I worked with Scott on several projects at Microsoft where he provided keen insight and valuable design recommendations that optimized the user experiences of our products. Scott has a strong personal drive, great team working skills, and provides the interaction design leadership necessary to successfully deliver products on aggressive schedules.
I had the privilege of working with Scott on several different products inside the Microsoft Hardware/Surface group. Scott was an excellent partner. He collaborated well with my team (QA) and was a strong communicator. I was impressed with the attention to detail that he brought to the designs being built, and with his consistent passion for creating a quality experience for our users. He showed great creativity in design, and strong problem solving skills. I would be pleased to work with Scott again.
Scott and I worked together within Microsoft’s PC Hardware group on several challenging input device R&D projects. I have never worked with a more multi-talented interaction designer. Scott is both a starter and a closer. I believe his effectiveness derives from his professional discipline, tenacity, and fearless pursuit of new and relevant skills.
When I joined MS Hardware and the Adaptive Keyboard project, Scott had already blazed the trail with an end-to-end articulation of the user experience in words and storyboards. These assets were used by management for evangelizing the product to executive leadership and customers, and recruiting top talent to the effort. Scott next created working prototypes of various product features using the C# programming language and XAML markup, non-trivial technologies he taught himself in order to do the job. His work was adopted by the engineering team as a starting point, and using his newly acquired skills, Scott continued to help light up new features for the product.
As the former lead software engineer of the input R&D team in MS Hardware, I and my reports came to regard Scott as much an engineer as his colleagues in design regarded him an interaction designer. As an HCI enthusiast, I learned a great deal from Scott. I trust and value his insight in all aspects of product development.
I look forward to working with Scott again in the future, and will be referring him for each new project of potential interest that crosses my path.
Scott is a great colleague to work with. He cares a lot about getting the customer experience right and is one of the few designers I’ve worked with who sincerely seeks to understand the technical details. With the whole picture including constraints, limitations and possibilities in mind, Scott makes design decisions that are both practical, implementable and forefront. I found collaborating with Scott enjoyable because his focus is on the business' goals and takes candid feedback and opinions directly.
One example where Scott did a fabulous job was designing a tutorial for the Microsoft Touch Mouse which has a touch-enabled surface for gestures. Creating a ‘game-ified’ tutorial was rather foreign for the team. Scott did a great job reaching across the company to learn from experts in game development. There were so many directions the tutorial could have taken, both functionally and visually, and I admire that Scott was able to steer it to a simple yet effective one.
I had the pleasure of working with and managing Scott while at Microsoft for over 9 years. Scott is incredibly talented and passionate about his work whether it's designing and defining a new way to interact with a touch sensor or working directly with engineers to define the technical implementation of the designed experience. Not only is Scott a strong design thinker who can easily deliver on today’s products, he also effectively develops forward thinking product experiences which influence the business.
Scott is a design leader that I could depend on. He would appropriately approach each design challenge, taking the time to understand the problem space, user, and need. Scott’s talent spans physical and digital interaction design. He is very technical which helped him build strong influential relationships with development. He has successfully developed new interaction models for complex hardware products as well as set the vision for new future-forward concepts that leverage new input modalities.
Scott is a well-rounded senior designer that would have an immediate positive impact and elevate the capabilities of anyone’s team. I look forward to working with him in the future.
Nytec Innovation Center
I had the great pleasure to work with Scott on a highly innovative project within the Surface organization at Microsoft. Scott’s UX experience helped greatly to shape product development to be effective and efficient in the build process. He brought tremendous insight shaping the overall user interface. One of Scott’s most effective qualities is challenging dogma. To be a truly innovative team you need members willing to ask tough questions and peel the onion more than just a few layers. We made exponential progress as typical boundaries were challenged and broken down, resulting in revolutionary new user interfaces largely due to Scott taking the lead. Scott is a true team member that I would always look forward to partnering with.
Scott is a vary passionate interaction designer who has demonstrated technical depth in the various problems he has tackled. Scott is customer focused, and has a good understanding of how to collaborate with research to achieve great product design. He always chases the problem to the end, and makes sure that no stone is left unturned!
Scott is focused and brings an attention to detail that exceeds expectations. In his pursuit, he is relentless until the right design is realized. Scott thinks deeply about the customer, understands their needs and values their insights. His empathy is what helps him drive towards solutions which satisfy customers. Scott is highly creative and productive with his ideas. He is able to prototype his interactive concepts himself, and when the concepts span across software and hardware, Scott is exceptionally strong at partnering with engineering to accomplish full-fledged working interactions. Scott is a dedicated, thoughtful and detail oriented designer. He is boon to any team.
Scott is one of my most talented designers. He has the incredible ability to think broadly and then also drive into incredible technical detail - all in the service of focusing on the end to end experience. He is atypical for a designer in that he will learn a technology or build a tool to help drill into the deepest areas of the user experience that matter. He speaks his mind and always puts the customer first - an attribute I value immensely and find increasingly lacking in designers. I would recommend him highly to anyone who has the good fortune to work with him.
I worked with Scott on a challenging keyboard design at Microsoft. Scott was the best in the group at bridging disciplines between user research, industrial design and engineering. He did an excellent job of keeping the end-goal in sight of delivering a great customer experience while navigating the challenges of the day. I found him to be both a solid individual contributor as well as an effective leader and positive influence on the group.
I worked with Scott on multiple products where getting the user interaction correct was crucial. Scott was able to bring his industry acquired knowledge to the process and would quickly identify the key areas to focus on. He does an amazing job of integrating quickly to the right solution and his attention to detail is par none. He is willing to delve into any discipline and work with engineers to come up with amazing end results.
Scott's defining characteristic has always been his huge passion for doing the right thing for the customer. He drives for intuitive, simple experiences and I've never seen him settle for good enough. He dreams and designs, but is also very capable of making and doing -- prototypes and demos are his medium for communication. When it comes to product/customer interaction design, he has the unique combination of design and technical skills that make him stand out. Super talented designer, with great technical understanding who steps up to the plate to design when needed, to build prototypes when it's time, and to manage execution and deliver at the end.
Program Management for Software & Firmware
I worked with Scott Mail on many projects during my 7 years with Microsoft Hardware. I was always thrilled to get the chance to work with him because of his overall passion for quality, his ability to work effectively in a cross-discipline team, and his willingness to put in long hours to create the best possible experience for users. Scott continuously pushes himself to reach for the highest standards of design excellence and to expand his skills and expertise. I always found myself working that much harder when I was on the same team with him as a result.
One of the most challenging projects I worked on with Scott was Touch Mouse. In order for Touch Mouse to be both a great mouse and a great touch device, the gesture recognition engine had to be highly responsive to single- and multi-finger gestures without erroneously firing off a gesture action when the user simply grasped the mouse or moved the mouse with their fingertips. It was this gnarly problem that Scott tackled so expertly. Not only did he closely observe users interacting with Touch Mouse and then translate his observational insights so that the software team could make the appropriate changes and adjustments, he also partnered closely with me on developing the survey questions and creating the software tools that would allow us to track the subjective user experience in real time across software and hardware build iterations. As a result, our UX team was able to quickly respond to what we learned, update the development team and management of the current user experience whenever needed or requested, and ultimately be proactive rather than reactive. My work on Touch Mouse is certainly some of the best I have done in my career and much of that success I owe to Scott’s awareness of the value of user research and his critical role in the development of the Experience Tracker.
Scott is an intelligent, talented individual. I worked with Scott on the Microsoft Touch Mouse project, where he was an interaction designer. In addition to working on gesture definitions and behaviors, he helped across the board as a virtual program manager, . I was impressed by his eloquence, his ability to get to the heart of problems, and then to find a great solution. He also did a great job of evangelizing and channeling the user.
Scott is technically strong, has excellent communication skills, and great ideas. I'd welcome the chance to work with him again.
Scott is one of those rare people whose passion for the user experience, for "getting it right," trumps all else. Scott is willing to go to bat to defend the user experience, resisting the narrowing-influences of cost, schedule, and perceived risks. Scott champions the customer, even in the fast-paced world of consumer electronics.
I had the privilege of working with Scott when he was an Interaction Designer at Microsoft Hardware, first with PC peripherals and then with the Surface business. Incidentally, Scott is the reason you love the scroll strips in Microsoft's touch-scrolling mice (Arc Touch, Explorer Touch, Sculpt Touch). Scott sat next to the firmware developer and co-invented the algorithms that infer user intent, maximizing responsiveness while minimizing errant touches.
With his innate technological insights, Scott blurred the line between designer and engineer in a way that I felt was invaluable, and, in my experience, singularly unique. An artist who can conceptualize user interactions, and also write pseudo (and real) code to codify his ideas, is incredibly potent. I have never known a more resourceful, relevant, and impactful Interaction Designer. Scott understood the necessity for high-fidelity prototyping, and for driving support for his ideas up and down the organization. Scott was tireless with his passions. I very much miss the partnership I had with Scott, and I would like nothing more than to work with him again someday.
I worked with Scott for several years bringing to market new and challenging hardware devices. We were breaking new ground merging user interaction, technology and stylish design. Scott's work was critical in bringing it all together defining functional details in products people would love. Scott has the rare ability to unite designers and engineers. He speaks design language for the designers (and makes good slides), and writes technical documents that the engineers need.
Scott has a loyalty to the customer that any design team needs. He gets opinions, gathers data, and creates tools as needed to back up his decisions. He distills facts into actionable product features, sells them to management and defends the customer's needs as he helps work out balanced compromises with engineering and industrial design.
Scott is one of the few people I would trust to say, "If you make it work this way, folks will buy it."
Plus, he's a really, really nice guy. I'd be happy to work with Scott again, anytime, anywhere.