Making Software Easier and More Fun with Social Interfaces
Karen Fries, Microsoft
Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 24, 1997
My talk will cover...
- Definition of social interface...what it means
- Why it is an important part of the present and future of computing
- How it has been implemented to date...including what kind of research has been done and what customers are saying about the idea...
- I'll talk about my work on Publisher and Bob -- and discuss some of the other products at Microsoft that embody the ideas, like Office and Greetings Workshop.
- I will talk about my current project -- investigating the application of social interface on the web
- Finally, I'll muse about the future of social interface. Where I think it will go and how the evolution of various technologies (and some people factors) will impact wider implementation and acceptance.
As a program manager in Microsoft's Research Division, Karen Fries explores applications of social interface. In her previous life, she launched Microsoft Bob, a program aimed at making home computing easier and more fun. With her partner, Barry Linnett, Fries conceived the idea and followed it from beginning to end, when it was announced by Bill Gates at CES in January of 1995. Working with animators, artists, development teams, and testing groups, Fries ensured all pieces of the product came together and got to market.
Fries joined Microsoft in June 1987 -- for the last seven years, her focus and passion has been on new designs that make using computers easier. Also working with Barry Linnett, she designed Microsoft Publisher 1.0 which launched in 1991. Publisher was the first product to have wizards. Prior to working at Microsoft, Fries attended the University of Washington in Seattle where she received degrees in business and psychology.
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