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User Experience

Challenge: Create awareness, clarity, and excitement around product features by highlighting the interactions users can make within a service.

Role: Associate Creative Director

Lead Project Manager: Kayla Locke

Table Talks: Chris Dugovich, Gina Mainwal
Support: Thomas Nichols, Patrick Flaherty, Paul Secord, Ashley Amoeba, Don Kenoyer, Andy Reichel

There is nothing more important than relationship. I’ll type that again. There is nothing more important than relationship. This isn’t exclusive to how we relate to each other, but also how we relate to the objects around us. Do the interactions bring us joy? Is the thing with which we interact easy to use? How do I relate to it and how does it relate to me?

 

In the Microsoft 365 Studio, one of my responsibilities was to create pieces that brought these interactions to life and highlighted the aspects of Microsoft’s productivity services that made them the industry standard- the gateway to achieving one’s aspirations. 

 

This, of course, can look completely different depending on the need, with the end users’ needs as the primary metric. Do they need a reminder of an existing feature? Are we launching a new feature based on feedback? Would it benefit them to be aware of a completely new offering? And of course, where are we reaching them with this information?

 

When making reminding people of an existing solution, research found it was most efficient to  create a scenario where that feature could be utilized and display it in action. Concept? Check! Feature? Check. UI? Well…not so much. Often times, when working within a huge company, the sheer size makes it a challenge to find the necessary assets, or when finding those assets, the format is different than those preferred to produce at scale. Or even assets that worked would change at a moment’s notice.

 

 So step one became building a team to reproduce assets in vector form to easily animate for any format (this will come back in a moment). Step two, work with product marketing managers to determine key features. Step three, determine existing customer stories to build the feature narrative around. 

The end result would look like this:

When launching a new feature, it was necessary to go a little further and work with writers to more fully walk our users through the steps and then utilize animated gifs created from those vector assets to ensure clarity. This would be displayed on a blog with some background and instruction with the gif showcasing that feature. 

When highlighting a completely new offering, it was found a combo was necessary. This would be further elevated by a feature sizzle to build excitement to learn more. 

Building on that new offering,  when the features were part of a product that had a deeper fanbase that was concerned with change. It became important to bring the entire fanbase along for the experience and share the behind the scenes or the making of a feature that highlighted all the parts that went into how a feature works AS WELL AS the why.  


That led us to create a series of "Table Talks"

There are many more examples beyond these, but they felt like a great place to start. If you'd like to see more, just ask. I have no issue (over)sharing. 

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