Thursday, January 7, 2010

Notes on Bill Buxton's Natural User Interfaces interview

As a part of the CES 2010 conference, Microsoft released a new video through Channel 9 of a fourty minute interview with Bill Buxton. For those of you who don't know, Bill Buxton is a Principle Researcher at Microsoft Research and has been working with multi-touch interfaces since the 1970's. His combined knowledge, experience, and academic publications make him one of the world's best experts on user experience design, multi-touch and Natural User Interfaces.

This interview covered several different topics around Natural User Interfaces and have some really interesting insights. The insights have an eerie timing because some of them are perfect responses to the lengthy discussions going on my in some of my recent blog posts.  This is a must-see video if you are serious about NUIs.

There is so much here, I watched the interview a second time and took notes so I could reference them in some upcoming writing. Yes, it felt like I was back in college attending a lecture, although I probably didn't take quite as good notes back then. I decided to share my raw notes. Please note that at this point I have not even read through them, so there are probably typos and other errors.  I tried to note the key ideas, in Bill's word if possible, paraphrased otherwise. These are provided simply as a guide to this talk. I'd recommend reading the notes and watching the talk at the same time side-by-side. Download the notes then watch the interview below.

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  1. I'll remember the "Don't waste your user skills"

  2. Hi Josh,
    You were right. Lot of insights from this talk are perfect responses to our previous discussion. B.Buxton should have join us. :D
    I also like his statement "New things do not replace old things". But there's so much more in this talk.
    Thanks for sharing video and notes !

  3. Thanks. My favorite quote from this interview is that Natural User Interfaces "exploit skills that we have acquired through a lifetime
    of living in the world."

  4. Ah, one of the few times I really wanted to get a video in on my moble but I have no Silverlight client. Will have to come back to this as I'm really trying to get up to speed in this area. Thanks for posting.

  5. Very nice interview. Interesting times indeed. My graduate thesis was on efficiency in group projects, and focused on Game Development and Visual FX as synergistic examples. Looking at the history of these two industries and how intertwined they have been through technology, I can't help but think about what is currently happening for a large number of industries, and what industries will emerge via NUI technologies, and other development tools such as Unity3D. Glad to be a part of it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the comments guys. Game development is definitely a source for non-traditional interface ideas. They are also very user-focused.

    It's an exciting time to be working with NUI!