The Problem : Microsoft Fails to Keep Outlook UI/UX Consistent Across Platforms
With Microsoft’s new release, their redesigned email services (Hotmail and Outlook) boasted new visual cues and a much needed modern update. Although their desktop presence is strong and a good move, their mobile counterpart lacks greatly.
Why Care About Mobile Branding?
Microsoft wants to be taken seriously and go up against their mobile platform competitors Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) yet it lacks the same user experience and mobile branding across multiple platforms. Right now Microsoft creates a great user experience on its own platform with solid design and visuals, however the drop off is huge when it comes to the iOS and Android. Apple users are forced to download other applications or encouraged to use the slower mobile version of the website, while Android users are left with an antiquated app that has users second guess if it’s really a Microsoft released application.
Why should Microsoft care about creating a good experience on a platform other than their own though?
Put simply, if Microsoft wants to compete with the likes of Google and other competitors, they should learn to emulate their design practices as well.
Google has Android. Microsoft has Windows Mobile 8. Google has Google Drive. Microsoft has SkyDrive. Google has Gmail. Microsoft has Outlook/Hotmail. Google has Hangouts. Microsoft has Skype.
Where Google beats out Microsoft is in their implementation and continuity of brand and design across multiple platforms.
Google realizes that it’s important to build and keep user loyalty. They realize that a user may be using an iPhone but may have an Android tablet, therefore the user experience needs maintain the same standard or else this starts to affect not only customer loyalty and experience, but branding. An excellent example of this implementation can be seen by what Google has done with their recent iterations of Gmail on mobile platforms.
Implement a redesign. Set brand standards and maintain continuity and user experience across all platforms. Follow Google’s lead and emulate the fact that clean design is implemented while at the same time the look and feel of the platform is still honest and true to form.