The Acid Usability Test

Designing software is fun fun fun. During the OneNote project we had countless hours of brainstorming design sessions full of laughs and great ideas. There’s really nothing quite as intellectually stimulating as a tough intellectual problem, 3-5 smart, articulate people, and a whiteboard. Ideas come and go. Analogies drawn. Metaphors extended. One of my goals…

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In or Out? That is the question.

Some people ask me why OneNote is a standalone application, and not part of one of the Office suites (i.e. not “in the box”). There are advantages to being in the box for sure. One is distribution. A lot of people will see a new product if it is included in a bundle with Word,…

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Humility and handwriting

Designing the actual experience of handwriting in OneNote 2003 was quite a challenge. We didn’t want to just replicate paper, since that didn’t seem to be adding enough value. So we got quite interested in the idea of trying to determine the structure of ink. That is very hard and the subject of ongoing research,…

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