Albert Shum, The Windows Group Design Lead At Microsoft Talks About His Big Opportunity Ahead

Albert Shum was previously working at Nike before joining Microsoft. He was responsible for the design team when Windows Phone 7 was originally launched. The Metro design language from his team inspired every other division at Microsoft leading to the current Modern design language that spans across product groups. Albert Shum got promoted last year as the lead for Operating System Group Design + Content team at Microsoft. The team consists of interaction, visual, motion, brand designers, plus content creator along with user researchers, design program managers & design integrators creating end to end experiences for Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and Cloud Services. The design team collaborates with engineering & business partners to create integrated hardware, software & service products.

USA today last night published a profile on Albert in which Albert himself and other people at his team at Microsoft spoke about the rising design culture at Microsoft. Albert is excited about the new Microsoft management giving importance to design and he is excited about the current Microsoft culture. “We’re in a position to affect the culture, which is very reminiscent of my time at Nike,” he says. “The bedrock of this company may be tech, but there’s a rebirth going on. Just look at me and Satya — we don’t look like Bill or Steve.”

“When you’re a first-generation American like me, you don’t take anything for granted and work for everything you get,” says Shum, whose parents started as a taxi driver and waitress and went on to own a restaurant, which allowed them to send their son to Stanford University.

“Microsoft has given me a big opportunity to make an impact, and I plan to take full advantage,” he says, grinning. “Design at its best can create personal devices that give people superhuman powers. If we can be known for that, it’d be really cool.”

It is important to note that his team is not just responsible for the software UI but the experiences involving software and hardware together. For example, opening OneNote page directly when you press button on your Surface Pen is an idea from his team. Hopefully, we will see more such experiences in the future especially something like continuity features that Apple recently demoed at WWDC.

On a related now, Albert is now on Twitter. Follow him at

Source: USA Today, Albert Shum

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