After the BingBar 7.0, the team wanted me to explore snackable Bing apps for other surfaces. I created several concepts for companion apps for the Windows 7 desktop. The goal of these explorations was to illustrate valuable companion scenarios that would showcase Bing’s rich content. As a Designer II, I was responsible for the concepts, framework design, and visual design.
Concept A - Homepage
The first concept I explored was like the BingBar but instead of living inside the browser I placed the app bar above the Windows desktop taskbar. The DeskBar provided the user glanceable tiles so they could see information they cared about at a glance without launching another app or the browser.
Concept A - Search
Like all Bing apps, search is at the core of the experience. The DeskBar was no exception; it provided a search box for users to perform a quick search from the desktop. Currently, this feature is part of Windows 10 and users can perform queries from the taskbar.
Concept A - News
The DeskBar allowed the user to click on the tiles to expand the bar to see more information. In this example, the user would click on the News title to reveal the top headlines.
Concept A - News Fullscreen
The DeskBar also explored the idea that Bing could render outside the browser and onto a full desktop app. Here the user would maximize the DeskBar into full screen mode displaying a rich magazine like layout with the top headlines.
Concept A - Movies Fullscreen
I did a similar exploration looking at how the same full screen concept could be applied to Bing’s other verticals. In this example, I decided to illustrate Bing’s movie vertical with a gallery of the top movies playing at the theaters.
Concept B
The second DeskBar concept approached the problem from a more minimal UI. Instead of the rich tiles, this exploration utilized icons to provide a widget-like interface on the desktop. The user could still click on any of the icons to expand the application and show more information (Bing News in this example).
Concept C - Home
The third DeskBar concept was a standalone companion app which could be docked to other apps such as Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word. Like Concept A, it used a richer tile-like look and feel to showcase Bing information that could be customized and relevant to the user.
Concept C - Search
The goal for a companion app to Internet Explorer was that the user could search the web and browse sites simultaneously without the need to open two web browsers or tabs. In addition to search results, had social integration and provided results from the user’s Facebook feed.
Concept C - Document
Another interesting companion scenario was with Microsoft Word. Here the user selected a term in a document and the DeskBar automatically performed a search. The search provided web results and images but it also performed a computer search and showed the user documents from their computer matching the term.
Concept C - Me
This version of the DeskBar was also very social and Facebook was integrated seamlessly into the experience. Within the “Me” tab the user could browse their account and activity. They could access their Facebook and Twitter feeds, access recent documents with comments, and see frequently visited and shared sites.
Concept C - Friends
The third tab on the DeskBar was like the “Me” tab but instead of showcasing your activity it focused on people you collaborated with and your friends. In the work setting, it would display the members of your team and allow you to communicate via Facebook, Twitter or Yammer, view their files and access their shared sites.
Concept C - Groups
The last tab on the DeskBar was the groups tab, which allowed the user to group people. Example of groups include: a work group, family, and project or a task like planning a family vacation.
Design contributors: Paul Ray, Gaurang Prajapati
To view my older projects (2005-2009) visit my old site.