With the new generation of Microsoft's operating system — Windows 11— came an updated design of Office apps, more focused on the essentials and material-oriented.
To tell more about the next chapter of Office, the design team at Microsoft came up with an idea for a short film and reached out to us to collaborate on it.
The client had a set of features that they wanted to showcase in the film.
The first group of characteristics was all about visual updates in the apps.
Interfaces became simpler and turned into one seamless canvas, the corners of windows and buttons rounded, and the dark theme was added to match with the mode of the operating system.
In the film, we celebrated this changes in UI through the design 'on the outside' and 'on the inside'.
Moving between interior, external reality, and interface existing inside the computer, we observed the transformation of shapes in physical and digital objects united in elegant synchronized movement.
Passing the impulse between one another, forms exist in a continuous exchange, eventually becoming an aligned and ordered structure.
The outside and the inside were also linked by the light: the illumination of the room affects the interface mode and creates a hypnotizing play of rays and shadows.
Another important feature was a new material of the interface called mica. Translucent and adaptive, it takes slight hints of color from the background.
In the film, we see mica as a part of the interior, in partitions and material samples on the table, and as a part of the interface, highlighted by transparent layers of glass and liquids.
The third aspect of Office apps that we highlighted in our film is cooperative work.
Appearing icons, cursors, and comments show how users can join in one document, gradually building it and finalizing.
Having themes and Office brand colors as our starting points, we began developing a story and a style that would be the best fit for the UX film.
Experimenting with materials, light, and forms, we searched for visual features that could connect different aspects of the update into a single narrative about transformation.
Creative and Art Direction:
Maxim Zhestkov, Igor Sordokhonov, Dmitry Ponomarev
Dmitriy Ponomarev, Phil Bonum, Sergey Shurupov, Denis Semenov, Tatyana Balyberdina, Alexey Schipachev, Roman Kuzminykh, Valery Polehenky, Roman Kotov, Ilya Dozhdikov, Arthur Gadzhiev