Hardware Interaction Design and Development MVPs Nicolas Calvi and Johanna Rowe met in January 2010 during a Microsoft Surface 1.0 mission, where they had to work together on a bank application for the tactile device. It was the meeting of two worlds which had to communicate: Interaction Design and Development.
Johanna is an industrial and interaction designer, while Nicolas is a technical lead. They are both geeks, passionate about their work and by the tactile possibilities of multi-user interface possibilities offered by the Microsoft Surface 1.0. It was while working together for the creation of this multi-user banking application that their story began.
In January 2011, after having worked a lot, blogging and giving conferences on the Microsoft Surface device, that Nicolas became the first French-speaking Surface MVP. However, every project that Nicolas did on this device, or later on Kinect, Windows Phone, and Windows 8, was with Johanna. He called her his muse for all of the interaction design aspects. All of Johanna’s work is user-focused, always stating, “I don’t do client-centered design,” which was a dynamic shift for a developer like Nicolas.
During the MIX 11 in Las Vegas, Nicolas was invited by the Microsoft Surface product group to participate for a session about the tactile table, now named Samsung SUR 40, with Microsoft PixelSense. He attended with Johanna, who had a discussion with different people in the product group about interaction designers also having the opportunity to become MVPs.
The product group asked Johanna to make a file for the title "Surface MVP," because they sincerely believed that the design is a significant part of touch applications, including Microsoft Surface and PixelSense. So in January 2012, Johanna became a Surface MVP and works within communities to bring the vision of the designer in the design of natural interfaces.
Nicolas and Johanna shared their thoughts on co-existing as MVPs.
“Our life as MVPs has been lively, and at the release of the Surface tablet, our product group was renamed "Hardware Interaction Design & Development." The name wasn’t chosen at random, as the design is an important point for the group. Our life of MVPs also happens in tandem, because we care very much about spreading messages on both the technical design and the interaction design sides.”
Then, after a marriage proposal on Christmas Day, they got married on June 15 at La Bastide de Jaillans, near Valence, France.
Johanna and Nicolas enthused about their wedding and their incorporation of MVP themes:
“It was a beautiful sunny holiday and a wedding to match our expectations. But we did not lose our geek roots during the wedding.
We took the time to take some pictures with MVP stuff and we brought to our guests an Xbox 360 with Kinect, just for more fun. We also placed, behind the table names, a QR code that would redirect to a Wikipedia page on the definition of the table name. The table names were names of well-known gardens in connection with our "secret garden" theme.
The most technophile part of our wedding was Windows 8: we developed together for the wedding an application. The application was a quiz about us. We passed around a Windows 8 tablet in the room, with each person having a written code behind the menu. They selected their name and entered the code to complete the questionnaire, and at the end, they got a score. Whoever had the best score won a prize.”
Congratulations to Johanna and Nicolas on their wedding, and may they have a long life together as partners and as fellow MVPs!