Friday, April 21, 2006

The User Experience Matters

Microsoft exec on the user experience...

"It’s all about the user today. Businesses will compete and win when they can present users — from employees to partners to customers — with information in a way that best allows those users to exercise their own judgment and experience. Naturally, people want a great user interface, one that helps them achieve stellar results, and they don’t care if it’s delivered from the browser or on the desktop.

More than ever, the user experience matters. We’re seeing phenomenal advances in the technologies and standards for creating the user experience. Developed at Xerox PARC, popularized on the Mac (I was part of the original group — hard to imagine how long ago that was…) and made available to the masses through Windows, high-performance graphics and visualization are coming home in today’s composite apps and mashups that combine information from multiple sources over web services standards. The foundation for all this is the device OS itself — whether on a phone, laptop, desktop, or even in your car. It has to be fast, powerful, connected. Different uses — from drive-by browsing to those where users and their data need to stick around — call for different and important considerations.

In March, Microsoft kicked off our new People-Ready business vision — centered on the reality that people drive business success. It’s a natural extension of our founding vision of empowering people through software and speaks directly to our vision of the user experience. So, in this column, I define what I mean by a great user experience, briefly discuss the latest trends (AJAX, Mashups, Web 2.0, SaaS) and then focus in on two critical needs: first, a richer UI for web applications and second, the client on the desktop for certain types of experiences. Then I’ll talk about how new user experiences and technologies on the web and the desktop environment present compelling new opportunities for startups."   continued ...   (Via Always On)

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