UX Design at Microsoft Talk

Hi Everyone! I'm giving a talk tomorrow at University of Waterloo Accelerator Centre. It's a joint event between Waterloo UX User Group and Infusion Angels Innovation Centre. I've organized my talk into three short stories to give you an overview of what's going on design-wise at Microsoft.

  1. Story of Learning: how Office UX Design team learnt from the past and created the Office 2007 Ribbon Design
  2. Story of Rethinking: rethink about the rich experience we can bring to the web, our story behind the Rich Web UX Platform: Silverlight
  3. Story of Vision: from Surface Computing to Natural User Interface, what is our design vision and how we are designing towards the vision

I'll also cover academic focused UX programs and UX design opportunities at Microsoft. I'm very excited to share these stories for the first time and talk to a mix audience of students, professors, and UX professionals to get different perspectives. If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP here.

Thursday May 15, 2008
5:00 to 6:30 pm
Accelerator Centre
Main floor networking area
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo

Comments (2)
  1. qixing says:

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for taking the time commenting about my talk!I really appreciate your feedback as I’m continuously improving my presentation on UX Design at Microsoft.

    There are several things I’d like to clarify and help address some of the points you raised on your blog post.  First, talking about UX design at a high level was a conscious decision because more than 75% of the audience are UW students in CS, Engineering, and Business who haven’t received formal UX/HCI training. My intention was to provide everyone an overview of the exciting UX projects and technology from Microsoft and highlight the designers behind these stories. For UX/HCI folks, I tried to touch on the key design principles such as the five design tenets for Surface Computing and provide new video clips and inspirational examples for people to follow-up. I saw my presentation as a start of conversation for people to discuss about UX design at Microsoft and giving us advice on how we can improve design culture at Microsoft. I’m happy to see that purpose was fulfilled by reading your blog. 🙂

    With an hour presentation, it’s not feasible to drill down to the design specifics for the three stories I was telling and I also didn’t feel it was the right audience to do so. However, I totally understand your request of seeing “real-world examples of what UX and UI designers pull late-nighters for.” I’m happy to give a more in-depth design talk at a future Waterloo UX group meeting.

    I’ve given quite a few presentations about Silverlight, WPF, and Expression Studio at other events, but for my presentation last Thursday, I wanted to focus less about product and technology but more about people, experience, and vision. It was my first time telling the three stories, and I was very excited to hear from the students afterwards that my talk really inspired them and they enjoyed it a lot. I included links in my talk abstract to “Microsoft Design, UX Technology Platform: Silverlight & Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Design Tools (Expression Studio), Designer Academic Alliance Program and Imagine Cup” for audience to follow-up. Sorry, if it made you to think that was the main content of my talk.

    Please feel free to directly reach out to me about the “Sketching Experience” book and what I do as a UXA at Microsoft. I’m happy to help and share my experience.

    Finally, for your question about Silverlight and Flash, I’ve addressed it previously in my blog:




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