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Microsoft B2B Site Case Study (08 Sep 2004)
One of the really exciting challenges of Advisorís development was the need to create a user interface that would provide customers with all the services (applications) and content they would need in a single, cohesive and usable environment and to create a compelling online customer experience that was a pleasure to use. In short, the interface needed to enable, not hinder.

Many of the UI components were already defined for us through Microsoft Network Project, an XML-based presentation framework used on Microsoft.com. MNP aims to provide consistent experience by defining standard design and presentation elements across our sites through a common, managed code base.

Leveraging MNP meant we could focus on the development of the Advisor experience and avoid reinventing wheels.

Key to the success of the UI design process was the investment made in usability testing. We partnered with a usability specialist agency (Bunnyfoot) to conduct two testing sessions with the target audience.

In the first session we provided screenshots and label names for navigation. The design team gained valuable feedback, especially around label naming and IA. At this stage, the issue of terminology was raised and addressed. 'Microsoftisms,' terms that were unlikely to mean anything to anyone except those working at Microsoft (like 'integrated collaboration' and 'close the delta') were dropped for plain English.
Article URL: http://www.digital-web.com/articles/microsoft_b2b/

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