March 10, 2004 .net

Interview: Longhorn User Experience Gurus, part 2

Paul Thurrott finishes his 2-part series of interviews of Hillel Cooperman and Tjeerd Hoek, Longhorn User Experience mavens. The interview covers just how hard it is to make an entire OS usable and just how much work MS does to get it right.

However, one thing that Hillel said struck me particularly as someone fairly new to working at MS:

Actually, that was the shocking thing about coming here: The problems weren’t simple. The number of people that I met who were humble, that cared deeply and passionately about making the user experience better for customers and weren’t just saying, Hey, here’s a new API’–not that I don’t love a new API–was surprising. These people were really deeply concerned about how they could make customers’ lives better and had thought a lot about this, way more than I had. I was blown away. I just couldn’t believe it.”

That’s exactly how I felt coming to MS. We have a PR problem, but we definately do not have a care-about-the-customer problem.