Skip to main content

Gilbert Cockton

Former professor of Design Theory at Northumbria University

Dr Gilbert Cockton is a part-time research fellow in the School of Computing at the University of Sunderland.

– He has worked in Interaction Design for almost 40 years, starting with design and implementation of e-learning programs as a high school teacher, followed by freelance games programming.
– These interests led him to pursue a PhD on User Interface Architectures and Specification.
– Much of his time was spent working for and within businesses in the Scottish HCI Centre, for Bell Northern (now Nortel) research, MARI Computer Systems, Microsoft Research, several consultancy assignments and directing major regional digital sector support projects (Digital Media Network, CODEWORKS NITRO, HEFCE Digital CoKE). In the latter roles, he contributed to the establishment of the north east of England as a major centre of creative digital technology.

Read more


Being a Human-Focused Team Player in a Competitive Creative Industry

Many countries classify software as a creative industry. For the last few years, major usability consultancies (e.g.,, have been expanding their offer to include creative and strategic design considerations.
Human focuses, such as contextual research and user experience evaluation, must now integrate effectively with creative, strategic and technical practices. There can no longer be a single centre to software design. No single development philosophy is adequate in isolation, whether this is agile, lean, design thinking, concurrent engineering, user experience, human-centred or value-sensitive design. Every project is unique and every software development team will draw on their own tried and tested resources, as well as continuously develop news ones for competitive advantage.
In this talk, Gilbert will present a framework for managing creative software work that is critically informed by strategic, human and technical considerations.