Microsoft says it is now taking a new, more collaborative approach to design

The new approach sees the Surface, Windows and Office design heads working closely together

Microsoft logo

Microsoft is changing how it handles design in hopes of moving towards a more coherent design philosophy.

The recently redesigned Office icons are a first look at a more substantial design overhaul happening within Microsoft. However, that overhaul comes with a more collaborative effort.

Microsoft’s head of Office design, Jon Friedman, told The Verge that there is a cross-company effort happening with the Windows, Office and Surface teams. Focused on design, the initiative has already seen the Office icons and Outlook iOS app redesigned and will soon redesign the Windows icons as well.

Now, Friedman works alongside Windows design leader Albert Shum and Surface design head Ralf Groene. “We operate like an internal open source team,” Friedman says.

Further, Friedman says this new approach ensures that every team gets the best of everyone’s work.

The other part of the new design approach is not to rush it. In the past, specifically with Windows 8 and the Metro design, the company rushed an incomplete design to market that users didn’t like.

With its new Fluent design system, Microsoft is taking its time. Friedman said that if the company had to do everything at once, it would never happen. Instead, Microsoft’s design will use a slow, continuous overhaul from separate, highly coordinated teams.

“It’s about bringing the software to the place it needs to be,” Friedman said, “and then doing hardware and software together at a high polish and high craft.”

In other words, we should see a more unified design coming from Microsoft, especially now that the head designers are working closely together.

Source: The Verge