VISUAL DESIGN — MICROSOFT, 2016

Skype for Windows 10

In 2015, Microsoft started updating their apps to a new Universal Windows Platform that supported desktop, tablet and mobile viewports. The desktop design team was tasked to create an updated version of the classic client that had been around for 10 years.

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#truestory

New, but familiar.

Skype is used and loved by users of all ages, so the biggest challenge was to follow the patterns established by UWP without making the app feel alien to existing users. Core components such as the calling buttons, message bubbles and profile were maintained while navigation and panels followed the new UWP design patterns.

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Keeping the Skypiness alive.

Adapting to a new app can be difficult for users, so we added little treats to make the utilitarian UWP aesthetic feel warmer and happier, more aligned with the Skype brand. From customised windows, to bubbly animations and colourful illustrations, we made the new app look friendlier than ever before.

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TEAM

Visual design: Miguel Oliva Marquez, Lee Pethers
UX: Ben Dove, Kayleigh Davis
Lead: Richard Hyde
Accessibility: Lyra Xharra Loxha
PM: Alex Powell

NB: The Skype UWP app was replaced by the large black and white global redesign that Microsoft issued in 2017. It was short lived but it received very good reviews from the Windows Insider Program users.

WHAT WORKMATES SAID
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Kayleigh Davis

Senior Interaction Designer at Microsoft

I had the great pleasure to work with Miguel for over a year at Skype (Microsoft).

Miguel is fun, enthusiastic and incredibly astute. His deep functional knowledge combined with his energy and can do attitude make him a go to person, who people actively seek to work and collaborate with.

Some notable projects we partnered on included the Skype Universal Windows 10 client - built entirely from the ground up. Miguel beautifully crafted a brand new visual framework and toolkit. This in itself a complex design challenge - considering multiple end-points (mobile, desktop, xbox), accessibility and scalability.

I was always impressed at the attention to detail in all of Miguel's work, not only is it pixel perfect but his systematic approach to visual design systems epitomises his skill at product design.

A multi-faceted designer - Miguel is a very capable interaction designer too. He can get stuck into interaction design challenges when needed, and is a great person to spar and share ideas to complex interaction problems. His versatility and ability to use his various skills at different times in a project make him a valued part of the team.

I feel very fortunate to of had the opportunity to have worked with Miguel. I learnt a great deal and have some wonderful memories. I look forward to seeing more of his work out in the world, and seeing him further succeed in his career and as an individual. He is a great asset to any team he is a part of, and I hope that one day we get the opportunity to work together again!

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