. In 2002
Time Magazine named him one of the top 5 designers in Canada, and he was
elected to the ACM's CHI Academy.

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

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