I love design. I love design that’s backed by data even more. I find myself constantly interacting with various analytics products, and over the years have come to some firm beliefs and expectations, which many of the analytics products lack. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to put some of my thinking to use in a real life situation, so to speak.
Xamarin's and my story date all the way back to 2012, when I was considering coming on board as a first full-time designer to essentially lay out company's future brand. However stars didn't align and I had to pass up the opportunity.
What I did end up keeping were the connections. (Never 'burn bridges' in general, especially in the Bay.)
The moment I stepped into the tight, three story Pacific Ave office, I instantly got along with Xamarin's crew. At the time, two people could probably count all of the employees on their four hands. Being surrounded by an agency environment for the majority of my career, I felt right at home.
…By the end of our first meeting, Nat, one of the founding partners and company's CEO at the time (last I heard he was CEO of GitHub; VP, Developer Services, Microsoft) and I had already begun discussing our first flight together, since it ended up being that we're both aviation fanatics.
But the particular connection I'm talking about was established with a different person – one of the developers, who later turned out to be an eccentric, cold-water-plunging (amongst other things), generalist-designer extraordinaire – and the person who invited me there in the first place.
David Siegel at the time was leading all of the design efforts and needed to re-focus his attention on more pressing tasks of the moment. Which is how the role was created. The rest, as they say is history.
Fast forward four years.
Towards the end of 2016 – and, I should note, thanks to poor design, sub-par development, and run-of-the-mill marketing efforts on their Windows Phone platform – Microsoft was re-entering the mobile market in an unusual way via several key acquisitions. Perhaps the most notable company-wide mental shift came along with the acquisition of a fairly small startup from San Francisco, by the name Xamarin.
I was asked by team Xamarin to re-imagine how users interact with mobile analytics, and to help them with the integration of these ideas into the existing design framework for the Microsoft Visual Studio’s (Mobile Center) 30M+ user base. Take a look by setting up a free account at visualstudio.com/vs/mobile-center.
• Challenged common design thinking when it comes to analytics and data.
• Re-imagined approach to understanding/analyzing data for a more engaging experience.
• Simplified workflows and interactions.
• Worked around, and integrated my designs into an existing front-end system.
• Collaborated with a small team of some of the most prominent designers who are currently ‘redesigning/redefining Microsoft’ as a whole.
I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments!