Avoiding fatigue, increasing productivity and improving connection within the ecosystem
Microsoft has shown the changes to the Microsoft 365 user experience that introduces the new design focused on avoiding fatigue and increasing productivity flows with a greater connection between applications in the ecosystem.
The company has spent several years working on the redesign of Office under Fluent Design. At the end of 2019 it showed some of the novelties it introduced, such as those that affect the icons of the applications, which now have more rounded edges and a depth effect that gives a 3D feeling.
Corporate Vice President of Design and Search at Microsoft, Jon Friedman, has shared new details of the changes Fluent Design introduces and what it means for the future of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
The changes, he says in a blog post on Medium, “will go even further by fading the branding colors of the application headers and exploring the adaptive command.” A “flexible ribbon” will progressively display contextually relevant commands, and cross search will be enhanced.
The goal is for the Microsoft 365 experience to minimize external distractions and self-interruptions, and increase the flow of productivity.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a prominent role in “amplifying” human abilities thanks to its ability to “retain, retrieve and analyze large amounts of data”. In this sense, Project Cortex will use AI to provide context to the user of the different topics, content and people they deal with in the applications, so that they can act accordingly.
The AI will also act in applications individually, as in Excell, where it will detect errors in formulas as written by the user, or in Planner, where it will suggest task completion dates.
Friedman highlights the intention of this new design to connect ecosystem applications to run smoothly, either on the computer or mobile, and reduce user “fatigue”. This intention also goes through security, for example, in the classification of documents, and for them they are “designing experiences that allow file owners to communicate levels of sensitivity to others.”