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Old May 22, 2014, 01:45 PM   #1
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Office for iPad Design Manager Talks About Design Process




Microsoft's design manager for Office for iPad has posted an interesting piece discussing the company's design philosophy behind the software.

The software, released back in March, has been well received by both users and critics. It's seen more than 27 million downloads and has already seen a significant update to add features that weren't ready for launch.

Han-Yi Shaw writes about the scenarios that the team imagined Office for iPad users would find themselves in, as well as the user experience goals they had:

- Familiar Office experience, with no learning curve
- Unmistakably Office, optimized for iPad
- Immersive and removes distractions
- Document content, not UI, takes center stage
- Experience is always beautiful, fast, and fluid
Quote:
The purpose of a familiar Office experience is simple: a low learning curve and high user confidence. However, it's just as important to strike a balance between "unmistakably Office" and "platform optimization," which means optimizing for iOS platform conventions and touch-first user expectations. The most important, yet challenging, goal was finding the sweet spot between the essence of Office and iOS. Fortunately, since the Office for iPad and Mac team (formally known as the Macintosh Business Unit) is made up of Apple platform specialists, we were able to apply our deep knowledge of Apple platforms to the task.
The piece talks about how Microsoft redesigned The Ribbon -- the control strip at the top of all Office programs -- to mesh with Apple's design philosophies following the release of iOS 7. "That meant stripping out extraneous detail," said Shaw. "If there was a visual treatment or text label that wasn't absolutely necessary, we stripped it away."

The full piece is an interesting peek behind the curtain for designers and anyone interested in how software used by millions of people gets built.

Office for iPad is available from the App Store. [Direct Link: Word, Excel, PowerPoint]

Article Link: Office for iPad Design Manager Talks About Design Process
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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The new iOS 7 version looks ssoooo much better

new Office for Mac please
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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I really like the green, blue, and orange colours Microsoft use for each app. Both classic and modern at the same time. Great design work.
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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I will say I like the pre iOS 7 ribbon better but nonetheless word and excel are great apps on the iPad.
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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New Mac version soon.
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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Note how the pre-iOS 7 ribbon defers to content much better than the "modern" one.
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:55 PM   #7
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Based on the screenshots, it made "designing" the UI a lot easier.

"Should we add some borders or shadows to distinguish between various tappable areas?"
"What, no! Next thing you know, people will want graphics or something to go along with them!"

I personally cannot wait until design becomes so simple, intuitive, refined, beautiful, gorgeous, (insert denigrated aesthetic term) that our homescreens are white backgrounds with a list of unformatted text. Ahhh, that'll be something…



</misplaced anger>

Last edited by AngerDanger; May 22, 2014 at 04:37 PM. Reason: boarders without borders
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:00 PM   #8
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Waiting for Office for OS X now.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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If they would add the swipe to move cursor like pages has it would be a done deal! the Office interface is much simpler and less pop downs to get things done!
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:13 PM   #10
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Looks good.

I might be one of the few who likes the Modern-iOS7 look in Office. (this is from these screenshots, I don't use it)

previously you had boxes within boxes...not needed. Sure the iOS7 look could benefit from adding some color but the lighter strokes and use of Pipes rather than boxes in boxes look is much better.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:14 PM   #11
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I wonder if they submitted 10,000 patent claims to protect their software architecture and UI.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bawbac View Post
I wonder if they submitted 10,000 patent claims to protect their software architecture and UI.
Why not apple does, as does every other major software company.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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They talk about designing a new Office with what's best for the iPad and iPad users in mind rather than just porting, but I wonder whether they have true design freedom or if there is executive/political direction not to include certain features that will be exclusive to the upcoming touch based Office for Windows/Windows RT?
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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I still find the ribbon confusing at worst and hiding useful functionality at best. I'm surprised that it hasn't been superseded by something better.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxeshredder View Post
Note how the pre-iOS 7 ribbon defers to content much better than the "modern" one.
Personally, I prefer the cleaner look on iOS but I'm not sure how it would look if it was on the desktop.

Either way, I hope this means that the mishmash of 10.4-10.9 elements found in Mac Office will get unified soon. I'm still amazed that it actually used to be worse...
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by nwcs View Post
I still find the ribbon confusing at worst and hiding useful functionality at best. I'm surprised that it hasn't been superseded by something better.
I think a lot of people who regularly use Office on PCs have grown to like the ribbon. I certainly have (despite not liking it initially).
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwcs View Post
I still find the ribbon confusing at worst and hiding useful functionality at best. I'm surprised that it hasn't been superseded by something better.
I usually leave it hidden but keep the format bar up. 99% of the time I'm not using it anyways so I might as well maximize screen real estate.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozaz View Post
I think a lot of people who use regularly use Office on PCs have grown to like the ribbon. I certainly have (despite not liking it initially).
I was never really one way or the other on it, I just wish I could customize it like you can in Windows.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:30 PM   #18
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Wondering when we can get a "Save As" option. Having to save over the old version is a bit of a dealbreaker for me.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:32 PM   #19
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Its just to bad you have to pay a subscription to use Office on the iPad Because of that I won't touch it.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:38 PM   #20
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I have a Office 365 subscription. It's too bad I have to use OneDrive for Business to use it, because that doesn't play well with other iOS things and I use Dropbox instead. Office got deleted, as it's way too much hassle to use.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:43 PM   #21
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New Mac version soon.
Admit it, you waited before posting, because of what goftrey said...
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:48 PM   #22
dnedved
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Familiar Office experience, with no learning curve

Funny that their standards for "no learning curve" are higher on iOS than they were on their own native Wintel version when they went with the "throw everything up in the air and see where it lands" ribbon interface.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CADer View Post
If they would add the swipe to move cursor like pages has it would be a done deal! the Office interface is much simpler and less pop downs to get things done!
Wow you just tought me something new. I never knew we could do that!

Cool
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:54 PM   #24
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Interesting little piece.

It's always interesting to me to the see design process for big development projects like this.
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Old May 22, 2014, 02:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by KanosWRX View Post
Its just to bad you have to pay a subscription to use Office on the iPad Because of that I won't touch it.
I think we're all going to find a LOT of software for Mac / PC / iPad etc. going the way of subscription.

Remember the days of buying a program on disk... using it for a long while and eventually deciding to get the next updated version-- (2 years later !)

Now, Adobe CS is Subscription based, AVID MC is going that way it seems, MS Office is that way now... It's the ONLY way to have a continuous revenue stream for these companies.

It's Sad, but soon, with the cost of the hardware, the cost of monthly data and the cost of subscription based software... who will be able to afford today's technology ?!?!
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