Are you really ready to know how Microsoft develops software for Longhorn? It’s simple: the graphic designers are now in charge.
Now, we don’t call them that. On the team I’m a part of we call them “Program Designers.” The title really hides what they do and how important they are.
The program designer I got to watch up close is David Shadle. He’s a guy who’d make Alan Cooper proud. He does all sorts of things at Microsoft, from logos, to signs, to software interface designs.
I first met David in a meeting about the Community Environment app (back then we called it “Vibe!”) right after I started at Microsoft. Since I was the blogger, I played the role of “customer” (er, PDC attendee). I told them the kinds of information I’d like to have access to. I told them I wanted access to information so that I could write a better blog. I wanted access to people. Slides. Schedules. News. etc.
Then David would get up, write on the board a potential interface, and ask “you mean something that looks like this?