Monday, December 11, 2006

Microsoft + Design

Microsoft's new empahsis on design ...

"Quick, what do you think of when you hear the word Microsoft?

Techie?
Big?
Slow moving?
Bill Gates?
Windows?

Design...?

With the upcoming release of Microsoft’s new OS, called Vista (shown above)—Microsoft takes a page out of the Apple, Nike, Target, and even Motorola play book and gets serious about the role of design in the Microsoft brand experience. Will the new OS, transform the way Microsoft is perceived similar to what Motorola experienced with the break through RAZR? Only time will tell.

But, something seems to be in the water at Microsoft. Last week I had lunch with Chris Bernard, a “User Experience Evangelist” with Microsoft. An alumni of Chicago’s own Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Chris is working hard at weaving design principals and the role it plays in the entire customer experience into the fabric of Microsoft's culture. It’s a huge company and he will no doubt have his work cut out for him as traditionally, this hasn’t been at the core of Microsoft's strengths. To be fair, Microsoft did tap the power of design heavily with the release of the Xbox. Not only was the game interface totally overhauled, but the unit itself was transformed from a “black box” to a thing of beauty (and power) with the shift to a sleek, organic, white unit which can be stood up or placed on it’s side.

... How does Microsoft intend to get here? They are incorporating a design philosophy they call AERO."    (Continued via Logic+Emotion)    [Usability Resources]

Windows Vista - Usability, User Interface Design

Windows Vista

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