Thursday, October 16, 2008
Spotlight Plenary: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Spotlight Plenary: Bill Verplank on Sketching Metaphors

Bill Verplank

As is tradition at the User Interface Conference, we reserve a special presentation for our Spotlight Plenary. It's at this time that we bring someone who has a fascinating and unusual perspective on the world of design and user experience.

This year, our good friend, Bill Verplank, will talk about his work on Sketching Metaphors. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of interactive computing, Bill has been around since the first days of the Xerox Star and played a seminal role in the formation of modern interaction design techniques.

Bill Verplank

Spotlight plenary speaker, Bill Verplank

In his presentation, Bill will explore some important themes about today's world of experience design. He'll look at the systems we create: Are they tools? An extension of our brain? Or, maybe they are a vehicle to achieving a greater goal? Or a type of fashion?

Using a series of live sketches (something you have to see to believe), Bill will explore each of these paradigms, look at how each paradigm helps us see the products of our work a little differently and, perhaps, with new insights we hadn't seen before.

Bill has always been interested in how we use metaphors in our work: in understanding vocabulary ("kill the program"), in inventing ("cash cows"), for organizing ("desktop folders"), for presenting ("radio buttons"). He's interested in how we can use metaphor as a creative machine -- just attach a crank and churn out a new design.

You'll hear Bill's personal view of the history and future of human-computer interaction. Along the way, you might pick up some tricks for sketching, which he calls "thinking with a pencil".