Office for iPad Design Manager Talks About Design Process

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 22, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
    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
  2. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    The new iOS 7 version looks ssoooo much better

    new Office for Mac please :)
  3. macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2011
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    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.
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I will say I like the pre iOS 7 ribbon better but nonetheless word and excel are great apps on the iPad.
  5. macrumors 603


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2013
    Note how the pre-iOS 7 ribbon defers to content much better than the "modern" one.
  7. AngerDanger, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    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>
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
  9. macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2007
    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!
  10. macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2007
    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.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Mar 2, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I wonder if they submitted 10,000 patent claims to protect their software architecture and UI.
  12. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Why not apple does, as does every other major software company.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    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?
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 21, 2009
    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.
  15. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    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...
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    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).
  17. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    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.


    I was never really one way or the other on it, I just wish I could customize it like you can in Windows.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Nov 12, 2012
    Wondering when we can get a "Save As" option. Having to save over the old version is a bit of a dealbreaker for me.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2008
    Its just to bad you have to pay a subscription to use Office on the iPad :( Because of that I won't touch it.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2014
    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.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Admit it, you waited before posting, because of what goftrey said... :D
  22. macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2006
    Amsterdam, NL
    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.
  23. macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    Wow you just tought me something new. I never knew we could do that!

  24. macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2012
    Interesting little piece.

    It's always interesting to me to the see design process for big development projects like this.
  25. macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2007
    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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