Human Technology: Building an Inclusive Future


Our ongoing collaborative relationship with Microsoft has involved many projects and informed high-level strategy and original IP. Together we’ve traversed vast intellectual terrain and conducted extensive, in-depth research into the notoriously hard-to-reach intersection of technology and the human experience.

We began on early-stage innovations for Microsoft. These included projects for Xbox, mobile gaming, and voice/search technology. We were also instrumental in the development and marketing of Cortana. Using innovative research strategies, including interviewing personal assistants of Hollywood A-Listers, we were able to uncover the key insights that successfully reoriented Cortana’s design strategy.

Our most basic concern through all of this work was to create more effective interactions with technology. What we discovered with these earlier projects laid the groundwork for our most significant collaboration: helping to build Microsoft’s new human technology vision from the ground up. Over the course of three years, we interviewed over 75 experts and scholars in a wide range of subjects and explored core topics such as motivation, relationship building, education, preferences, and group realization. We were searching for a unified understanding of how design, technology, and culture merge. We believe we found it.

Our work on human design ultimately led to understanding what an inclusive future really looks like for Microsoft. To that end, we spent a year with various disability cultures to create an award winning strategic vision and curriculum. As a part of the Inclusive strategic marketing initiative, our films were shown publicly at SXSW Eco 2016 in Austin, Texas. Recently, Microsoft’s Inclusive Toolkit was recognized as Best In Category for Empowerment at the 2017 Interaction Awards.