Office 365 redesign rolls-out today, as Microsoft tries to outdo rival Google

Mail Online | 6/13/2018 | Aaron Brown For Mailonline
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Microsoft Word has been given a makeover, with a focus on simplicity.

The new look ditches most of the icons in the banner at the top of the app, reducing three-lines of shortcuts down to a single row of the most commonly used features.

Microsoft - Icons - Sharper - Style - Visibility

Microsoft has redesigned each of the remaining icons with a new sharper, high-contrast style that it says will improve visibility for users.

The simplified design is now available to Office 365 subscribers worldwide.

Microsoft - Update - Outlook - AI - Search

Microsoft has also unveiled a similar update for Outlook featuring an AI search feature.

However, the company says it will hold off redesigning the remaining apps in its productivity suite, including Powerpoint and Excel, until it hears back from customers on the new look.

Redesign - Google - Client - Gmail - Year

The redesign comes as Google overhauled its email client, Gmail, earlier this year to better compete with Office 365.

Microsoft says the new Word design will help users 'focus on their work'.

Look - Simplified - Ribbon - Rows - Icon

The new look, dubbed Simplified Ribbon, strips back the rows of icon and shortcuts that populated the toolbar at the top of the app in previous versions to a single row.

However, Microsoft says users are able to revert back to the old design by toggling the Simplified Ribbon switch in the top right-hand corner of the window.

Recognise - Skills - Routines - Way - Someone

'We recognise that established skills and routines are powerful - and that the way someone uses the apps often depends on specific parts of the user interface. So we want to give users control, allowing them to toggle significant changes on and off,' Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the redesign.

Each of the remaining icons in the toolbar have been redesigned from the ground-up with an emphasis on high-contrast to help those with low visibility.

Icons - 'crisp - Lines - Variety - Display

The icons have also been designed to render with 'crisp, clean lines' on a variety of different display sizes, so the...
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