Microsoft MIX10 – Day 2 – Focus Group

My second day at Microsoft MIX10 centered on a focus group dealing with building connected applications that span multiple device types and form factors. The ability of MIX10 to bring people together in a room to talk about a particular topic is such a great feature of the conference.

Notable members of the Microsoft planning team, Windows phone team, and Windows SDK team came together to chat about concerns surrounding developing and designing a user experience for multiple devices—desktop, browser, mobile, etc. Great insight was provided as to how Microsoft gathers feedback from its partners.

We had a very interesting discussion about the modality of software where we broke mobile devices down into two modes: an ID to label your identity and a conduit for pushing content and serving as a control point. Keeping these two modes in mind, we spent a lot of time on how user experience is specific to devices, which is generally accepted as a benefit by end users.

Similarly, capturing context dominated a large portion of the conversation.

  • Social context- at work or at home and differentiating work time from family time.
  • Geographic location –traveling or commuting.
  • Surrounding environment –in front of the television, at your desktop or without a mobile devise.

It’s incredible how much depth there is to context and how it informs the user experience.

What an amazing meeting of the most discerning minds in the industry. It was so great to see Microsoft focusing on user experience, technology, and design—which happens to be the core focus of Roundarch. I took away a lot from today’s roundtable, a definite highlight of MIX10.

Adam Flater is a Technical Architect and Evangelist at Roundarch and is also the founder of the Merapi Project. For more information on Adam Flater, follow @adamflater on Twitter or visit http://adamflater.net.

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