Microsoft Office Live Workspace

User Experience Design / Interaction Design / Information Architecture
for Office Live Workspace with Microsoft Corporation, Seattle, WA, 2006-2007


Workspace is the first version collaboration web service at Microsoft Office Live. The product was launched in November 2009. In a world of email overload, Workspace aims to replace collaborating on files via email, which often results in many document versions needing to be found and pulled together. The service enables people to get their work done, to share and collaborate with others. Office Live Workspace is an exciting new direction for Microsoft.

"The easy-to-use online companion to Microsoft Office which enables Office users to do their 'work' anywhere and safely share and collaborate so that they can be organized."


At Office Live Workspace Ulrike has been responsible for the end-to-end product design, including all aspects of user interface, interaction design, and cross service integration to ensure consistent user experience across Microsoft services.

The product started with a vision prototype created by Ulrike in collaboration with a Group Program Manager. The prototype served as a foundation for team building and during early product development. Ulrike was responsible for storyboarding, user flows, architecture, and wireframes. She worked together with Program Managers on individual features, while being accountable for consistency across features. Ulrike explored user flows and storyboards, which resulted in multiple low and high fidelity prototypes, tested in the usability lab. Ulrike worked with a visual designer to define look and branding of the service.

The development of Office Live Workspace involved close collaboration across multiple Microsoft products, because the product bridges the software and services world.

Early concepts and explorations

Later in the process the Office Live User Experience team used qualitative and quantitative research to understand communication and collaboration between people. Based on the research, Ulrike and the team developed persona and scenarios as a direction for future product planning.

It was an exciting experience to work with a newly formed team on a first version product. Workspace started with a vision heavily influenced by Ulrike's research and prototyping. This early influence allowed her to educate traditional engineering disciplines about user experience practices.


Office Live Workspace has gotten a lot of attention in articles, reviews, and blogs all over the world (NYT 10/01/07 Microsoft Launches New Live Services, NYT 10/25/07 Microsoft Earnings Send Stock Soaring). Within Microsoft, the tangible design vision raised awareness for the value user experience can bring to the development process. Learn more about Office Live Workspace

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