Brian Carter
BFA Industrial Design
The University of Kansas (2003)
Bachelor of Fine Arts - KU

Outlook.com

Brian Carter

My Role

As a UX designer on a team with PM, Engineering, and Research, I designed variety of product features for Hotmail and Outlook.com, including lead for how to thread conversations and how to automatically categorize incoming mail. I also designed the online People experience, worked on pixel-perfect baselines and grids, and generally worked to align and propose new patterns.

User Needs

The introduction of conversation threading, categories, and other new features to several hundred million users is nontrivial. My work was informed by user needs via international user testing and walking users through UX options in the lab. This user research informed my designs, and in many cases I was in the lab taking notes while users provided feedback. We also designed and tested first-run, opt-in, and feedback experiences.

People

I redesigned an address book pattern to the new People experience. Users have multiple personas across a variety of online networks and my designs focused on providing the ability to link those personas to one person, as well as update the experience to something more than a list of contacts. In addition I worked with the Windows team to align experiences.

Pixel-perfect Grid

I worked with Design and Engineering to apply a pixel-perfect grid. With multiple designers and engineers working in different areas, getting baselines and boxes to align across features is nontrivial. Many features have open-close states or on-off states, and alignment required effort. I worked with developers and Test to ensure production matched designs.

Business Impact

Outlook.com was well received. Several of the features I worked on were shown prominently in Microsoft's Get Going TV campaign, with music by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. In 2012 Slate said “Outlook is gorgeous—it’s the best-designed Web email service I’ve ever seen.”

Screenshots

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