Microsoft Communicator






Production Design, Web Design

The Situation

I worked as a Production designer on the Microsoft Unified Communications Team. I was the liaison between the design department and the development team ensuring that all assets were correctly made by myself and handed off to the developers and implemented correctly. Our team worked on 3 pieces of software (Microsoft Communicator, Microsoft LiveMeeting, etc) two of which had a 1 to 1 web version. We also worked on a hardware offering, a touch screen desk phone.

Two of these pieces (the phone and one web version of software) were developed in Hyderabad India. I was sent there to design lead and ensure that the product got implemented and delivered on time.  I spent a month in India with the team and we hit all deadlines and shipped on time.

The Approach

I would meet with the designers, PM’s, and managers to understand the in’s and outs of the product I was working on. I would then work closely with the designer to take final graphical assets and prepare them for development. This entailed chopping the design into pixels so they could be placed into code. I would work with the developers to make sure all the elements I handed off were correct.The main piece of the handoff were very detailed redlines and design specs for developers implementation. I would then act as the first design QA and log bugs and fix graphical errors.

Annotations and Design Specs

For these projects, I would hand off thousands of pixel slices that would be organized, cataloged and specced out so developers could implement the design pixel perfect. The redlines were part of the handoff along with folders with appropriate pixels that were called out in the design specs.

Communicator (Lync) Screens, Specs
Communicator Web Access Screens, Specs
Live Meeting Screens, Specs
Live Meeting Web Access
Lync Phone Screens, Specs
Phone interface screen mapping
Lync Phone screen redlines

The Results

  • 5 products successfully shipped in a year
  • An appreciation for pixel perfect design and design organization and documentation