In 2017, I transitioned into the Outlook Web Team at a very pivotal and transformational point for the product. We were unifying our codebases and transforming our entire web stack into a React app. This required a full redesign of Outlook as a whole, creating many opportunities to innovate and try out new things. Highlighted here are some of the projects I had the chance to work on over the years, impacting millions of users worldwide.
2017 - present
Reduce the number of controls we expose on the surface without disrupting users’ current scheduling flows
Introduce a scalable UX framework that logically organizes our current feature set and is easily extensible
One form that can adapt to both enterprise and consumer scenarios without significant differences
We dug into usage data to understand and determine which fields on the form are being used the most. This helped us prioritize which fields to show and where to position them.
Hearing from our users directly
A multi-month, multi-disciplinary user study called the Hawthorne study highlighted our users’ pain points with the old meeting scheduling experience. This research study involved physical and remote customer focus groups to hear directly from our users.
Users described the old version of the form as overwhelming and complex. Almost all controls were exposed at all times, even the ones that were rarely used, resulting in longer times to create
After several iterations and rounds of user testing, we created a much cleaner, much simpler form that logically grouped related actions together and condensed the amount of information being shown to the user at any given time
The challenge was to simplify this form that previously had more than 20 different controls and workflows into something modern, clean, and easy to parse
Once the meeting organizer begins to add details and attendees, we light up the scheduling grid. We leverage what we know about the attendees’ schedules to shade available and unavailable times, allowing the organizer to pick a suitable time for the meeting at a glance.
The scheduling assistant is typically used to book larger meetings. We switched from a vertical to a horizontal alignment that allowed us to optimize the use of screen space and allow users to schedule with several more people, quickly and at a glance.
Access your Calendar events for the day, see at a glance what you have coming up next. Capture new events to your Calendar with the Quick add form
We visually highlight and continuously update the next upcoming meeting so that the user can tell at a glance what they should be paying attention to
Add New Event
A familiar, simplified form for appointments and smaller meetings. You can quickly capture things as they pop up from wherever you are
See your task for the day, capture new tasks, set due dates and more
Drag and Drop
Drag and drop emails, documents etc. into the My Day pane to create an event or task
The location card provides details about recognized internal or external location entities within the Outlook ecosystem. Users can also perform quick actions like call or get directions.
Room finder provides an immersive view to find, sort, and intelligently filter rooms based on a user’s search parameters. This is especially useful for some of our multi-national clients with several geographically dispersed offices.