A groggy crowd filed in to hear this morning's keynote by Bill Buxton, Principal User Researcher at Microsoft, who asked, "How can we design great products if we don't first design our environment?" The environment he speaks of consists of the individuals that make up a team. "I don't need another me. I already have one." He proposes that a group of distinctly "special", talented designers in their own rights have the ultimate power to push products to success. (Switch to slide of Apple stuff.) He pointed out that Jonathan Ive had been at Apple for 5 years before Steve Jobs commanded ID take center stage with existing talent. When design reigned supreme in an ideal-ish environment, a craze was born. "If You had Bill Gates holding an Xbox in black and white and color silhouette...it would sell iPods."
With that Buxton goes on to relate the value of the ID process, particularly the vital sketching phase, to what's missing in IxD (interaction design). Industrial Designers have a process in which design happens before and not simultaneously with a deliverable appears. Buxton stresses to the audience to learn to "draw" experiences the same way one would draw products or interfaces--by sketching. He noted that creating interactions does not make you a good designer, but being able to sketch experiences beforehand is what design is about. It is a way of thinking and making choices as opposed to simply calling it invention, innovation, or creativity.