Microsoft needed to provide internal and external development teams with interface guidelines for Windows Live, which is a critical tool in achieving a consistent and coherent interface.
Guillen partnered with Microsoft’s CDC to re-architect the guidelines, add content and develop an appealing interface. Guidelines, an important part of UI development, explain basic principles as well as give detailed instructions. Interfaces like Windows Live are complex and have many parts so it is important for a developer to understand how they relate to each other in order to create a consistent user experience.
Navigating guidelines is usually time consuming and not necessarily clear. Microsoft’s guidelines will be used by developers, designers, writers and outside vendors. The challenge was that each user needed to easily and quickly find and understand the content relative to their work without having to read the entire document.
To address the challenge, Guillen decided to put the main UI frame on the front page of the guidelines to help users understand how the different elements connect with each other and to identify their internal names. A user could click on an element and go directly to the correct specifications. Here he would find instructions as well as sample files and could download and work right into the pre-prepared file to save development time.