I’m principal design manager in Microsoft Research’s Cambridge lab. My team collaborates with social scientists and computer scientists in the lab, particularly in the Computer Mediated Living group, on a broad rang of projects that span device development, community engagements, gestural interaction and more.
I’m author of “The Future of Looking Back”, a book which focuses on new digital legacies and the impact they’ll have on how we reminisce about our lives. I’m an honorary professor of design for the University of Dundee, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and external examiner for Edinburgh University’s Design Informatics course.
Although my team collaborates with many people in the Cambridge lab, I work primarily with Abigail Sellen and Richard Harper on the design of new user experiences for people’s everyday lives. With others in this interdisciplinary team we’re focussed on the reality of life. Life is complex, often frantic and nuanced, and traditional software and technology solutions don’t usually fit smoothly into it. We’re looking at ways in which technology can fit into the complexities of life, rather then insisting on the reverse.
Currently I’m very interested in thinking about the long-term impact of technology in our lives, and particularly about living with our digital things for 30 or 40 years, potentially passing them down through the generations, as we do with physical things. I call this topic Technology Heirlooms, and wrote extensively about it in my book, The Future of Looking Back.
In addition to project work I maintain a blog about technology trends. This primarily contains pointers and extracts from articles about new technologies and the ways in which people are using them. Some of this content, and some other bits more generally about design, end up on my twitter feed.
- April 2014. Presented work from the Cambridge design team at Resonate 2014 in Belgrade. A really great conference at the intersection of art and coding.
- October 2014. Took part in Creative Social’s “Technology is Evil” event in Shoreditch.
- Sorry, missed all the stuff that happened in 2013!
- October 2012. Update on Technology Heirlooms work at the PSFK London 2012 conference. Includes video.
- July 2012. Presentation at Getty’s “CurveLive” event on Social Photography.
- May 2012. Presentation about the Future of Looking Back at the Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead. Video here.
- May 2012. Granted an Honorary Professorship at the University of Dundee’s Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD). Presented work as part of the 2012 degree show.
- May 2012. Co-organised a panel at CHI 2012 entitled Memento Mori | Technology Design for the End of Life.
- April 2012. Future of Looking Back presentations at both the Bristol Interaction and Graphics group, and at the Chartered Institute for IT in London.
- March 2012. Panel member at SXSW (South by Southwest) on a session entitled Digital Immortals: Preserving Life Beyond Death.
- February 2012. Future of Looking Back presentation at the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre.
- October 2011. Presentation of Technology Heirlooms at the Remains of the Dead seminar, organized by Tony Walter, Director of the Centre for Death & Society, at the beautiful Holburne Museum.
- September 2011. The Future of Looking Back was published through Microsoft Press.
- July 2011. Technology Heirlooms wins a Silver in the IDEA 2011 design awards, in the Design Research category.
- View archive if you really need more!
My educational background is in design, first of products then software. I have an MA in Computer Related Design (now Interaction Design) from the Royal College of Art in London, and a BSc in Industrial Design from Brunel University. In May 2012 I was made and Honorary Professor in Design at the University of Dundee. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
I’ve spent the last 10 years primarily working on products such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. This has taught me a great deal about the product development process from the point of view of design. Most recently I worked on new models for organizing and managing files within Microsoft Vista, after which I spent a couple of years doing longer term user experience research for the Windows team here in the UK.
- The Future of Looking Back, Richard Banks. Microsoft Press. September 2012.
- Siân Lindley, Catherine C. Marshall, Richard Banks, Abigail Sellen, and Tim Regan, Rethinking the web as a personal archive, in Proceedings of the 2013 international conference on World Wide Web (WWW 2013), International World Wide Web Conference, May 2013
- Salu Ylirisku, Siân Lindley, Giulio Jacucci, Richard Banks, Craig Stewart, Abigail Sellen, Richard Harper, and Tim Regan, Designing web-connected physical artefacts for the ‘aesthetic’ of the home, in Proceedings of the 2013 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2013), ACM, April 2013
- Elizabeth Thiry, Siân Lindley, Richard Banks, and Tim Regan, Authoring personal histories: Exploring the timeline as a framework for meaning making, in Proceedings of the 2013 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2013), ACM, April 2013
- Eno Thereska, Oriana Riva, Richard Banks, Sian Lindley, Richard Harper, and William Odom, Beyond file systems: understanding the nature of places where people store their data, no. MSR-TR-2013-26, February 2013
- William Odom, Mark Selby, Abigail Sellen, David Kirk, Richard Banks, and Tim Regan, Photobox: On the Design of a Slow Technology, in Proceedings of the 2012 conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2012), ACM, June 2012
- Marshini Chetty, Richard Banks, A.J. Bernheim Brush, Jonathan Donner, and Rebecca Grinter, “You’re Capped!” Understanding the Effects of Bandwidth Caps on Broadband Use in the Home, in CHI 2012, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2012
- William Odom, Richard Banks, Richard Harper, David Kirk, Siân Lindley, and Abigail Sellen, Technology heirlooms? Considerations for passing down and inheriting digital materials, in Proceedings of the 2012 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2012), ACM, 2012
- David Kirk, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Richard Banks, Otmar Hilliges, and Stuart Taylor, At home with surface computing, in Proceedings of CHI 2012, ACM, 2012
- Richard Banks, David Kirk, and Abigail Sellen, A design perspective on three technology heirlooms, in Human-Computer Interaction (Special Issue on Personal Memories), ACM, 2012
- Richard Harper, Eno Thereska, Sian Lindley, Richard Banks, Phil Gosset, William Odom, Gavin Smyth, and Eryn Whitworth, What is a File?, no. MSR-TR-2011-109, 1 October 2011
- Professor Anthony Dunne, Onkar Kular, Richard Banks, Alex Taylor, Tim Regan, David Benqué, Dash Macdonald, Demitrios Kargotis, Kobe Barhad, Nicolas Myers, Sascha Pohflepp, Chris Woebken, and Kellenberger–White, The Future of Writing, October 2011
- Graham Pullin, Jon Rogers, Richard Banks,Tim Regan, Ali Napier, Polly Duplock, Social Digital Objects for Grandparents, in Include 2011 Proceedings, April 2011.
- Marshini Chetty, Richard Banks, AJ Brush, Jonathan Donner, and Rebecca E. Grinter, While the Meter is Running: Computing in a Capped World, in Interactions Volume 18, Issue 2, vol. 18, ACM, 1 March 2011
- Michael Massimi, William Odom, Richard Banks, and David Kirk, Matters of life and death: locating the end of life in lifespan-oriented hci research, in Proceedings of the 2011 annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI 2011), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 2011
- Camille Moussette and Richard Banks, Designing through making: exploring the simple haptic design space , in TEI ’11 – Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction , ACM, January 2011
- Will Odom, Richard Banks, Dave Kirk, Reciprocity, deep storage, and letting go: opportunities for designing interactions with inherited digital materials, in Interactions Volume 17, Issue 5, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., September 2010
- Marshini Chetty, Richard Banks, Richard Harper, Tim Regan, Abigail Sellen, Christos Gkantsidis, Thomas Karagiannis, and Peter Key, Who’s Hogging the Bandwidth?: The Consequences Of Revealing The Invisible In the Home, in CHI 2010, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 10 April 2010
- Will Odom, Richard Harper, Abigail Sellen, Dave Kirk, and Richard Banks, Passing on and putting to rest: Understanding bereavement in the context of interactive technologies, in Proceedings of CHI 2010, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., April 2010. (Best Paper nominee)
- Dave Kirk, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Stuart Taylor, and Richard Banks, Opening Up the Family Archive, in CSCW 2010, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 2010. (Best Paper).
- Lindley, S., Banks, R., Harper, R., Jain, A., Regan, T., Sellen, A., Taylor. A. Resilience in the face of innovation: Household trials with BubbleBoard. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Vol. 67, Issue 2, Pages 154-164.
- Gilbert Cockton, Abigail Sellen, Dave Kirk, and Richard Banks, Evolving and augmenting worth mapping for family archives, in Proceedings of British HCI 2009, Cambridge University Press, 2009
- Richard Banks and Abigail Sellen, Shoebox: Mixing storage and display of digital images in the home., in TEI 2009 – Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 2009
- Kirk, D., Banks, R. On the Design of Technology Heirlooms. SIMTech ’208.
- Banks, R., Regan, T., Harper, R. and Sellen, A. BubbleBoard: A visual answering machine. ECSCW ’07.
“Memento Mori: Technology Design for the End of Life” at CHI 2012. Massimi, M., Moncur, W., Odom, W., Banks, R., Kirk, D. Proceedings of the 30th of the international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, ACM (2012).
“HCI at the End of Life” at CHI 2010. Massimi, M., Odom, W., Kirk, D., and Banks, R. HCI at the end of life: understanding death, dying, and the digital. Proceedings of the 28th of the international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, ACM (2010), 4477-4480.
- 7,712,039: Setting Control Using Edges of a User Interface. May 2010
- 7,694,236: Stack Icons Representing Multiple Objects. April 2010
- 7,657,846: System and Method for Displaying Stack Icons. February 2010
- 7,568,167: Non-Persistent User Interface for Real-Time Communication. July 2009
- 7,499,925: File System for Displaying Items of Different Types and from Different Physical Locations. March 2009
- 7,496,583: Property Tree for Metadata Navigation and Assignment. February 2009
- 7,409,644: File System Shell. August 2008
- 7,383,303: Filtering a Collection of Items. June 2008
- 7,240,292: Virtual Address Bar User Interface Control. July 2007
- 7,181,463: System & Method for Managing Data Using Static Lists. Feb 2007.
- 7,162,466: System & Method for Filtering and Organizing Items Based on Common Elements. Jan 2007.
- 7,162,488: Systems, Methods, and User Interfaces for Storing, Searching, Navigating, and Retrieving Electronic Information. Jan 2007.
- 7,149,729: System & Method for Filtering and Organizing Items Based on Common Elements. Dec 2006.
- 6,990,637: Graphical User Interface for 3-Dimensional View of a Data Collection Based on an Attribute of the Data. Jan 2006.
- 6,983,271: Answer Wizard Drop-Down Control. Jan 2006.
- 6,948,135: Method & Systems of Providing Information to Computer Users. Sep 2005.
- D507,576 Portion of a Display Screen. Jul 2005.
- D501,483: Portion of a Display Screen. Feb 2005.
- 6,579,324: Method for Indicating A Selected Region on a Computer Display While Allowing the User to See the Formatting of the Background and Content Items Within the Selected region. Jun 2003.
- Honorary Professor of Design at the University of Dundee.
- Regular reviewer for a number of conferences, including CHI, DIS and TEI. PC member for DIS.
- Industry advisor on ToTEM (dealing with the internet of things – see also the TalesOfThings site) and Bespoke (community based digital design).
- System & Method for Dynamically Generating a Selectable Search Extension.
- Linking Captured Images using Short Range Communication.
- Device for Sharing Photographs in Social Settings.
- Sketching and Searching Application for Idea Generation.
- Controlling and Integrated Messaging System Using Gestures.
- System and Method Utilizing Virtual Folders.
- Archive for Physical and Digital Objects.
- Resource Allocation Framework for Wireless/Wired Networks.
- Information Exploration.
- Social Networking Tool.
- Digital Media Retrieval and Display.
- Information Retrieval System User Interface.
- Pointing Device with Independently Movable Portions.
- Indirect Multi-Touch Interaction.