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Modern, Beautiful Visio

Project Lead, 2010-2012, Team of 4

Modern Visio UI.png

Visio 2013

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

Gorgeous Diagrams

Visio's shapes were stylistically outdated and very difficult to format.  This resulted in poor-looking diagrams.

Updated shape library

  • Gave shapes an updated, modern style

  • Designed and applied framework for shapes to accept automated, theme-based formatting

  • Managed vendors for design and development

First rate styling UI and themes

  • Dramatically extended formatting and theming capabilities to be in-line with Office

  • Created 30 in-box themes\style sets, to allow easy and attractive formatting by end users

visio pre theming.png
Visio theming 8
Visio theming 7
Visio theming 5
Visio theming 6
Visio shapes theme4
Visio shapes theme2
Visio shapes theme3
Visio shapes theme1
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