It feels like we're in phase two of Microsoft's Office offerings. A push towards making the Office suite more palatable for the average consumer while also maintaining support for enterprise power users. With offerings like Office Web Apps, Sway, soon to be announced Skype for Business and Office Mix, Microsoft is cautiously herding users into a more refined usage case for Office than what has been done traditionally.
In a blog post highlighting easier navigation and playback in the Office Mix application, that trend appears to continue. As of recent, Office Mix blog post spend their time covering detailed explanations about authoring 'mixes', but in today's post the discussion is around the playback experience.
Starting off, the blog highlights the Slide Sorter view. The Slide Sorter view allows users the ability to navigate web videos through easy card-like views. Rather than dragging a scroll wheel across the screen, users can view the videos timeline as a set of large card-like icons, and select the card that is associated with the section they want to view or rewatch. The Slide Sorter was brought over from PowerPoint and applied to the OfficeMix.com player. The Office Mix team loves the idea of users getting a 'birds-eye view' of an entire online presentation, and hopes you will too.
Next up the Office Mix team points out the Slide Content feature. This is a feature for those who actually prefer the precision of a scroller. Now when watching an Office Mix presentation online, a user can scroll below the player windows and will be presented with a thumbnail of each slide plus some of the slide text as a preview. So if you are the type that would like to jump in and out of slides without being committed to watching the entire slide, this feature allows you to get glanceable information quickly. Each thumbnail acts as a link to the slide in the online presentation. This way you click on the slide and BAM! you're dropped right into the exact content you want.
As Microsoft moves more and more of its services online, it seems like we're seeing faster iterations on these products. While the playback features of Office Mix have been there for a while, it still nice to know that Microsoft is working quickly to make these new products as robust as their other Office suite mates.