The Future Vision of Microsoft 365

On designing experiences that encompass your wellbeing

Jon Friedman
Jul 21 · 8 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Designing for focus

Most of us are viscerally aware of the modern-day challenge to find focus amid a sea of distraction. Externally, notifications pop up or your newest coworker (aka your child) vies for your attention. Internally, we check social media on autopilot or our minds wander from tasks because, well, we’re human.

5 screens across desktop, tablet, and mobile showing explorations of future UI.
5 screens across desktop, tablet, and mobile showing explorations of future UI.
Early explorations for evolving Fluent Design to enable a greater sense of focus in our experiences.

Designing for amplification

In tech, intelligence with capital ‘I’ refers to artificial intelligence, but as we go about our day, many types of intelligence come into play. Intelligent design within nature ties our sleep cycles with lunar and solar movements. Among ourselves, intelligence encompasses everything from intuition to interpersonal awareness to musical abilities.

Excel UI.
Excel UI.
An example of AI proactively identifying an error in Excel and suggesting a solution.

Designing for connection

As the world adapts to learning, living, and working from home in unprecedented ways, we’re seeing a broader array of human experiences lived online than ever before. This elicits unique perks and stressors. While acute meeting fatigue is on the rise, it’s also humanizing to join a Teams meeting and see pets, sports gear, or other interests you never knew about someone. To amplify the benefits and minimize the challenges, we’re designing Microsoft 365 experiences that consider both the logistical and emotional aspects of connectivity.

Flipgrid UI on mobile and desktop.
Flipgrid UI on mobile and desktop.
Live and recorded video in Flipgrid intuitively connects learners and educators across the world.

Designing for protection and peace of mind

Trust is a multi-faceted notion, and when we say that Microsoft runs on trust, it’s not just a corporate motto but a privilege that everyone working here takes incredibly seriously. From understanding what you’re approving when you check privacy boxes, to confidently propagating policy throughout your business, to supporting the wellness of you and your loved ones, we’re deeply invested in delivering protection and peace of mind.

Family Safety app UI.
Family Safety app UI.
The Family Safety app helps families balance screen time, select appropriate content, and collectively develop healthy digital habits.

Designing for the future, together

We’ve always valued the reciprocity with our customers. As much as you’ve trusted us to help you achieve, we’ve looked to you to guide us as we design toward focus, amplification, connection, and peace of mind. That’s why, even as you read this, we’re conducting global studies to help us understand how human needs are changing in real time amid such an unprecedented landscape.


Microsoft Design

Putting technology on a more human path, one design story…

Jon Friedman

Written by

Head of Microsoft Office design, leading the next generation of experiences for work & life. Opinions expressed here are my own, even the few good ones;-)

Microsoft Design

Putting technology on a more human path, one design story at a time.

Jon Friedman

Written by

Head of Microsoft Office design, leading the next generation of experiences for work & life. Opinions expressed here are my own, even the few good ones;-)

Microsoft Design

Putting technology on a more human path, one design story at a time.

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