A Brief History Of Microsoft Design

The story of UX designer Hololens Juliet Weiss. When you start working in a new company, inadvertently questioning what was created before you came.

I was annoyed the red scroll bar in Windows 2.0. To criticize the work of the previous designers easily. But you need to understand that their every decision hidden sleepless nights, team work, knowledge and innovation. I came to Microsoft in January 2016.

I wanted to do something extraordinary, something no one has ever seen. So I was delighted when I was asked to tell about the history of design at the Microsoft Build conference 2016. However, as immersion in the subject, I gradually realized how useful and exciting this job. The first Microsoft operating system for PC — MS-DOS — required only a keyboard for input monitor for output and a personal computer to run.

A simple tool that is appropriate to its time. Before the advent of the computer mouse and graphical user interface (GUI), no one thought about the graphic design. During Windows 2.0 design was not yet a separate direction in software development, so all design work was done by engineers. They also created the UI of the eight colors.

This impressed everyone, but led to strange consequences. So there was a bright red scroll bar and visual hierarchy, which is not dependent on user action. It makes a mess. But who wanted to start change?.

In 1987, designer and designer Virginia Howlett drew attention to the problem, and engineers are Microsoft supported it. Design it was time to take their rightful place. Howlett wrote to bill gates about how important design is in software development, and outlined the competitive advantages and prospects of using the full interface. Soon after Virginia joined the group, which was engaged in the architecture of the user interface.

The leader of this team was Tandy Trover, Virginia worked on the graphic design, information architecture, and Mary Dili was responsible for usability. The group immediately began development of Windows 3.0 and released it in 1990. Through judicious use of color to create a more strong and consistent hierarchy. In the development of icons for Windows 3.0 was attended by designer Susan Keir, which he created for the Apple image recycle bin for deleted files.

The development of typography has led to a gradual rejection of the raster format. Microsoft and Apple are together creating a vector computer format TrueType font. So by 1990 he formed the first team Font Team. This enabled Microsoft to improve their product and caused a significant increase in the sales of Windows.

As soon as the design was entered into the software, it is increasingly influenced on the technology Microsoft. Industrial designer Microsofts Steve Kaneko in 1993 developed the first ergonomic mouse and set the companys development for many years to come. We continued to implement innovative programs and equipment, but did not understand how to provide a solid user experience.

The peak of the companys development was the launch of Windows 95. This product has passed the most careful user-testing in Microsofts history. In this version, the graphical interface appeared in the “start” button and task bar. Most of the users evaluated the system positively.

In the first five weeks sold a record number of copies — about seven million. During a code review in 1995, Steve Ballmer called the design point of differentiation. He explained that we need to compete in the field of graphics. It was clear how design influences the product, started to notice it and our leaders.

Design Microsoft continued to develop, but some of his problems remained unresolved. We focused on the beauty of the interface, but not always asked himself why he need for user interaction. We became interested in typography and color capabilities were limited by the imperfection of the technology. Interaction design, visual design and typography while developed independently from each other, this has been a cause of disagreement in the future.

These issues took up the head of Encarta 95 and Windows Media Center and Zune bill flora, of which Virginia Howlett was hired in 1992. Under his leadership, the team Microsoft has simplified the visual design and began to work together with the animation designers and integrators of the design to provide a solid experience with a focus on content. Microsoft was already a large and complex company that has released many products. To implement the design in each of them, needed the radical restructuring of the entire culture development.

Bill Buxton joined Microsoft Research in 2005. He did not belong to any product group and reported directly to the Executive Vice President. He collected the best techniques of working with clients and encouraged designers to focus on feedback and learning from users Microsoft. The unification of design in the company was due to the efforts of bill.

In 2006 in Windows Vista have the Segoe UI font, which led typography Microsoft standardized. This font was the result of a careful study of user behavior and has had a great impact on system performance. Then began the movement of Microsoft to a simplified and thoughtful design movement, which became apparent after the launch of Windows 7 in 2009. The company continued to grow exponentially.

After the launch of Windows 7 in design history Microsoft began a new phase. When the company began using natural input methods (e.g. touch) and adapt the design to different screen sizes. Windows 8 was built on the dynamics of Windows 7, but too clearly and, as it turned out, prematurely focused on touch screens. Although close contact with users at early stages of development — a key principle of Microsoft, when designing Windows 8 the company has not been able to effectively use it.

Later clear and consistent feedback began to provide for a program like Windows Insider Program. So the creators of Windows 10 is much faster to respond to customer opinion. Microsoft aims to make design affordable and versatile, to adapt products to the user reality, faster than people can adapt to them.

This “design for all” approach, which takes into account the needs of the greatest possible number of people. This study only scratched the surface of design history Microsoft. The company employs thousands of talented designers who create new products and improve existing technologies. Microsoft still pays attention to users in order to fulfill its mission — “to Allow everyone to fully realize their potential.”.

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