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It does seem like we've been featuring a lot of material on Microsoft interns lately, but this one is a little different. Hope you'll agree and enjoy one last post in the series.
Kris Jordan recently interned with the Microsoft Visual Studio team. Like many technical and enthusiastic students, he runs a personal blog where he reports on his own experiences and things that get his attention. Recently he wrote a entry on prototyping software user interface and user experiences with PowerPoint. This was accompanied by a video example of his techniques and advice. The video is embedded here as well, just to the right.
It's really exciting to see people notice this outside of the PowerPoint and Office team. We've been using PowerPoint like this for years now, but you'd expect it of us! Having others expand their use of PowerPoint this way is really exciting. It particularly fun to watch him smoothly and quickly do the prototype in the video. Way to go Kris!
The first formal use of PowerPoint for user interface planning happened back in the mid-90's when program managers Howard Cooperstein and Peter Wu were working on the interface to a shared graphics editing experience across Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the new shared graphics engine now known as Office Art. Even then, drawing in PowerPoint was a fast and efficient method for quickly prototyping and communicating software user interface designs.
Since then, PowerPoint prototypes have become a standard within Microsoft. The interactivity that Kris writes about and shows in the video is a great way of going beyond "paper prototypes" as it lets you put a novice in front of the computer to "try out" software that hasn't actually been written yet; a practice that helps avoid design mistakes and saves development time and money!
From what we hear the Visual Studios team was very happy to have had Kris join them this summer, and the PowerPoint team congratulates him on his enthusiasm and technique!
Make sure to check out Kris Jordan's blog.
Ric Bretschneider 9-14-2008