Microsoft’s future Office UI looks amazing

Claudiu Andone
by Claudiu Andone
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  • The concept of Microsoft's Fluent Design goes way back to 2017 when it took over from Project NEON and since then it improved the design of many apps including Office.
  • Microsoft 365 UX changes imply fading the brand colors from the app headers and also experimenting with a new concept called adaptive commanding.
  • IF you need more information about Microsoft 365, take a look at our Microsoft 365 section for plenty of articles.
  • Have you checked the latest stories from the Windows universe? You can find them in our News Hub.
Microsoft's new Office user interface

Microsoft has provided more than a glimpse of how its Office UI and design will look like in the future on a Medium post by Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft.

The concept of Microsoft’s Fluent Design goes way back to 2017 when it took over from Project NEON and since then it improved the design of many apps including Office.

They have been adding new icons and a dark mode. The focus on simplicity is there given when it comes to the new awesome looking Start menu.

Simplicity is also the approach for the next Office UI presented by Jon Fridman:

New generations’ embrace of mobile devices for their ease, simplicity, and joy has inspired us to create cross-platform Microsoft 365 experiences that scale gracefully and feel natural to whatever device you choose.

What’s new with the next Office 365 user interface?

Microsoft 365 future excel design

Microsoft 365 UX changes imply fading the brand colors from the app headers and also experimenting with a new concept called adaptive commanding.

This will allow you to move a simplified toolbar (describes also as a flexible ribbon) around the screen and reveal commands progressively as it moves.

There will also be an ever further change in a centralized Search that will benefit from Fluid Frameworks technology

Another change is a simple app icon placed at the top of apps to show you which Office app is active.

Microsoft 365 future family UI

Friedman also mentions strong AI involvement:

AI also proactively assists you within individual app experiences. Excel will catch errors as you write formulas. It can also collect existing errors and store them in an easy-to-find place so you can correct them when you’re ready.

In Planner, we’re exploring how AI can auto-suggest end dates for tasks based on their descriptions, which is akin to how Forms currently leverages AI to auto-populate questions based on the title you entered.

When is the new Office UI coming?

There is no clear timeline for the UI changes, but Friedman provides some vague hope:

While some of these changes will roll out within a year or two, others are still very much exploratory.

In other words, some of these design and UI changes might never see the light of our monitors.