Tag Archives: Design

Digital Design is Never Done – Microsoft Design – Medium


Digital Design is Never Done

How our team made Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps more Fluent

Before and after animation of the redesigned app

Two years ago we introduced completely rewritten and redesigned Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10. (Not the screens pictured above.) While the apps were functional and modern looking, they still lacked a more refined and delightful look and feel. In the “software as a service” era, we’re able to improve our features and designs with a cadence that customers have come to expect. Even before the 2015 release, we began thinking about the next app iterations.

Our early redesign set the goals to visually align with Windows, reduce chrome, give the app a fresh, more refined, and beautiful look, while raising the bar of “craftsmanship” (the internal name for our efforts). The team established design guidelines grounded in a purposeful use of typography, color, and motion, to convey a delightful and highly functional app.

Timing plays a part in every story

It wasn’t until early 2017, engineering resources became available to work on our redesign. About the same time, the Fluent team (code named NEON) was launching, and actively driving adoption of the new Fluent Design System into Microsoft apps. That meant we had a refreshed design challenge; (Thank you Satya) rethinking what we kept, what we left behind, and how we became more Fluent going forward.

While the Fluent launch was exciting, our team remained mindful that we were redesigning apps that had millions of users and fans. Altering things they were used to—like title bar, ribbon, and key functionality—had to be carefully considered. Obviously, we didn’t want to alienate our users, and we were not interested in any backwards steps in usability.

One insight we gained early on in user testing was that “different” did not necessarily mean “problem.”

Integrating fresh cues from early Fluent Design mail work with the aforementioned redesign ideas turned out to be fairly straightforward — as some of the overarching principles were already aligned. Even some of the Fluent design elements, namely “acrylic” with its translucent surface treatment, were already present in some form in our existing app (semi-transparent navigation pane).

Early “Craftsmanship” refresh for mail (never shipped)
Early “Craftsmanship” refresh for calendar (never shipped)

Fluent Mail & Calendar explorations

The design explorations coming from the recently launched Fluent team didn’t meet all of the requirements we had for our apps in terms of workflow, personalization, localization, accessibility, etc. Our team examined each of those requirements, applying aspects of the Fluent Design System into our own explorations.

The first Fluent design elements we looked to implement were “acrylic” which is the translucent, glassy surface treatment for panels and “reveal”, the light effect that appears on hover to reveal actionable elements. Each of them presented their own set of challenges and we remained in close communication with Fluent and the other Office teams, learning what worked and what didn’t.

Early exploration for Fluent Mail in light theme
Early Fluent exploration for Calendar
Experimenting with a blue top bar, aligning more to the Outlook brand

Acrylic — Background or no background, that is the question

Acrylic is a Fluent Design System component that allows incorporation of light, depth, motion, material, and scale into the UI. It adds a partially transparent texture (material) to certain UI elements like panes. With its introduction one natural question that arose was: “If I can see through it, what do I see? What is in the background?” Having already established a background picture as a default within our app we asked ourselves “Does our background clash with the desktop background? Are we going to get rid of our background picture in favor of the user’s desktop picture? What about other app windows in the background that might not look pretty? How does it work with (brand) colors?” This lead to an array of explorations.

Early “empty state”-explorations (when no email is selected) with the user’s desktop showing through the acrylic and wide panel margins
Later “empty state”-exploration with less translucency and another window showing through
Later “empty state”-exploration with in-app background picture

Ultimately, we decided in favor of the in-app background photo because we knew it delighted our users. It also reduced visual background clutter in the empty state when no email is selected. (However, our users have the options of changing the picture or turning it off in personalization settings.)

Reveal on white with “brickwork”-effect between panes did not work for us

To Reveal — or not to reveal?

Reveal is a lighting effect that brings depth and focus to interactive elements. By showing borders of controls and buttons on hover it reveals actionable elements and helps understanding the UI. While the concept of reveal is great- the devil is always in the details. In the first iteration reveal not only exposed interactive elements, but also exposed the borders of controls in neighboring panels and brought attention to previously invisible different alignments of controls. For example, elements in the left navigation pane didn’t necessarily align to elements in the message list because they scroll differently. That, in turn, created sort of a brickwork-effect visible with reveal that added more visual noise to the app, something we actually wanted to get rid of. So in order to avoid all that we decided to turn off reveal in the message list- only apply it on the navigation pane and also turn off reveal on vertical lines in the folder list.

“How do I move my window?”

A key part of the redesign was giving the user a clear information hierarchy and reducing visual clutter by removing the app window’s title bar. While not only aesthetically pleasing, it reduced the calls to action present on the screen and let the user focus on their content.

An obvious concern was that this change might cause confusion by removing users’ visual affordance for how to move the app window. Our design still allowed users to move the app by clicking and dragging the top 32 pixels, but we were worried that users might be confused if the visual affordance wasn’t present. We debated running a user study to determine the consequences of this change but realized that since other apps in Windows 10 had previously made similar changes, we could reach out to them and see if their users had experienced difficulty when their app’s title bar was removed.

What we discovered was very encouraging. The Edge team shared the experience they had using their app’s title bar exclusively to organize webpage tabs. They told us that initial user feedback was mixed, and while some users did initially have reservations, that feedback had dissipated quickly and overall opinion of the design choice was positive.

When Mail and Calendar instituted the change we saw virtually no feedback about the removal of the title bar. To the contrary, feedback referred to the app as ‘modern’ and ‘fresh’. It turned out that dragging the top of an app window was such a common pattern that our app remained completely usable without that legacy UI element.

Exploration with folder flyout

Moments of truth in code

After we designed everything and handed off specifications and comps to our partner in engineering there came the critical “moments of truth in code.” There are often deltas when it comes to fonts, colors, transparency values etc. between designing in a design program and building in code. Applying and tweaking in the real thing becomes an essential part of the process working directly with the engineers to iron out all the little kinks.

Through the testing phase (called dogfood at Microsoft), we went through multiple iterations, either to address things we had obviously missed, or things that were accessibility related based on feedback. These issues included font color contrast on acrylic, selection color with actual acrylic in code, as well as testing with different background images.

(The background colors for selected items in the navigation pane were important as fallback solution in scenarios where Fluent is not supported due to hardware or software restrictions or if it is turned off by the user.)

Reminder: Designers are not the customers

A constant point of discussion had been the selected state for accounts and folder in the left navigation pane. Fluent Design controls use a small vertical selection indicator to the left of the selected item which appears not unlike the proven unread mail bar in the message list. Despite initial concerns that the similar appearances but different meanings might confuse users, and after multiple design iterations for the unread marker and the selected state, we went ahead and implemented and tested it in dogfood. Interestingly enough, there was very little feedback about this. Users did not have problems distinguishing the two.

User testing is always a good reminder that the things we designers perceive as inconsistencies might not be perceived as such by users. In one of the discussions with a user I heard “It’s a thing that is marked because it’s important.” We learned that when seen in use context, what we perceive as inconsistencies become less important and users quickly adapt.

Details: Lines in message list

A good example where we tried to adhere to Fluent Design principles by celebrating just the content and remove as much chrome as possible from the UI are the horizontal lines in the message list. Users found it difficult to distinguish between individual messages and, based on feedback, we had to gradually bring lines back to increase usability. It turned out that just using the spacing to separate messages from each other wasn’t clear enough, especially since we had introduced a new feature of small previews of attachments (photos) in the message list and messages with varying heights started to bleed into each other. Similarly, we reintroduced the line between message list and reading pane. Sometimes the eye needs those subtle visual cues not to stumble.

Evolving story

The design of the apps today is a snapshot in time. The design will constantly improve and evolve. We’re already working on fine-tuning with information density settings, Fluent connected animations and a light theme. Expect to see more evolution from Fluent Design and the Windows Mail and Calendar apps in the months and years to come!

These apps are just two chapters in a much larger story—where the Fluent Design provides intelligence and consistency across apps and devices from 0D to 4D. The cool thing to consider as a designer is this: whether you are chatting with Cortana on Invoke, using launcher on your Android phone, inking with Edge on your Surface, or creating with Paint 3D in your Cliff House with a head mounted display, Fluent Design ensures that you (and your users) will have consistently delightful experiences.


Fluent is a collaborative effort

Find out more about Fluent Design and join the diverse community of creators!

Check out #FluentFridays on twitter @MicrosoftDesign

Follow Microsoft Design on Dribbble, twitter, and Medium

Follow me on twitter

Thanks to the team

This story reflects the effort and dedication of a great number of teams and teammates. I took on adoption for Mail and the overall communication with the Fluent and Office teams for the framework and shared components while Hiroshi Tsukahara looked at it from the Calendar perspective. Chris Bimm drove the effort from the PM side. Andrew Falk helped with the motion design and Barry Li was a great dev collaborator with more patience than you can imagine! Last but not least, a special shout-out to March Rogers and Jason Blackheart, former colleagues who laid a lot of the groundwork for this.

Medium Stories Well Done – Microsoft Design – Medium


Medium Stories Well Done

Microsoft Design looks back on their top 5 stories of 2017

[embedded content]
Our second most popular story “From 3D to 2D and back again.”

Microsoft Design’s Medium Publication launched quietly at the end of 2016. Now, after one year on Medium, here are a few of our most read stories.

Fun fact: There are over 1,000 designers at Microsoft.

I had the privilege to work with a few of them in Tokyo, NYC, and Vancouver BC, as well as virtually in London, Berlin, and Hyderabad. I even travelled from Redmond HQ to Bellevue and Seattle a few times.

Inspired global design perspectives from Masado, Floyd, and Caleb.

The breadth of expertise was impressive too, ranging from UX design, inclusive design, hardware design, game design, mixed reality, app and voice design, to Fluent Design—a design system that will unite these experiences across devices and beyond. There were also expert contributions from UX writing, research, and data science.

Here are the top 5 most read stories from the past year:

5. UX writing tips

Like designers, UX writers work very hard to make things look easy. Torrey Podmajersky shares 3 real world examples full of insights, tips, and common sense.

Take the Time to Use Fewer Words
tl;dr: If a user experience needs an explanation, something is fundamentally broken. Consider redesigning the…medium.com

4. Digital archealogy

In order to see where you’re going, it’s helpful to know where you’ve been. Juliet Weiss’s first design project on a new design team produced a rich and useful perspective on Window’s design history. (Note to Microsoft design fans: The missing “Office design history” is in the works for 2018.)

A Brief History of Design
How I came to appreciate Microsoft’s design rootsmedium.com

3. Evolving iconography is a subtle art

User testing identified an opportunity for Paula Chuchro’s Design team. Find out how meaning, ubiquity, and familiarity factored into their icon redesign.

The Iconography of Sharing
Windows has updated its share icon. Here’s why it matters.medium.com

2. How far can design stretch?

What principles and best practices from 2D design will translate into emerging 3D mixed reality experiences—and where will new opportunities arise? Our design team of Cara Tyler, Ramiro Torres, and Oscar Murillo share a Fluent Design System exploration.

From 3D to 2D and back again
A Fluent Design System explorationmedium.com

1. Myth busting

Our most popular story did not come from design, but rather from the allied discipline of data science. Bill Pardi breaks big data (and its attendant myths) down with practical examples and fascinating brain teasers. This story was picked up by blogs internationally, emphasizing that understanding big data is a global challenge.

If you liked this here’s his second installment.

If You Want to Be Creative, Don’t Be Data Driven
3 Ideas that will completely change how you think about datamedium.com

Bonus: Creating a platform for impact

My favorite story (among many) came from Italy. Roberto D’Angelo’s personal journey went from being a parent to a founder and entrepreneur. He shares how he combined inclusive design with other products from the Microsoft ecosystem to create the Mirrorable app for his son. Roberto embodies the inclusive “solve for one and extend for many” principle with his Fight The Stoke non-profit org.

“Consider what you have as a gift and what you lack as an opportunity”
What I learned from my son’s perinatal strokemedium.com

Thanks for reading!

We hope you join the growing ranks of readers and contributors in 2018. We’re already working on stories about Fluent Design, AI, mixed reality, inclusive design, and data “influenced” design. Let us know if there’s a topic you’re interested in.

Follow Microsoft Design on twitter, Medium, Facebook, and Dribbble

Microsoft Design Careers

Follow me on twitter

For Sale – Nvidia 970GTX & Watercooling Bits N Bobs

I have for sale my old 970 (Galax IIRC).

Its the blower design and all black.

Works fine and a great value gaming card! £sold

I also have the following for sale after stripping down my watercooling rig:

Laing D5 pump + WC-172-XS XSPC Acrylic Tank Reservoir, with mounting plate – £sold

EK LTX CPU block and mounting screws – £20inc

XSPC Multiport 240mm Rad matte black – £15inc

Stealth/slimline 240mm Rad (unknown brand) gloss black – £10inc

Bits Power Compression Fittings (10mm/8mm). Black with green O ring accent and dragon logo – £sold
6 x Regular fittings
2 x 90deg fittings
1 x 45deg converter
1 x isolation/drain valve
1 x female to male converter

Pics here = https://onedrive.live.com/?id=EE5513CD46BC70DF!170&cid=EE5513CD46BC70DF

Price and currency: £various
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: North Herts
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Nvidia 970GTX & Watercooling Bits N Bobs

I have for sale my old 970 (Galax IIRC).

Its the blower design and all black.

Works fine and a great value gaming card! £130inc

I also have the following for sale after stripping down my watercooling rig:

Laing D5 pump + WC-172-XS XSPC Acrylic Tank Reservoir, with mounting plate – £sold

EK LTX CPU block and mounting screws – £20inc

XSPC Multiport 240mm Rad matte black – £15inc

Stealth/slimline 240mm Rad (unknown brand) gloss black – £10inc

Bits Power Compression Fittings (10mm/8mm). Black with green O ring accent and dragon logo – £sold
6 x Regular fittings
2 x 90deg fittings
1 x 45deg converter
1 x isolation/drain valve
1 x female to male converter

Pics here = https://onedrive.live.com/?id=EE5513CD46BC70DF!170&cid=EE5513CD46BC70DF

Price and currency: £various
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: North Herts
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Nvidia 970GTX & Watercooling Bits N Bobs

I have for sale my old 970 (Galax IIRC).

Its the blower design and all black.

Works fine and a great value gaming card! £140inc

I also have the following for sale after stripping down my watercooling rig:

Laing D5 pump + WC-172-XS XSPC Acrylic Tank Reservoir, with mounting plate – £sold

EK LTX CPU block and mounting screws – £20inc

XSPC Multiport 240mm Rad matte black – £25inc

Stealth/slimline 240mm Rad (unknown brand) gloss black – £15inc

Bits Power Compression Fittings (10mm/8mm). Black with green O ring accent and dragon logo – £sold
6 x Regular fittings
2 x 90deg fittings
1 x 45deg converter
1 x isolation/drain valve
1 x female to male converter

Pics here = https://onedrive.live.com/?id=EE5513CD46BC70DF!170&cid=EE5513CD46BC70DF

Price and currency: £140inc
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: North Herts
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Nvidia 970GTX & Watercooling Bits N Bobs

I have for sale my old 970 (Galax IIRC).

Its the blower design and all black.

Works fine and a great value gaming card! £140inc

I also have the following for sale after stripping down my watercooling rig:

Laing D5 pump + WC-172-XS XSPC Acrylic Tank Reservoir, with mounting plate – £55inc

EK LTX CPU block and mounting screws – £20inc

XSPC Multiport 240mm Rad matte black – £25inc

Stealth/slimline 240mm Rad (unknown brand) gloss black – £15inc

Bits Power Compression Fittings (10mm/8mm). Black with green O ring accent and dragon logo – £15inc
6 x Regular fittings
2 x 90deg fittings
1 x 45deg converter
1 x isolation/drain valve
1 x female to male converter

Or, i will sell the whole lot for £110inc!

Pics here = https://onedrive.live.com/?id=EE5513CD46BC70DF!170&cid=EE5513CD46BC70DF

Price and currency: £140inc
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: North Herts
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Nvidia 970GTX

I have for sale my old 970 (Galax IIRC).

Its the blower design and all black.

Works fine and a great value gaming card!

Price and currency: £140inc
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: North Herts
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Unconventional Wisdom – Microsoft Design – Medium


Unconventional Wisdom

Field notes from a design team at Adobe MAX 2017

I’m encouraged by the trend of conferences and groups for women in technology. It’s fantastic that women are starting to come together to find their voice and grow as professionals in a male-dominated industry. However, as a creative woman in design at a large technology company, I feel something is missing; where are the groups to support women in creative positions and design leadership?

As a member of a women in design group at Microsoft, we addressed that gap last week in Las Vegas. We decided we didn’t need to go to a conference focused on women, but that we could go to a creativity conference together; and that we would lean on and learn from one another during the experience. We all expected lots of of tech, tools, and processes, which Adobe MAX certainly delivered. But what really excited us were the passionate and talented people we encountered.

Here are 5 inspiring things we discovered

EMPATHY

Christina Koehn

The theme that resonated most with me was empathy; for our customers, for the teams we manage, and for all people. We are all different, and differences should be celebrated. As designers, we have a role to play in making sure the products and services that we shape are flexible enough to help all people, not just a few select groups.

Tina Roth Eisenberg

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings, spoke about the importance of fun in the work place, but also the importance of empathy and understanding for the situations those you work with. She said that “trust breeds magic,” and that “business relationships are like real relationships.” Amazing things happen when team members trust and respect each other and enjoy working together. Work (and life) shouldn’t be all about personal gains and personal winnings; create an environment where people feel heard, safe, and respected and the team will flourish. Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty.

Albert Shum, Corporate Vice President of Design at Microsoft, spoke of radical empathy, and how important it is to advocate for human interests in this new era of of artificial intelligence. How do we keep people, rather than tech, at the heart of things, and how do creators of AI embrace inclusivity and represent a diversity of perspectives? The data used to train machine learning models needs to represent the diversity of the customer base, and designers of AI have a role to play to be empathetic and ensure no one is excluded.

The most inspiring part of Adobe Max was seeing the creative community come together not just to make products and marketing materials that look amazing, but to truly change the world through empathizing with others different from ourselves and empowering them to be co-creators. We have a role as designers to practice empathy, and to shape the future we want.


HUMANITY

Priya Chauhan

“When you humanize a culture or an issue, people are very capable of getting it” — Annie Griffiths

Adobe MAX was a culture shock. I was expecting “Hello, I am Adobe and this is how you use a brush”, but instead I got an amazing experience listening to creatives speak about life and art as a single entity. Design should not just be about grids, rules and check-lists but it should feel free and come from the heart. When design can pull at heart strings, then you know it’s something special.

Two speakers who totally rocked this message were: Annie Griffiths, a photojournalist, who uses her photography to tell stories on empowering women and children in developing countries. It is through her photos she gives them a voice. The second was graphic designer: Aaron Draplin, who gave a great talk about how to be human in this industry, and that design should not be a process but be about life experiences. It is so easy to get comfortable and blend into our environment, but our quirkiness and personal style are what sets us apart from each other and this is what our work should reflect!

Watch Annie Griffith’s talk here, under ‘Community inspires creativity’

I walked away from Adobe MAX thinking, never stop creating art for yourself and try to bring a touch of you into all your designs at work. In other words, don’t stop being you!


BRAVERY

Hui Lui

I was attracted by 3 extraordinary speakers. Jonathan Adler talked of leaving his day job to pursue pottery, freeing him to begin each day attempting to realize his overnight vision at the potter’s wheel. Aaron Draplin relayed that he designed his own workspace. He’s a visual designer that runs right through walls. Literally. And there was Emily Pilloton, an architect (and now teacher) who, when asked if she would design an addition to a school building replied- “Yes and…” then went on to develop Project H, a design/build program for students who proceeded to construct their own place of learning.

Slides from Jonathan Adler, Aaron Draplin, and Emily Pilloton

These speakers shared a passion which transcended their career into every aspect of their lives. I believe their passion fueled their bravery, their willingness to get out of their comfort zones—to try something new. 
One of my fears is that of being ordinary. : 0 
By emulating these inspiring creators, I hope to be able to summon my own courage to attempt extraordinary things.


TOUCH

Kristin Standiford

Amidst all the high-tech, automated, machine learning, and AI presentations, what I found to be the most inspiring was hearing about the truly human, tactile, intuitive, and emotional aspects of design.

Kelli Anderson’s wonderfully tactile pop-up books

Kelli Anderson is an incredible paper artist and designer. She reminds us that paper, like design, has the ability to demonstrate and show us things we otherwise could not see. Beginning as a flat sheet, once folded or curved, paper can occupy a myriad of 3-dimensional spaces. For example, twist a strip of paper into a Mobius strip. By physically experiencing this, we instantly “get it.” But take a look at the math behind a Mobius strip — it seems much more complex than simply twisting the paper. Similarly, design — by subtly (or dramatically) “twisting” and “bending” — can emulate a myriad of personalities. Design can create surprise and delight. It can bring to life emotions and tones. These things are harder to quantify, but make experiences memorable. As designers, sometimes we don’t always need to start out with the math and the data. It’s ok to invent, discover, and feel things out first.

Adam Morgan is a creative director at Adobe and spoke about the value of emotion and creativity in a world focused on data and rationalism. Is it important to connect to an audience on an emotional and visceral level? If people can comprehend and react to a straightforward and logical message, why get creative? Logic has been king recently: test, evaluate, use data, think rationally, emotion will cloud your decision making. But emotions make us human. Our conscious brain looks for patterns. When it senses a disruption, or anomaly, it perks up and pays attention. Then the chemicals [emotions] start firing, and a memory is made. How can we better connect with customers and initiate action? Create something unexpected and lock it in with a positive emotion and a stronger memory will be made. People will connect, react, and remember. Attention + emotion = action.

I came out of Adobe Max completely blown away by the creativity and marvelous software technology. But what it really reminded me of is that we are humans. We live in a tactile world with nuance. We have memory, reactions, and intuition. Data, information, numbers, and all the quantifiable things are important signifiers, but let’s not forget that logic needs emotion. And the squishier, experiential, and tactile feelings are what our senses consider memorable.


HEROES (ARE HUMAN)

-Jiwon Choi

Designers have superpowers to change minds and influence people…and you don’t have to wait for someone to ask you to do it— Bonnie Siegler

Adobe Max was the first conference I’ve ever attended and I came home after three days feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and in reference to our CEO’s newest book, refreshed. From the 72 hours spent in Vegas — which breaks my ultimate life-rule of never spending more than 48 hours in the Sin City — the talks that resonated with me the most were the speakers who opened up about their personal experiences in design.

Mina Markham, the first engineer on Hillary’s design team, talked through her experience from day one to the final election. Final results aside, she talked through her long journey of building a pattern library famously coined “Pantsuit Nation” which by its final development led to the beautifully designed and coded website, Hillary.com. Her experience showed courage and despite the blood, sweat, and tears along with unsolicited personal attacks on social media on her color, gender, and support for Hillary Clinton — she steadfastly stated that it was worth it, one hundred percent. As a creator, I oftentimes find myself facing a sea of challenges but Mina Markham’s story taught me that the hard work put into ensuring a genuine and thoughtful experience is worth all the punches.

The genuine failures, successes, and navigation through moments of ambiguity were all places I’ve been — and these hard earned insights inspired me to reflect and internalize the lessons from those who also create. Adobe Max set up a platform not only to excite us with their new tools and innovation — but also a way to hear from our heroes in the industry, making them more accessible, relatable, and human.


Your reporting design team at Adobe MAX

As a woman in tech it’s interesting to see that all the things that inspired us were different aspects of humanity. As a woman in design it reaffirms my belief in human-centered design. And as a member of our women in design group, I gained new appreciation that we are all unique — with diverse backgrounds, personality types, and passions. We are also at various stages in our lives and careers—with different goals and approaches. I believe this diversity can only make our design teams stronger. — C.K.


What inspired you at AdobeMAX? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Follow
Microsoft Women in Design on Instagram
Read more from
Microsoft Women in Design on Medium


Adobe MAX Speaker Links:

Watch the sessions here.

See some of Kelli Anderson’s amazing projects here.
A pop-up book.
Buy it here
A pop-up pinhole camera book.
Buy it here.

Read more about and from Adam Morgan here.