Bill Buxton presents "NUI: What’s in a Name? Perspectives from the Past and Future"Abstract: Natural User Interface, or NUI, is one of the favourite flavours du jour in certain interaction design and user experience circles. On the one hand, the term signals a change from the Graphical User Interface, or GUI, that has been prevalent since the early 1980s. In many ways, that is good. Not that the GUI is going to go away (any more than the QWERTY keyboard, I predict). But progress does, as they say, progress. And just because there was a great idea that took hold, does not mean that that is all that there is.But beyond the name, what is this new thing? As far as I can see, the answer depends on who you ask. Ask enough people, and you will see that it can mean anything - which means, by the way, that it might mean nothing. I don’t view it that way. Yes, there are a lot of diverse views. But that also means that there is a lot of diverse conversations accompanying them, and I see that as healthy. Complacency is rarely a worthy aspiration for design. But out of the collective conversations one would hope that there is some convergence - which might be another term for insight or growth.In my discussion, I take my cue from nature itself, and the observation that almost anything that we see above the surface is supported by its roots. As it is in art, music, painting, and other cultural phenomena, so is it in interaction design: the future began long ago, and understanding those past futures is critical to understanding future roots.As for understanding NUI, it is simple – as simple as nature itself. And as complex. And as important. Which is why it is worthy of discussion.
Here are the details:6:30 - 7 pm Social and light refreshments7 - 7:15 pm Announcements and updates7:15 - 8:15 pm Presentation8:15 - 8:30 Q&ABio:
Bill Buxton is
the author of, Sketching User
Experiences: Getting the Design
Right and the Right Design, published jointly by Morgan Kaufmann and Focal
Press as well as a columnist on design and innovation for BusinessWeek.com. He is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research
and has a 30 year involvement in research, design and commentary around human
aspects of technology, and digital tools for creative endeavour, including
music, film and industrial design.
Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a
professor at the University of Toronto, and Chief Scientist of Alias Research
and SGI Inc. – where 2003 he was co-recipient of an Academy Award for
Scientific and Technical Achievement.
In 2007, he was named Doctor of Design, honoris causa, by the
Ontario College of Art and Design, in 2008 became the 10th recipient
of the ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for fundamental contributions to
the field of human-computer interaction.
In January 2009 was elected a Fellow of the ACM, in June was awarded a
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by his alma mater, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, and that
November was awarded an honourary doctorate in Industrial Design from the
Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which in 2010 also elected
him to the position of Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Industrial
Design. Also in 2010, BusinessWeek named Bill among the World’s Most
Influential Designers. Finally,
Bill is passionate about the outdoors, especially mountains (summer and winter)
and tripping in his birch-bark canoes.
More information on
Buxton and his work can be found at:
You can park in the C1-C5 garage. The entrance is through Gate 1, at 15th and 41st.