THE MICROSOFT STORE

PROJECT LEAD | ART DIRECTION | CONCEPT | MOTION & VIDEO DIRECTION
2D-3D design, animation, shooting, pre-post production

CREDITS:

ROLES: Creative Director, Art Director, UX Strategy, Concept / Production Motion and Graphic Designer
STUDIOS: UXCS Microsoft, Aquent, Synect Media
CLIENTS: Microsoft Retail Stores 


This project could also be filed under design as I began this incredible 3-year experience as an Art director and Sr. Motion Designer in concept for UXCS at Microsoft. I later joined Synect Media as project lead and team Creative Director, presenting, pitching and leading concept ideation, design, and production. I was in charge of concepting and putting together playlists for holiday, retail, product launch, and services designs. I led content strategy and design for the very first Surface campaign and launching XBOX ONE which were some of the highlights–that, and presenting and selling content to stakeholders and internal orgs which often required traveling to and from mock store studios and attending new store openings for product and event launches.

1

PIONEERING and UX

Early on, we had to navigate a massive pioneering effort because technology which runs the stores today is vastly different. Everything had to be done by hand and often one person doing it all. These themes were massive in pixel dimension and difficult to manage. Imagine opening Photoshop and After Effects reaching the limitations that we didn't even know the program had! Assets given were not large enough to meet the needs of each theme so many had to be recreated or customized to plan for even the simplest of layouts. As demands and needs grew, we developed our own internal tools and teams to help resize and plan content for over 30 stores with different layouts.

2

PROCESS

One can imagine how designing for the video wall needed to be smart, efficient, and controlled to maintain minimal revisions and also make sense of the designs. There were different interactive and video zones we couldn't design in and there were areas which were more of a focus than others. Production was about a 6-week cycle sprint run so we had to utilize our time wisely. In order to do this, we developed a layering and bucket system to reduce render times and upload quality in order to view content correctly and preview on time with clients. This was a very timely process and required incredible organization and skill to get it to display correctly. To avoid this bottleneck I worked with our UX design team to help organize "HD size chunks" which limited how many sections needed re-rendering when fixes or revisions were needed. Some of these renders took over a week on a 10+ client render farm!

3

THEMES

At their largest a theme had a resolution of 28,800 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, so they are difficult to show. To create, strategize and retain viewership and customer engagement through brand extensions and marketing channels I met with several stakeholders and partners to create very customized content for their needs. The team grew to over 30 while at Synect which required more management and time away from the design desk. However, I maintained a steady diet of creating and presenting nonetheless. Below are just some of the themes I created from this awesome experience (I concepted and created well over 100 total themes). All of these were in motion and ran for more than a minute total run time.

There is so much more to discuss about this wonderful project.

BELOW: 
Demo reel I created to show some of the work.

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SURFACE:
I was asked to take the lead prior to the concept development stage while our client-side creative director had to part from the project for paternity leave. I led pitch, concept and presentation meetings and also created motion graphics in a highly secured environment with a team. Each week, I met with the directors and producers of the product shoot to keep the team on target through a hectic deadline schedule. I also worked with the VP and strategic marketing team for all Microsoft stores where I presented concepts to both them, product owners, and shareholders which filled a 14-minute playlist and contained motion.

Boards below:
MarCom, beauty: product shot, artistic: dominoes, lifestyle-skate, commercial, product reveal

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