During 2019 summer, I had the opportunity to work with Microsoft as an UX Designer on the Cortana AI Assistant team. Throughout the three months I was there, I created a new direction for the product through collaboration with Microsoft Teams design team and our Cortana design team (designers, developers, and project managers).
Due to the non-disclosure agreement, I can't show design assets about this project, but I'll explain the project introduction, timeline, key challenges, and takeaways here. If you're interested in knowing more about the process or outcome, please feel free to reach out!
Digital assistants have become increasingly intelligent, useful, and pervasive in the past couple of years. Cortana is uniquely positioned in this highly-competitive space with the ability to understand our user’s personal and professional life. I was given the challenge to explore new opportunities and solve a real user problem with and for Cortana AI assistant.
Timeframe: 10-11 weeks
1. Pinpoint user challenges in an extremely ambiguous space
2. Scope and scale directions for mid to long term (3 years forward)
3. Leverage existing technology and Iterate design constantly
4. Communicate between researchers, designers, product owners and stakeholders
5. Establish high-level goals(desired direction) vs. low-bearing fruits(design assets/system)
Takeaways and Reflection
1. Communication between stakeholders is a crucial component to success.
2. Ambiguity is the biggest difficulty of designing for/with a digital assistant which requires designers to constantly ask questions, set parameters and constraints for ourselves.
3. Inclusive Design should mean "inclusive for all". As we design for an inclusive experience, we should consider the ecosystem and all stakeholders instead of only people with needs.
Finally, we work hard and play hard at Microsoft!