Barbara Christine

Experience Designer


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Visual SimplicityBecause less is more
The Projects
The Details

THE STORY: So you have this computer problem you need to solve NOW...turn to the community for the answer!

MY ROLE: Acting as both ux designer and ux program manager:

  • We gave the Microsoft Answers community based forums site a total makeover from front end to back end.
  • For our casual visitors, we vastly simplified the visual design, making it easier to quickly find an answer or ask a question.
  • For our power users, we revamped the workflows for answering questions and moderating the site, thus building a healthy community.
  • For everyone, we reworked the reputation system to reward quality (not quantity) of answers.

SAMPLES:   Answers Overview ▼   |  Answers Iterative Design

THE SUBPLOT: A Passion Play - Scenario Focused Engineering

MY ROLE: Evangelist for Scenario Focused Engineering - a new process that Microsoft has introduced that places customer scenarios at the center of all feature development.

• Facilitated a two-day workshop on Scenario Focused Engineering, where I led a cross-functional group of 60 people through the process of analyzing customer research data, writing scenarios, brainstorming solutions to problems, and producing low fidelity mock-ups in the form of storyboards and paper prototypes.

• Led various groups within our organization through brainstorming sessions.

• This was a side project that I took on because I feel so strongly about the customer focus of this process, as well as the cross-functional collaboration that is at its core.

THE STORY: Beginning at the concept phase, design a totally new support offering — a dashboard for IT Pros that harnesses the collected knowledge of Microsoft's support ecosystem and also serves all their troubleshooting needs.

MY ROLE: Working with a ux program manager:

  • We first observed focus groups and conducted interviews with IT Pros to gain an understanding of what our customer desired for this product. Equally as important, we learned what our customer did NOT want.
  • Next, we brainstormed basic level scenarios and workflows, including edge cases to ensure that the design would accommodate most circumstances.
  • We then defined the visual style and interaction design, building both static and interactive prototypes for use in usablity studies.
  • Currently, we are in the test, iterate, test, iterate cycle.
  • During the design phase, we also considered the entire Microsoft support ecosystem to ensure consistency between all support elements as we move towards a comprehensive revision of
  • I also oversaw the work of UX vendors and contract professionals.

SAMPLES: Available upon request

THE STORY: That magic button that everyone is looking for to fix their computer problems? Our team made it.

MY ROLE: Using the agile methodology and working with a team of program managers, ux researchers, developers and testers:

  • Led the interaction design for Microsoft's suite of automatic diagnose and fix solutions (Microsoft Fix it®). This included workflows and prototypes used for ux studies.
  • Successfully designed the Fix it brand around the emotional design goals of approachable, memorable, and instantly recognizable (verified via usability studies with consumers). Consistently applied the Fix it brand acrosss multiple types of applications (client, wizard screens, web pages).
  • So easy and intuitive even a four year old can use it!

SAMPLES:   YouTube video  ▼   |  Screenshots   |  Flash prototype

THE STORY: For this project, we were tasked with reducing the number of misdirected calls to customer service, as well as deflecting calls that involve simple, easy to answer questions.

MY ROLE: Working with a development team:

  • Designed a customer service 'selector' page, as well as Customer Service Solution Centers that successfully routed 22% of visitors to the correct pages.
  • Documented workflows with wireframes and Visio diagrams.
  • Working with a third party, created the visual look and interaction design for a natural language 'Automated Customer Service Agent' which achieved a 50% successful answer rate within the first few months of its launch. After the original company disbanded, Microsoft took over development of this support asset. I revised the original design after conducting a competitive analysis of other virtual chat agents.

SAMPLES:   Screenshots  ▼   |  Workflows   |  Wireframes   |  Competitive Analysis

THE STORY: As Coinstar expanded their product offerings, they decided it was time for some user experience help.

MY ROLE: Using the waterfall methodology:

  • Directed the user experience efforts of all Coinstar kiosk products. Managed the UI portion of project releases, leading teams consisting of product managers, developers, and designers.
  • Documented work flows via Visio diagrams, wire frames, Excel spreadsheets, and storyboards.
  • Introduced usability studies to Coinstar. Wrote test scripts and conducted studies at various stages in the design cycle, using both highly interactive Flash prototypes as well as low fidelity paper prototypes.

SAMPLES:   Flash prototype  ▼   |  Workflows   |  Wireframes   |  UX Spec   |  Storyboard

THE STORY:, which set the marker for a great user experience among airline sites, is never content to stand still and constantly adds features to their site.

MY ROLE: Using the Agile SDLC:

  • Designed the user interface for various enhancements to the public and business websites, as well as to the airport check-in kiosks.
  • Wrote test scripts and conducted usability tests at various stages in the design cycle.
  • Created static prototypes in Photoshop, then converted them to working prototypes in HTML and ASP.
  • Worked with teams consisting of project managers, product managers, business analysts, and developers. Participated throughout the entire project life cycle, from use case development to product launch.
  • Collaborated with fellow Interaction Designers on a weekly basis to ensure UI consistency throughout the site.

SAMPLES:   Screenshots  ▼

THE STORY: Build an intranet site and they will come.

MY ROLE: Acting on my own:

  • Transformed a static company intranet site into a database-driven dynamic site that is still viewed as an essential company communication tool. Designed the site according to company branding standards, developed the SQL database back-end, hand-coded the pages using HTML, CSS, ASP, VBScript, and JavaScript. Collaborated with team members from Human Resources and Marketing to determine the content for the site. Served as web content writer, editor and photographer.
  • Acted as my operating company's representative in an SMS-wide initiative to consolidate common intranet content across the six operating companies that comprise Siemens Medical Solutions, Inc. Participated in weekly teleconference planning sessions. Prototyped the design and user interface that ultimately were chosen for the intranet site used by all the operating companies.

SAMPLES:   Screenshots  ▼