Medium Stories Well Done

Microsoft Design looks back on their top 5 stories of 2017

Our second most popular story “From 3D to 2D and back again.”

Microsoft Design’s Medium Publication launched quietly at the end of 2016. Now, after one year on Medium, here are a few of our most read stories.

Fun fact: There are over 1,000 designers at Microsoft.

I had the privilege to work with a few of them in Tokyo, NYC, and Vancouver BC, as well as virtually in London, Berlin, and Hyderabad. I even travelled from Redmond HQ to Bellevue and Seattle a few times.

Inspired global design perspectives from Masado, Floyd, and Caleb.

The breadth of expertise was impressive too, ranging from UX design, inclusive design, hardware design, game design, mixed reality, app and voice design, to Fluent Design—a design system that will unite these experiences across devices and beyond. There were also expert contributions from UX writing, research, and data science.

Here are the top 5 most read stories from the past year:

5. UX writing tips

Like designers, UX writers work very hard to make things look easy. Torrey Podmajersky shares 3 real world examples full of insights, tips, and common sense.

4. Digital archealogy

In order to see where you’re going, it’s helpful to know where you’ve been. Juliet Weiss’s first design project on a new design team produced a rich and useful perspective on Window’s design history. (Note to Microsoft design fans: The missing “Office design history” is in the works for 2018.)

3. Evolving iconography is a subtle art

User testing identified an opportunity for Paula Chuchro’s Design team. Find out how meaning, ubiquity, and familiarity factored into their icon redesign.

2. How far can design stretch?

What principles and best practices from 2D design will translate into emerging 3D mixed reality experiences—and where will new opportunities arise? Our design team of Cara Tyler, Ramiro Torres, and Oscar Murillo share a Fluent Design System exploration.

1. Myth busting

Our most popular story did not come from design, but rather from the allied discipline of data science. Bill Pardi breaks big data (and its attendant myths) down with practical examples and fascinating brain teasers.

In addition to being republished on several blogs internationally, this made The Best of 2017 for all Medium stories.

If you liked this, here’s Bill’s second installment.

Bonus: Creating a platform for impact

My favorite story (among many) came from Italy. Roberto D’Angelo’s personal journey went from being a parent to a founder and entrepreneur. He shares how he combined inclusive design with other products from the Microsoft ecosystem to create the Mirrorable app for his son. Roberto embodies the inclusive “solve for one and extend for many” principle with his Fight The Stoke non-profit org.


Thanks for reading!

We hope you join the growing ranks of readers and contributors in 2018. We’re already working on stories about Fluent Design, AI, mixed reality, inclusive design, and data “influenced” design. Let us know if there’s a topic you’re interested in.

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