One of the most noticeable ways in which Microsoft has attempted to differentiate both itself and its products from those of its competitors has been through the use of a distinctive design language. From the introduction of Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8, the Metro design has featured prominently throughout the whole Microsoft software experience, lending it a distinctive feel and creating a unique user experience.
As such, the news that it has acquired the vice president of Experience Design from Adobe comes as little surprise. Michael Gough will join Redmond as corporate vice president of design for the Applications and Services Group (ASG), designing the user experience across Office 365 among other key products. Gough’s work will be overseen by Julie Larson-Green, chief experience officer.
Green had nothing but good things to say about her new employee,
“Michael shares our passion for creating design-led, customer-centered products. His design thought leadership and creative expertise will be great additions to our current design teams as we transform the ASG product development culture and deliver compelling experiences for our customers. We are excited to have Michael join us, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Adobe.”
This sentiment was echoed by Gough, who stated,
“I’m thrilled to be joining Microsoft and the effort to bring more productive and rewarding digital experiences to the world. Microsoft is ideally placed to lead a much-needed revolution in our relationship with the digital world. With all its compelling assets, the company has a unique opportunity to connect every aspect of people’s digital lives.”
With particular experience in designing for creative professionals, it is likely that Gough’s time at Microsoft will mostly be focused on the business end of the user experience, as well as Office 365. Having spoken at a number of events on the topic of design in software, he is something of an authority on the issue, as such it was a smart move by Microsoft to acquire him.
Do you enjoy the Metro user experience? Let us know in the comments below.