Note-taking made easier for everyone—redesigning OneNote

Today, we are excited to announce that we updated the design of OneNote for Windows 10, Mac, iOS, Android and OneNote Online. These design features, rolling out over the coming weeks, include three key areas of focus:

  • Enhancing usability for those who use assistive technologies.
  • Simplifying navigation controls.
  • Creating consistency across devices.

View this video with audio descriptions here.

Enhanced usability for all

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “We will focus on designing and building products that our customers love and that are accessible to everyone and built for each of us.” In this update, we focused on making OneNote more usable for those with disabilities—such as vision and mobility impairments. We interviewed hundreds of people and analyzed product telemetry to understand how to improve keyboard shortcuts and the screen reader experience. We’re excited to share a vastly improved user experience in these two areas.

Now you can more easily use OneNote with keyboard shortcuts.

Simplified navigation

We worked with users to learn how we could improve the navigation layout—especially for larger notebooks with more sections. Now, the navigation controls are all in one area on the left-hand side of the app. This allows users to easily switch between their notes and dramatically improves usability with assistive technologies. With the new consolidated and simplified design, screen readers can easily navigate through the app to help those with disabilities. In addition, content is front and center—helping students to focus and avoid distractions.

Screenshot of OneNote’s new design showing the navigation all on the left hand side. The columns are labeled from left to right: Notebooks, Sections, Pages.

Consistency across devices

Today, OneNote users often use a range of devices. Having a cohesive user experience across all screens makes it simple for users to jump from one device to the next. With this update, regardless of what device someone is using, the experience will be the same—allowing users to capture thoughts, jot down notes and get things done more quickly. This update is also exciting for schools, where device variety is increasingly common. Students will now be able to easily transition between their home and school devices, keeping them focused on their school work. Steve Sawczyn, a OneNote user with visual impairments emphasized the benefits, “I love that between devices it just works, so I can focus on taking notes and not logistics. This is truly awesome and empowering.”

Image of OneNote across three different devices: Computer, tablet and phone. Screen shows that OneNote is a consistent experience and available across multiple devices.

OneNote is available with a consistent experience across devices.

The new redesign for OneNote is rolling out for Windows 10, Mac, iOS, Android and OneNote Online over the coming weeks. Check out our help article for support and to learn more about the specifics of OneNote’s update.

To get OneNote for free, leave a suggestion or ask for help, follow these links:

—March Rogers, OneNote director of design