Initial sketches.
More sketches.
Product screen wireframe.
Company screen wireframe.
QuickView process design.
Product screen design.

The Microsoft Developer & Platform Evangelism (DP&E) group built Spinnaker as a tool to manage its relationships with ISVs and track the adoption of Microsoft technologies. Spinnaker was used to capture and report thousands of data points about Microsoft’s partners.


Pencil and Paper / Illustrator / Expression Blend


The first version of Spinnaker grew organically with features being added as needed without any consideration for usability or design. With the next iteration, DP&E brought me in to redesign the application around the existing feature set (plus a few new features) with an emphasis on improving the user experience.

The DP&E team had, in effect, already done a great deal of research into the problems the users were having with the tool simply by dealing with support calls as well as working closely with users on a daily basis. Many of the new features were added in direct response to users’ challenges and what users wanted to accomplish. I met with some of the users to further discuss their needs.

The new version of Spinnaker was to be built using WPF and would borrow heavily from the ribbon that had been added to Office 2010. Using that information, I started sketching ideas and researching applications that had solved challenges similar to what I was facing. Once my ideas were put into wireframe form I refined iterations with the DP&E team until we were happy with the final solution.

To keep the visual experience congruent with the rest of the Office, suite I borrowed design cues from Word, OneNote and even Visual Studio as I created the skin for the wireframes. The process resulted in an interface that felt familiar to the users while providing access to the information they needed.