Data Modeling and Conceptual Sketching in the Design Process at Microsoft

Monty Hammontree, Director of User Experience, Microsoft Developer Products Division

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University November 9, 2007

This talk delves into 5 interrelated keys that Microsoft teams focus on to elevate the impact of "design research".  Namely how to:  team insightfully as project teams; observe our users holistically; broker user and design patterns proudly; distill fresh insights collectively; and envision design essence vividly.  A model of various design research modeling approaches is used to spur discussion around the strengths and weakness of each approach.  For a subset of the techniques discussed their value is characterized as being derived from their systematic approach to yielding a broad set of bottom up objects to think with.  A contrasting set of approaches is characterized as best suited to distilling or characterizing the overall gist or essence of a body of design research.  The position is taken that the most effective design research models capture the essence of the design research while at the same time conveying stories that serve to "re-hydrate" the richness of the data behind them, making the real world 'come alive' for Microsoft product teams.

Monty joined Microsoft in October of 2001. He is currently serving as the Director of User Experience for Microsoft’s developer tools division. A primary thread that has run throughout his career has been the development and utilization of team-based techniques for uncovering innovation opportunities, exploring creative concepts, visualizing solution alternatives, and evaluating/refining candidate solutions. He has over 15 years of industry experience in product design and usability management. Prior to joining Microsoft Monty co-founded and served as Vice President of User Experiences for ChannelPoint. Prior to his tenure with ChannelPoint, Monty spent 5 years with Sun Microsystems managing product design and usability. Monty holds a Ph.D. in Human Factors Engineering from Old Dominion University.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine or using this video link.

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.