Tag Archives: UX London

UX London 2012 Bill Buxton: On Long Noses, Sampling, Synthesis, Design and Innovation

Bill Buxton gave the opening talk at UX London 2012. It was a 45 min intense speech about Design, Innovation, Research and predictability of technology adaptation curve that looks like a long nose.








Here my notes:

  • You can define yourself as a professional if you are in hangover, your partner left you, you are economically broke, but you are still able to do your job.
  • New products and ideas come from observing history and the evolution of the ecosystem. Eg:  ipod took aesthetical inspiration from Dieter Rams’ Braun T3 radio, produced in 1958.








  • Creativity is the art of making the obvious.
  • It is very important to understand the evolution and the mental models behind it. Understand the genesis to provide continuity.
  • You have to work like a minor to find the gold gem!
  • Being the 1st to introduce/discovery an innovation is not necessary. Filing a patent does not make necessary you the recognized innovator.
  • The long nose: it takes about 20 years for a new technology to become an innovation. Anything that looks like a technology innovation has been around for around 15 years already.
  • Eg: early multitouch devices first appeared in 1984, but it was only in 2007 that we were ready for the ipod.
  • The best designers are drawing from history and moving forward with their translation.








  • Take things beyond function and create multiple options.
  • Synthesis and sampling are parallel processes.
  • The more you know about the past, the more you are prepared about the future. Never stop researching an understanding the roots of what you see and have in your hands.
  • Make a personal repository of what you see and like – it will become an historical reference.











  • Changing 1 thing in a product can drive a change in human behavior: remote control forced TV stations to synchronize adv.
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