Albert Shum on Windows Phone 7

Albert Shum

"Counting Down to Seven" badgeWhenever Microsoft needs to make a radical change in the way they do things, they bring in a hip Asian guy. That’s why they’ve got me shaking things up on Microsoft Canada’s Tech Evangelism Team, and it’s also why Albert Shum is redefining the way Microsoft does mobile phones in his role as the Director of Microsoft’s Mobile Experience Design Team. True to my earlier statement that Canadian techies have been punching well above their weight class since Alexander Graham Bell, Albert studied engineering and architecture at the University of Waterloo.

Here’s a video featuring Albert talking about the design philosophies behind the completely reworked from-the-ground-up Windows Phone 7. It’s featured in the Microsoft News Centre article Windows Phone Designer Seeks the Right Balance.

I like what he says at the end of the video:

What will our users see first? I think hopefully they’ll see themselves in the phone. I think that’s a really key part of how we designed it. It’s really focused on making this phone your phone. We took the idea of making it personal, so that when you look at the start experience, it’s about your content. It’s about your people, it’s your pictures, it’s your music, it’s presented way up there.

My phone is going to be different than your phone, and I think that’s a really key part: that personalized way of navigating the thing that you care about, the things that you want to share, the things you want to listen to, and those are the key moments where we first present that it’s your phone.

If you’re thinking up ideas for applications to write for Windows Phone, keep what Albert says in mind: it’s not about feature lists; it’s all about the user and the user experience.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

5 replies on “Albert Shum on Windows Phone 7”

[…] Albert Shum: He’s the Director of Mobile Experience Design for Windows Phone 7. Albert’s from Winnipeg, studied engineering and architecture at University of Waterloo and went on to do design work at Nike before joining Microsoft. You can watch a video showing him talking about the new Windows Phone 7 experience and the thinking behind it in a previous article of mine, Albert Shum on Windows Phone 7. […]

[…] Albert Shum (“That Dude” behind the design of Windows Phone 7), Michael Smuga (Studio Director) and Chad Roberts (UX Design Lead) talk about the “design language” of Windows Phone 7, which comprises its design principles, metaphors, conventions, “look and feel” and target audience as well as how to design apps that have their own identity and still “speak” Windows Phone 7’s design language. […]

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