Margaret Plumley, Software Design

My software design experience spans the entire product cycle from industry research to product planning and design through development into release and sustainment. I have worked on everything from Microsoft enterprise suites to Dreamworks artistic tools to Tecplot scientific visualization packages to PlayStation streaming games to PicsArt's consumer mobile social artistic tool on platforms including web, desktop, mobile, and of course console and TV. I have brought user-centered design processes to traditionally engineering-driven organizations; designed the products; managed teams, processes, Agile roadmaps and backlogs and been responsible for defining standards. I've created prototypes, complex interaction design, and written technical specifications and internal and external documentation. I have conducted research myself and defined usability needs for a separate usability group. Details on some projects below, or you can browse through some information architecture diagrams.

PicsArt logo

Consumer mobile social drawing tools designed for casual, non-professional artists. Primary goal: Make it easy for casual artists to create great drawings on small devices.
Project details...

PlayStation Now
Streaming gaming of console games on a variety of devices.
Big problems: Integrate a streaming gaming technology into existing services and on multiple hardware devices.
Project details...

PSNow logo

Media Manager

Media Manager
Web-based tool for studio personnel ranging from production assistants to animators. Used for reviewing artists' work in a fast-and-furious review session.
Important concerns: Not being distracted by colors; quick access to important features; easy-to-view in a dark room.
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Integrated Help
Linux-based help window into wiki content for artists
Important concerns: Building a single framework that works in multiple different applications; looks and feels like it belongs there; existing content easily readable in this new format.
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Integrated Help

Layout: Anim prep

Previz and layout
Linux-based plug-ins for Maya used by artists
Important concerns: Streamlining overall workflow to speed up production; series of plug-ins needs to behave seamlessly as a single native part of the host app to provide consistent user experience.
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Project Dashboards
Web- and SharePoint-based dashboards for business users
Important concerns: Clean look without distractions; birds-eye view of project status with the ability to dig deeper; specialized views for different users (e.g. executives).
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Project Dashboards

Smiley feedback tool

Smiley Feedback Tool
Multiple-platform tool for end users. Used for gathering feedback on beta and released software both in-house and consumer.
Important concerns: Need to be able to gather rich feedback without interrupting the user's workflow.
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Top Secret Stealth projects including:
Cross-platform and cross-device interaction
Facial recognition; motion-sensing
Screens from hand-held to walls
Video creation and playback
Collaboration and sharing

Top Secret

Tecplot simulation

Scientific visualization
Windows- and Linux-based analysis tools for rocket scientists.
Used to examine the result of thousands of test cases.
Important concerns: Clean look so they can see their data without distraction; lots and lot of data; images are data.
Project details...

Training scenario creation
Desktop and full-motion simulation training environment
for flight- and ground-based scenarios.
Important concerns: Target user is creating complex missions in a 3D environment but is not a 3D expert, therefore the training creation platform needs to resemble familiar formats (e.g. maps).
Project details...

ESP 3D Simulation

ESP end-to-end

Simulation training environment for trainees
Desktop and full-motion simulation training environment
End-to-end experience for practice, taking a test, and after-action review.
Important concerns: Practice vs. training (e.g. ability to change settings); shared dialogs and systems with sister application; making a variety of different applications feel like a single coherent application.
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Microsoft Office Word
Windows desktop and mobile document reviewing for end users
Document compare and comment reviewing for corporate users.
Important concerns: Ability to see who said what; quickly address changes; ability to understand how source documents relate to comparison results.
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Comment threading


Winqual (2003-2004)
Web-based hardware submissions for corporate users
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Solucient (2002)
Web-based data-mining application for business vertical
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Fine art, illustration, and photography

Fine art, illustration, technical drawing, and photography
Art portfolio...