Microsoft Developer Division
User Experience Researcher
Meet the Team (Channel 9)
the wall is showcased starting at 7:30
The Code Name "Acropolis" Project aimed to create an intuitive framework for building modular line of business applications. There were many needs that converged around the time that Acropolis was under development, including the need to streamline the development of WPF apps.
My role on the Acropolis project was to collect user feedback on the framework. I also worked with two designers on the development of Acropolis UI themes, and understanding how developers design their applications quickly became a strong interest.
A Theme Suitable for WPF
The challenge in developing a default theme for Acropolis was to take advantage of the capabilities of WPF in a noticeable way while still keeping the theme neutral enough to be a legitimate default.
The result is shown on the left. Subtle gradients were used on clickable elements, as well as on the background. Additionally, a background texture was created entirely in XAML.
The Acropolis Wall
During the Meet the Team segment, I got to speak briefly about the Acropolis Wall. This was a terrific way for my Ux colleagues and I to rally the Acropolis team around a cohesive vision.
The wall itself was 12' by 6', and we put it up in the middle of a high-traffic hallway that all team members walked through many times a day. We then encouraged the team to annotate the contents of the wall (sketches, prototypes, research findings, etc) with sticky notes, giving everyone a voice in deciding the Acropolis vision.
The wall was an amazing tool for rallying people around a common vision. Not only did it work for the Acropolis team, but it gave the product great visibility to neighboring teams as well!