Word on Tablets

Natural interactions for writing and editing with Microsoft Word on tablets. We designed the experience for inserting, selecting, and editing text.

The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, has a 16:9 aspect ratio which causes the on-screen keyboard to cover over 50% of the screen. We created a keyboard lock that gives users back their screens when they don’t need it.

We relied heavily on usability studies to ensure that we weren’t distracting people from their primary goal - writing and editing. The results were also used to redesign the on-screen keyboard. Read about our process in detail in the case study.

Double-tap-to-select lets users carry forward their mouse and keyboard intuition to touch. The selection algorithm optimizes for whole words, but still provides character-level selections if you backtrack slightly.