Dynamics 365 settings IA: Power platform admin center

Dynamics 365 settings IA: Power platform admin center

As part of my role as the Design Lead for the launch of Microsoft's ambitious Power platform admin center, I took on several complex individual contributor projects. The largest of these projects was the migration of Dynamics app settings from the Dynamics 365 app on a legacy web client to the new Power platform admin center site, using a new information architecture and a new UI stack. Further complicating the assignment was the timeline presented for the work. Originally, the team had planned on migrating the old settings pages directly to the Dynamics UI stack, the Unified Client. This original…
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Design leadership: Power platform admin center

Design leadership: Power platform admin center

On November 1, 2017, I took on a new role at Microsoft as the Design Lead for a new and ambitious cross-product initiative, which 10 months later was released as the Power platform admin center. Read more about the site in Microsoft's words at the official press release. Problem Statement Unify four different admin centers - Dynamics 365 instance administration, Dynamics 365 app administration, admin.powerapps.com, and admin.flow.com - into a single experience on a new UI framework. 10 months later, the site moved out of private preview and into public release. The Team MY ROLE: Principal Designer and Design Lead…
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Azure Partner UX Guidelines

Azure Partner UX Guidelines

When I returned to Microsoft in August 2016, I joined as the Design Lead for the Azure Framework. Our team of 4 full-time designers, 2 researchers, and a content writer - along with our studio head, who worked closely with us - were responsible for improving the user experience of the entire Azure platform in two primary ways. Our first role was to work directly with developers on key features or controls. Our second role was a broader, less direct influence over the rest of the 70+ partner teams we could not work with directly. Upon joining, I immediately saw…
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Alexa Skill: My Countdown

Alexa Skill: My Countdown

My second published Alexa skill was born from a request from a dear friend. We were planning a joint family trip to Disney World, and my goddaughter wanted to know how long until the big day. Wouldn't it be nice to have a skill to make it easier for her mom to answer that question? Have an Alexa device? Enable the My Countdown skill for free today! The design process for this skill was somewhat unique. I initially designed the skill as the core example around which I built the sample deliverables for my now world-renowned voice design workshop, Giving…
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Alexa Notifications and Interruption Model

Alexa Notifications and Interruption Model

Upon joining the central Alexa Voice Design team in late 2015, my first order of business was to tackle a complicated systems design problem: how could we adapt a primarily single-threaded, voice-forward, reactive experience to allow proactive notifications? There was a great deal of caution surrounding the effort, as our product has been invited into homes, and we did not want to violate that trust. Further complicating matters was the as-then-unannounced Echo Show, which completely changed the interaction paradigm. While Echo had not supported large-scale multitasking, the Echo Show introduced the concept of navigation and a sort of back stack.…
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Azure Marketplace 2.0

Azure Marketplace 2.0

In the fall of 2016, my responsibilities as the Azure Framework Design Lead expanded to include direct responsibility for our pro developer marketplaces. When we began, the only active marketplace in our purview was AppSource.com, but there was an immediate need to take the lessons learned on AppSource and apply them to a completely new approach to the existing Azure Marketplace. Role and Team For the 2.0 version of the Azure Marketplace, I was the sole designer, working with 3-4 program manager partners and several UI developers on a daily basis. In addition, I partnered with our team's content designer…
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Alexa: Do Not Disturb

Alexa: Do Not Disturb

In parallel with our efforts on Alexa Notifications, I was asked to drive the completion of the Do Not Disturb feature. DND applied not just to Notifications but to Communications (calls/messaging), which meant a separate team of stakeholders and faster deadlines than the longer-term Notifications project. As with Alexa Notifications, I led the design side of this effort in partnership with Carl Mekala (and Sharbani Roy) from the product management team. This was my most "traditional" VUI design engagement during my time on the Alexa team - while some was new-product (Echo Look) and some was more systems design (Notifications/Interrupt…
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Alexa Skill: Trainer Tips

Alexa Skill: Trainer Tips

When I joined the Alexa team, the Skills store was still in its infancy. One of my first responsibilities on the team was to perform skill submission reviews, which gave me a unique perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the early Skills platform. Still, I wanted to learn more deeply, and the best way to do that was to dive back into coding and develop my own Alexa skill. Do you have an Alexa device? Install the Trainer Tips skill for free! I developed Trainer Tips in early 2016, and it was one of the first 1000 skills approved…
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Cortana in the Car: VUI for Windows Automotive

Cortana in the Car: VUI for Windows Automotive

Design a new voice user interface (VUI) for use in the car that passes all automotive industry distracted driving safety standards. In addition, guide all 5 major feature teams on the appropriate use of speech within their areas (Start, Navigation, Media, Communications, and Car) CONTRIBUTORS: Myself (design owner) / 2 Program Managers / 2 Researchers Process Our early process focused on developing a push-to-talk experience that provided guidance to users without overwhelming. Careful attention was paid to multimodality, error handling, and the interaction between the VUI and GUI. I drove hands-on deep dives (in partnership with the lead Speech program…
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