The future is beautiful? Microsoft seems to be making design improvements left and right these days, and not just for Windows 10. Office apps, and Microsoft 365 as a whole, is about to get a new look.
Microsoft published a detailed new post on Medium that provides us a glimpse of the design language and user experience improvements that the company is working on. These, it aims to bring to its suite of productivity apps in the near future.
The post itself is a lengthy one that goes over everything from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to the cohesiveness of the design that the software titan wants to bring.
Both to its mobile and desktop platforms.
Essentially, the goal is to decouple app capabilities from the apps themselves and build the into the ecosystem so that users are free to use whichever functionality that they want, however, and wherever they need it.
For example, Redmond wants to remove the brand colors from the app headers and make commands adaptive. The accompanying video shows how this will look, with even the close, minimize, and maximize buttons hidden from view.
And then there are the AI improvements like Project Cortex and AI based insights from Cortana.
But most of all, the company wants to design something that makes for more authentic and inclusive connections between people. And this includes using artful themes and backgrounds, and everything in between.
This has been a long journey for Microsoft.
What started with the introduction of the Office ribbon and some new iconography has expanded to include much bigger things, as the company looks to roll out these features and user interface improvements within the next year or two.
And while this post deals mostly with the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, Windows 10 itself is all too often criticized for having an inconsistent design in its various elements.
Be interesting to see how the software giant aligns its overall design efforts, as glimpses of the design refresh are already starting to show up in the preview builds of the operating system. It will be a while before all of this comes together, but things are finally looking bright now.