A Recipe for Success: To support their annual Giving Campaign, Microsoft wanted to do something special this year that would really elicit participation from their employees. They came up with the idea to create an online collaborative cookbook that could then be purchased to raise funds for their beneficiary, FareStart. In working with Microsoft on this project, we wanted to be sure that their expectations for ending up with a clean, user-friendly and dynamic experience were met. We also wanted to be sure that this busy, tech-savvy community could have the ability to control the space to meet their individual needs. With functionality taken care of, it was time for some fun so we made sure to incorporate some really cool tactile elements for an immersive experience, because sharing recipes should be just as enjoyable as sharing the results.
Pleasing Many Palates: Working closely with the client, we were able to create a UI that had the look and feel of the new Windows 8 OS, including some awesome new touchscreen features, and the fluidity of HTML5. The idea was to create something that was interactive yet simple to use. Microsoft employees from all over the world contribute to the cookbook, so an interface that can engage across cultures was imperative. We wanted to give the front-end a very sleek, metropolitan look while being fun and vibrant like a night out in the city.
The Proof Is In the Pudding: By utilizing advanced tools which facilitate a great deal of scalability, we were able to generate a site that engaged seamlessly with the powerful back-end structure that Microsoft created using Azure. We used HTML5 data attributes in our custom grid control which allowed for dynamic loading of search results and the association of rows with recipe IDs. This project had some special components, including the need for a secure login using Microsoft employee credentials that tied to their community profile. The site also boasts a great deal of added value for the contributors, like features to monitor your own recipe’s social-sharing history, and live feeds to stay on top of the latest enticing entries. Finally, we spiced up the whole feature-rich application with an engaging badge system, rating tools, push-button social sharing and more.