Regarding Microsoft Expression: Clarity is on the way

15 Mar 2007 - 10:06am
611 reads
Chris Bernard
2007

So this note is more of an introduction than anything else. I've been reading this list for quite a long time and I've actually met or interacted with a good chunk of the regular posters here as well. In reviewing threads over the past few weeks it's clear there's a lot of questions, confusion, etc. about what Microsoft is up to. I'll try to be more visible here in addressing some of the issues that have been raised here that haven't been answered. My thoughts and opinions here will be my own (but with the sheen of a corporate hack of course).

As I tell many folks Microsoft is on a journey into the designer realm. We certainly won't nail things right out of the gate by any stretch of the imagination but I think you will find we are listening. It seems like the following topics need clarity, tell me if there are more and I'll try to address them with my own honest answers and opinions. Sometimes we may go into areas where I can't say much or we may not yet have clearly defined answers. I've haven't seen many questions on this list that delve into that stuff so I doubt it will be a problem. Anyway, here's some fodder for future posts, are their other things folks want to know?

1.) What is our goal with Expression products, who are we going after?

2.) What's our view on workflow using these tools?

3.) What's our vision of Web and rich internet and rich application design?

First and foremost I'll tell you that even though Microsoft seems like it can and should have everything buttoned up and have perfect answers to all this we don't (In fact this might in fact not be a surprise at all). We're working in a evolving world, with evolving strategies and platforms. We're also talking about a bunch of products that haven't been released in a 1.0 version yet with the exception of Expression Web. This means folks working with these tools and technologies (and these folks do exist) are pioneers, many of the optimal patterns and practices for how to work in this environment don't exist yet.

The other thing that I'll tell you is that I'm at Microsoft to advance the profession and practice of design, that's what gets me excited every day, much more so that pushing platforms, tools, etc. I wouldn't be at Microsoft doing this if I didn't think they were doing things that will help me advance our profession and our professional practice and even if you never touch a Microsoft product or tool the mere presence and intent of Microsoft in the design tools and practice will raise everyone's game. It's a party that's been going on for a long time and it's about time that Microsoft decided it's important that they care about design too.

I suspect most people's passions on this list fall into this category as well. As practitioners of the Big Design though we also need to get tactical sometimes, I'll try to provide some understanding of what Microsoft is doing here so you can draw your own conclusions with a little more insight from someone that's on the inside and I'll be a person that you can vent too as well.

If you'd like to learn a little more about my professional background you can learn more about it here:

http://chrisbernard.blogs.com/design_thinking_digest/2006/12/what_motivates_.html

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com<mailto:chris.bernard at microsoft.com>
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com<http://www.designthinkingdigest.com/>
Design: www.microsoft.com/design<http://www.microsoft.com/design>
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression<http://www.microsoft.com/expression>

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