Art Planning

Visually think through your product/feature/ scenario/solution before you begin writing. Here are some potential resources to leverage:

  • Product specifications
  • Whiteboard discussions
  • Marketing materials
  • Existing presentations (TechReady, TechEd, MCS, internal)

Create the standard visual language and representation and leverage those visual assets.

Create an internal poster

Get started on your "internal poster." A poster helps you think through your product visually, and can go on to become an external poster for customer use.

An internal poster can also become a series of videos.

Try to work through the diagram/poster/etc in waves

  • Start with the layout and hierarchy: how will they read this? How will they logically follow my diagram?
  • Then look at spacing, do items fit together with each other well? Do they logically make sense together?
  • Then walk away and have a coffee or beer or three
  • Then focus on color
  • Then focus on font size (do these in any order, but this will help get the flow first, chrome later)

APEX Specific: Using Cloud and Enterprise symbols

Use a consistent, pleasant visual language using the Cloud and Enterprise Symbols at http://aka.ms/CnESymbolsINT internally and http://aka.ms/CnESymbols externally. Training available at http://aka.ms/CnESymbolsVideo

  • White space is your friend
  • Use a grid. Leave plenty of space between items, group like-minded items together and keep a little more space between items that don't go together.
  • Font: use one font type.
  • Sizes: stick to 3 font sizes AT MAXIMUM.
  • Segoe UI Font. Posters use Segoe Pro
  • Alignment – Top, Bottom, Center

Helpful hints for writers using symbols:

  • Black outlines around boxes = not professional
  • Colored background = more professional
  • Colored background with washed out icon = most professional
  • Metro look = white on colored background