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Microsoft Office

 

 

Microsoft Office Templates 

 During a 2+ year partnership we developed hundreds of new, modern templates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to launch as part of Office 15. 

 

 



 


 




 

THE PROJECT

While working with Microsoft I was a lead on a team of designers that collaborated with the Content Publishing team and build teams to refresh the look of Office templates. Our goal was to provide Office's billions of users with up-to-date, professionally designed templates— supplying a creative starting point instead of an uninspired, blank page. 

 
 

 

The OPPORTUNITY

The in-app Office templates had become overused and stylistically out of date. No longer a contemporary asset in the apps, we had the chance to refresh this feature and give Office users new content to utilize.

 
A few examples of outdated templates from the library — plenty of clip art, 3D gradients, and obsolete aspect ratios to be found. 

A few examples of outdated templates from the library — plenty of clip art, 3D gradients, and obsolete aspect ratios to be found. 

 
 

 

The PROCESS

We worked on 10 new templates per app per week; concepting, revising, and finalizing simultaneously in 4 week sprints. While concepting for Word templates we were revising Excel templates and finalizing PowerPoint templates. It was a fast-paced cadence, but allowed us to work through a large number of templates efficiently. All templates had to use one of 44 system-safe fonts and follow Office's guidelines for color and font theming.

 
Each sprint started with a set of template shells containing minimal formatting.

Each sprint started with a set of template shells containing minimal formatting.

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The HANDOFF

We worked with a remote team of specialized build experts for each app. The build teams participated in our weekly design reviews, pointing out any potential issues that wouldn't work within the constraints of the app. After design approval we created redlines and theme guidelines for each template. 

 
 
 

 

The EXCEL TEMPLATES

Our largest challenge with Excel templates was designing within the grid layout of the app. Figuring out how to 'hack' the restrictive formatting by merging cells, using clever alignment, and adding extra columns and rows for margins allowed us to be more creative in a traditionally limiting space. 

 
 
 

 

The WORD TEMPLATES

The Word templates we designed ranged from business materials like flyers, brochures, business cards, and invoices to personal prints like résumés, cards, calendars, and wedding invitations. Word documents are typically printed, so special considerations were made for margins, ink usage, and contrast.

 
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