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Windows Live Writer

Intuitive Blogging Software. 
Photo Sharing Experiences for
Live Writer Blogging Application.

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Target Audience:
Teens to middle age. Broad customer segment. Computer saavy but also needs to appeal to the newbie. 

 

Goals:
Provide customers with an optimized way to quickly and easily publish a blog entry with text, hyperlinks, and media in the style that they want. Make desktop software better than their current blogging web interface. Provide for a great offline blogging experience. 


Approach
Created the experience in Windows LiveWriter that enables customers to share photos in a variety of layouts. The photos are stored online and play in a slideshow. These photomail albums appeared in the Windows Live Services of: Mail, LiveWriter, Hotmail, and Windows Live Home, Profile, and Spaces.

I was the designer on Windows Live Writer's Wave 4 Release (2009-2010) that integrated LiveWriter into the Windows Live Suite. I improved the interaction experience for blogging and inserting rich media content. I introduced a tabbed command bar set of tools that allowed for more efficient task completion and reduced duplication and confusion of commands by streamlining the interface. I visualized the iconography for the tool set and art directed implementation of final visuals with the vendor. 

I researched the different types of blogging, blogging trends, and blogging experiences on the web in order to form a good mental model for the needs of the customer. I then mapped out task flows and wireframes. I developed low fidelity mockups for heuristic evaluation and created an interactive prototype of the key scenarios. I reviewed the ux designs and worked through feedback from design management, user research, content writer, product team and developer stakeholders.

 

Through the usability sessions my user researcher conducted, I was able to validate the customer's desire to have different photo layouts, add captions, and re-order photos. It also showed customers did not like having their photos deleted after 30 days. 

Process:
I did the early explorations and visualizations of photo album templates and worked with the visual designer on the final deliverables. I designed the command toolbar for formatting the photo album to be visually user friendly and engaging. Final deliverables included final mockups, design spec, redlines, and visual assets used. Reviewed builds, logged and helped triage bugs for final polish.  

 

I partnered with my program manager and created an interactive Blend prototype that defined the Wordpress.com blog setup experience in Windows Live Writer for presentation to then potential and eventual partner Wordpress.

IMPACT

— 30% increase in photo sharing via photomail instead of file attachments. This saved company file cloud storage costs.
— Deepened customer engagement for using Windows Live services and feedback from customers and reviews was favorable.
— Design used platform ribbon control which improved user experience consistency and maintenance costs.

big_photomail_album_sketch
big_photomail_album_sketch

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Default Photo Album Style
Default Photo Album Style

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Other Photo Album Styles
Other Photo Album Styles

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big_photomail_album_sketch
big_photomail_album_sketch

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New Designs

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Layout Explorations

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Final Layouts

Improved Navigation - Progressive disclosure and information hierarchy

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