Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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visualize their design ideas without having to use HTML (which they hated) and
Microsoft Paint (which they found difficult to use). Some members of the user
experience group quickly saw the value in this new approach and adapted it to their
own work. However, many were skittish about opening to this new tool simply
because it was Excel.
I had been perfecting my skills with the new Excel template I had evolved when
I was drafted into a
It was a project that was, on one hand, very
exciting because of the innovation and challenges associated with it, but at the
same time it was ominous, because of the very, very tight deadline. The project
directive came from on high, so it would have a great degree of visibility leaving
little room for error. Early in the project I was called into a meeting where some
early ideas needed prototyping on a quick turnaround basis. It was late Thursday
afternoon, and the developers were on the hot seat. The prototypes needed to
be delivered by the following Monday. There was general moaning and groaning
because a weekend would be lost to work, and it seemed that even a full weekend
would not allow enough time to complete the prototypes. It was then that I offered
the idea of using the Excel template as a means to get the job done on time.
There was interest in what I had to offer, so a one-hour meeting was set up for 8:00
the next morning. I was all ready to give my usual one-hour demonstration to the
team. Many doubted that I could help them, but since the boss was there, they
showed up. I was about halfway through the demonstration when the meeting
seemed to start breaking up. But before anyone left, they asked where they could
get hold of the template.
The VP of engineering stayed and we talked. She explained that the meeting broke
up earlier than expected because the team didn't need further explanation. They
also had that
experience and were ready to start using the Excel
prototyping environment right away. Soon afterward I was assigned to another project. The
VP of engineering made sure to stop by and thank me, letting me know that with
the Excel tool, they were easily able to meet their deadline.