Modern, Beautiful Visio

Project Lead, 2010-2012, Team of 4

Goals

Visio is a diagramming and drawing application that is part of the Microsoft Office suite of products.

Visio facilitates the creation of a huge variety of diagram types, including flowcharts, organizational charts, network diagrams, timelines, office plans, mind maps and UML.  Its use cases range from sketching and brainstorming to presentation-ready diagrams to precision engineering diagrams.

Visio was primarily used for high-end tasks, like complex engineering diagrams.  We wanted to broaden its usage by making it more appealing to normal information workers performing routine illustrative and visualization tasks.

I was the lead for a design and production team of 4, as well as the manager for a shape art vendor and two shape development contractors.

  • Change app personality from a precision diagramming tool to a less intimidating, more free-form tool

  • Dramatically improve the aesthetics of the diagrams produced in Visio

  • Restructure the command space to improve new user understanding

  • Build the collaboration features modern users expect in a business tool