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STC 2012 Collaboration in a Decentralized Culture

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STC 2012 Collaboration in a Decentralized Culture

  1. 1. A brief intro….• Started working at Microsoft in 1999 editing instructor-led training and elearning• In 2007, moved to Windows Phone as the lead editor• Defined and implemented the voice for Windows Phone 7 in the user interface and on windowsphone.com• A member of the Microsoft Editorial Board since 2010
  2. 2. Why I’m here today…• Voice• Microsoft’s culture• Collaboration• Communication
  3. 3. Voice
  4. 4. Why is voice important?
  5. 5. Windows voice now……And what customers think of it
  6. 6. Sometimes it’s too techy.Monotone. Mechanical. It’ll give you messages thatRobotic. informative. I don’t know what the heckBrief but that the unfinished frame It’s means. Ben Stein. Bueller. Bueller.It’s like owning a 1990s of a house…it protects Bueller…Honda Civic versus a 2012 you from the rain, it hasThe monotonous professorAudi S4. a door, keeps thingsthat puts you toIt’s useful and it’s powerful. private…but that doesn’tsleep, that’s smart and mean it has paint on the It’s both easy and helpfulIt’s acceptable. It does theknows what you need to walls, or decorations, same and frustrating at the orjob, but there’s nothingknow, or tries to tell you whatever else can make time.flashy about it. with theThat geekneed to know, butwhat you dude something feel morekhakis and the glasses onstill puts you to sleep. homey and make youthe Mac commercial. feel more comfortable.
  7. 7. Old vs newBefore AfterAn unknown error has Something has happenedoccured. and were not sure what. Try again.
  8. 8. The new voice of WindowsWhat customers want….
  9. 9. More natural. More like aperson It’s not humor, per se, it’s just more personalMore like a humancomputer talking to you in avery easy, comfortableway…it’s just easier, morecomfortable. It would be quiet. It would be kind of meek and timid until I had a problem.It’s talking to you like youresomebody
  10. 10. Windows Phone examplesStartup wizard Progress textAll done. Have fun! We’re looking for your settings…and we found them!
  11. 11. Microsoft’s cultureMade up of distinct organizations with their owncultures, processes, and tools
  12. 12. Devs don’t say apps?!!How do you get a huge organization toshift its thinking around voice and thepower of words to affect customers?
  13. 13. Style battlesGreater need to collaborate across thecompany to ensure we’re evolving with theindustry • Email vs. e-mail • Web vs. web • Use of we and contractions • Use of valid, error, and item
  14. 14. Example interludeBefore AfterData failed to load. Unfortunately, we cantPlease try again later. get this info at the moment. Try again later.
  15. 15. Which would you rather read?Before AfterBecause the indicate anequal sign is equality When you enter =text in aused to indicate a comparison cell, Excel interprets it asformula when you operator for a formula and tries totype text or a either text or avalue in a value, type the calculate it. To enter =textcell, Microsoft criteria as a string so Excel doesn’t try toExcel evaluates expression in the calculate it, use thiswhat you type; appropriate cell inhowever, this the criteria range: syntax:may causeunexpected filterresults. To
  16. 16. Friendlier voiceBefore AfterEach time Maps requests your Sharing this information helpslocation, Microsoft will collect us provide and improve yourinformation about your location mapping and local searchto provide and improve location services. We won’t use the infoservices. This information is not to identify or contact you.used to identify or contact you.
  17. 17. Collaboration in design• Within Microsoft, a trend toward more customer- focused design• Design no longer decided solely by engineers, but a collaboration between designers, writers, and engineers
  18. 18. Collaboration in brandingIn parallel, movement in MicrosoftBranding to create a cohesive messageacross all consumer communications
  19. 19. Collaboration in localization• Original guidelines genericized writing for easier translation• Moving to a new voice means making it more personal, but also more difficult to translate
  20. 20. Translating Windows Phone• Writers worked hand-in-hand with the localization team to define the new voice• Implemented best practices, like providing an “alternate loc text,” a more generic version of a string• Translators given more freedom and flexibility to reflect the locale
  21. 21. Microsoft style resourcesContent publishing teams have 3 resources for stylearbitrationMicrosoft Editorial Board Microsoft Manual of Style Community Forum
  22. 22. Microsoft Editorial Board• A group of ~10 writers and editors• Monthly meetings• Owns updates to Microsoft Manual of Style (MMS)• Final decision maker for company-wide style guidelines, communicated through email list
  23. 23. Microsoft Manual of Style
  24. 24. Click or tap? Say or type?• What you see in MMS is the end result of a major coordination between different groups to align on how we (Microsoft) refer to natural user interaction• Effort driven out of the “new” Microsoft technologies, Games, Xbox, Surface, and Phone
  25. 25. Virtual voice team• Representatives from groups implementing new voice meeting regularly to share resources• Creation of a company-wide website that will include examples and resources available to all content publishers• Members of v-team acting as ambassadors and resources to teams who are looking to implement new voice
  26. 26. Questions? Amazon O’Reilly

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