Design Concept

Unfinished Projects

I start a new job tomorrow.

Wow it’s been a fast few years! I’ve worked on a whole bunch of different things—some of which are on this site. Naturally, working on several things at once means that I found it hard to ever truly finish a project.

That’s where this blog post comes in. Here is a collection of designs since about mid-2018 that I created, but never turned into a fully-featured project.

This stuff is probably more appropriate on my Dribbble, but I didn’t want to spam the feed there.

2019: Modern

Modern was supposed to have been published this summer, but I ended up being too busy to finish it.

Modern was an evolved version of the Cortana OS design, while also drawing on elements from Fluid Desktop. It uses a new design language that is a mixture of Windows desktop and Microsoft Fabric web—it’s called “Fluid Desktop Design System”.

FXShell StartControlCenter PR

The desktop design draws from speculations about the desktop experience in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Core OS (thanks Zac for the amazing sum-up of WCOS here), while also including elements from other lightweight operating systems—most notably Chrome OS for the control center.

Search is driven by Bing and Microsoft 365. Apps themselves contain a consistent search box either in the titlebar or in the app toolbar and this search experience provides rich contextual results.

FXShell StoreBG HomeSearch PR

Cortana is relocated to the system tray, as in Fluid Desktop:

FXCortana EdgeHighlight PR

New system tray flyouts have been created, while existing ones have been redesigned:

FXM365 WordExplorer YPFDragPhoto PR FXShell InkCenter PR

There is a separate Start layout when “Work Mode” (a hypothetical feature that is designed to help separate the user’s personal and work content/apps) is activated on the user’s device:

FXShell M365EX Start

2019: xCloud app

A redesign of the Xbox app to support xCloud. Only two shots were produced.

XA Cloud1 XA Cloud2

2019: Windows Mail

A redesign of the inbox Mail app on Windows 10 to more closely match (while also adding feature parity).

M365 MailLight M365 MailDark

2019: Cortana OS

I took several stabs at creating a modern desktop UX driven by intelligence that’s also simple and clean.

The initial idea was dubbed Cortana OS and I wrote a few words about it.

Cortana OS did have a desktop mode, but it was never completed:

CXShell StartEdgeTwitter

Cortana OS tablet mode notifications looked like this:

CXShell NotifPop CXShell NotifPull

2019: Windows Maps

A brief experiment with redesigning the inbox Maps app on Windows 10. It draws inspriation from both Google and Apple Maps.

WA Maps

2019: Windows OOBE transfer assistant

Inspired by some of the backup/restore features in iOS and macOS, I extended my original [out of box experience]({{ref “projects/oobe” >}}) design to incorporate a “quick setup” mode and content transfer.

WA OOBE2 Notif WA OOBE2 How WA OOBE2 SelectPC WA OOBE2 SelectContent WA OOBE2 Transferring

2018: Windows boot options

The boot options in Windows haven’t been refreshed since 2012. This was an exploration of how they could look if they were updated with a more modern design.

WB OSList WB BootOpt WB RE

The error screens were given a more extensive redesign, with the error code being overlaid in the bottom-left corner in large semi-transluent type:

WB Err1 WB Err2 WB Err3 WB Err4

2018: Microsoft Store product pages

Adding some personality to device pages in the Microsoft Store. I used the recently (at the time) annouced set of 2018 Surface devices. Surface Studio 2:

WA Store Studio

and Surface Laptop 2:

WA Store Laptop

2018: Microsoft Store on Xbox One

I believe I made this shortly after the rollout of the “web” store experience on Xbox. It features a design similar to previous Microsoft Store mockups I’ve produced, as well as a new style for the app context menu.

XA Store2 XA Store1

2018: Xbox OneGuide

Continuing with the Xbox mockups, I made one of what OneGuide could look like with Fluent Design:

XA OneGuide

2018: Feedback Hub on the web

Lots of people have been asking for a web-based version of Microsoft’s Feedback Hub app (even if to just view feedback). This is the second of two designs I made:

WW Feedback

2018: MSConfig

A new version of the msconfig utility, mainly created with the intent of updating the design to be a bit more modern.


2018: Microsoft Photos (website)

A single shot that was meant to evolve into a full exploration of how Microsoft could evolve their OneDrive photo backup solution into a more fully-featured photo browsing/curation product.

WW Photos