Microsoft Office is one of the most used software suites on the planet. It’s been around for a long time and has changed a lot over the years. Microsoft has been slowly revamping the look of its apps and today they’re teasing a new UI for Office on mobile and the desktop.
Microsoft’s current design language is called “Fluent Design” and it’s been making its way to more products over the years. Fluent Design for Office includes new app icons, dark mode, and a much more simple and minimal look, though not completely flat. Microsoft is teasing some of the upcoming redesigns in a number of images.
Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, explains the thought process behind the design. He talks about how toolbars can be moved around wherever people find them most helpful. This toolbar replaces the classic Office “ribbon” interface. The ribbon UI has been a constant in office since 2007, so this is a pretty big change.
Some of the changes are more than just surface deep, too. There’s a search feature that works across the suite of Office apps built into each app. These features and the new UI will be consistent across the desktop and mobile. Microsoft has not mentioned when these changes will arrive in the Office apps, though. Whenever they do, we’ll be ready.