Microsoft Office

In 2011, I directed two end-to-end research projects from research design through end user lab studies. I focused on the user experience for the touch-enabled versions of six Office 2013 applications, as well as new reporting features for Project 2013.

Office 2013 on Windows 8

Note: I am unable to share my deliverables or direct research findings publicly.

Office 2013 Touch

Office 2013 introduced a suite of touch-enabled applications ready to meet the demands of on-the-go users. I conducted a broad baselining study to measure the touch experience for Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Word against the user experience goals set for the upcoming product milestone.

My study called out what was working well and diagnosed the more serious usability and desirability issues that could be addressed in the following sprints and milestones, resulting in a better touch experience for the entire Office 2013 suite.

Research Process

  • Identify and interview relevant stakeholders to determine what is already known and align on which questions still need answers
  • Craft and revise the research plan while evaluating trade-offs and seeking new research opportunities
  • Develop profiles and screeners to ensure that appropriate users are recruited
  • Conduct the research and closely analyze the data collected
  • Report findings to stakeholders and prioritize key UX issues that need addressing while highlighting future research opportunities
Preparing for a study in the usability lab

Project 2013 Reporting

Project managers want real-time insight into their projects to guide rapid decision making while reporting on their projects’ statuses to their clients, managers, and other stakeholders in a variety of formats and levels of detail.

My research uncovered what kinds of reporting were most valuable to users and what kinds of information they shared with their teams, and also evaluated the design controls and filters for generating reports. As a result, Project 2013 delivered substantially more robust reporting tools that integrated tightly across other Office applications.

Project 2013 Reporting screenshot

UX Office Hours

I paired up with another designer to provide informal UX consulting to PMs and developers. During these unstructured events, I imparted advice, critiqued design iterations, and instructed developers on UX best practices. These sessions presented an opportunity to showcase the value of instilling user experience as a core competency.

Clippy t-shirt