Good news: Design finally has a seat at the table. Bad news: There is no table-it’s more likely a stand up desk or a bar at a coffee shop, and that seat for design is constantly evolving.

Mashup by Shusaku Takaoka

If you caught any part of F8, Build, Google.io, or #WWDC18, you no doubt saw some thought provoking demos. While these spring happenings are primarily for developers and the tech press, designers and fans also follow along. That’s because Design is baked into most of these demos; it demystifies the underlying tech and connects with audiences through an engaging story.


A designer’s guide to the Fluent Design process and co-creation one year after its introduction

The Fluent Design System launched one year ago at Build. Joey Pitt, a Principle Design Lead on the Fluent team, shared his inside perspective on how the system works, how it is evolving, and how to get involved. Here are excerpts from our conversation.

Release Waves

DB: We’re coming up on a Fluent birthday


Microsoft Design looks back on their top 5 stories of 2017

Our second most popular story “From 3D to 2D and back again.”

Microsoft Design’s Medium Publication launched quietly at the end of 2016. Now, after one year on Medium, here are a few of our most read stories.

Fun fact: There are over 1,000 designers at Microsoft.

I had the privilege to work with a few of them in Tokyo, NYC, and Vancouver BC, as well as virtually in London, Berlin, and Hyderabad. I even travelled from Redmond HQ to Bellevue and Seattle a few times.


From student to professional to co-chair, one designer’s journey towards giving back to IxDA

Co-chairing 2018’s Student Design Challenge are Ahmed Riaz and Ana Domb. Ahmed (or Riaz, as he’s known to colleagues) reflects on how the IxDA student competition changed the trajectory of his career.

Career arc of a designer. Illustration courtesy of RIAZ.

David Betz: You won the first IxDA Student Design Challenge. What was that like?

AHMED RIAZ: My experience was really interesting. I really wanted to work in the UX industry, and I wasn’t feeling especially challenged in my current role. My vision was to get into a place like Frog or IDEO or one of the bigger consultancies. Incidentally, I had applied to both—and been rejected.


Inside Seattle CreativeMornings with Microsoft Design’s David Conrad

After a recent CreativeMornings event I met David Conrad who has organized CreativeMornings in Seattle since the chapter launched in 2011. We caught up later in Building 17 on the Microsoft campus where he leads a UX design team. These are edited excerpts from our conversation.

David Conrad at the Microsoft campus, September, 2017. Photo by Nitish Kumar Meena

David Betz: How did you first get involved in CreativeMornings?


Microsoft Design’s Steve Kaneko on revolutions, Mars shots, flow state, and ZUI

Steve Kaneko on Microsoft Campus, April, 2017

After arriving at the University of Washington with math and drafting skills, an affinity for art, and an intention to study architecture, Steve Kaneko pivoted into industrial design on this tip from a friend. “It’s like architecture, but you’re doing architecture for a product.” 25+ years later, Steve has become what some regard as the spiritual leader of Microsoft Design. “That’s probably because I’ve been here so long,” is Steve’s modest response.

Design’s role in the revolution

David Betz: We’re entering what’s been called The Fourth Industrial Revolution


A new media playbook for art and design schools

There’s a fine line between an “aha” moment and an “oh sh*t” moment

The countdown to the exhibition opening had started. The last-minute venue change faded into the realm of “so 48 hours ago.” Jeff Brice, the chair of design at Cornish College of the Arts, was currently in triage mode over new tables.


An Open Letter to VW

Dear VW,

David Betz

Brand & Creative Services, Fenwick & West. Formerly Medium Editor, Microsoft Design | VP of Storytelling, UP Global (techstars). Views are my own.

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