Marketplace Landing Pages

Marketplace Landing Pages

In early 2017, analysis of the AppSource.com telemetry revealed a potentially significant problem with the landing experience on AppSource.com, which was launched prior to my time partnering with the team. In partnership with our marketing and merchandising product managers, I worked to help both the AppSource and Azure Marketplace teams develop a roadmap for improving the landing experience. Problem Statement Since both AppSource.com and Azure Marketplace are driven by the same underlying marketplace framework, problems from both sites are indicated below. Customer satisfaction as measured from the home page on AppSource.com was extremely low Azure Marketplace lacked a home page,…
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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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Windows Automotive Notifications

Windows Automotive Notifications

Many of our in-vehicle apps needed to provide information to the driver, and expected the same interruption models they enjoy on mobile phones. However, in an automotive environment, interruptions threaten the driver’s safety. Our solutions had to work in a multimodal environment, with potential touch, voice or hardware input. We designed, tested and implemented a notifications system that optimized for drive-related, time-sensitive notifications where a simple binary action can be taken in the vehicle. Logistics Work on the Windows Automotive design team was broken into 2-week Agile sprints: each sprint was either Design/Exploration, Prototyping, Research, or Final Design Delivery. Phases…
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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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SCCM 2012: Information Architecture

SCCM 2012: Information Architecture

My time on System Center Configuration Manager 2012 spanned four years of design and hundreds of UI surfaces.  Perhaps our most important task was redefining the information architecture of the product - and to do so, we had to drive years of detailed user research and iterative design experimentation. Problem Statement SCCM 2007 was largely produced without UX consultation until the endgame. As a result, the product’s IA was a single, massive tree that represented every object type - and every individual object - in one long branched list. For large companies, expanding the wrong node could grind the whole…
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System Center “Concept Car” 2010

System Center “Concept Car” 2010

In 2010, we set out to explore a unified approach to the most complex IT processes - software deployment and incident management in large networks. From initial scenarios and paper sketches to high-fidelity prototypes, videos, and user testing, we used this "concept car" as a vehicle for exploring the impact of large screens, multiple product integrations and new approaches to object manipulation in a server environment. Our work was very well-received by our stakeholders and served as the inspiration for a number of concepts that made it into future design patterns and products, all the way through Azure's initial release. Design…
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