Good Luck, Qixing!

QIxing Zheng in her TechDays 2009 orange speaker shirt

We may be losing a User Experience Evangelist, but I think we’ll get a great Windows 8 in return. Qixing Zheng, who’s been with Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team for the past three years, is leaving to join the Windows UX Team as a Program Manager. While I saw firsthand that she enjoyed her work as a UX Evangelist, talking to developers and designers about building usable, comprehensible and beautiful applications, joining the Windows UX Team is the opportunity of a lifetime. After all, how often are you given the chance to design something that will get used all the time by millions of people, all over the world, at work, play and in their day-to-day lives?

Qixing’s been the sole writer for the Canadian UX Connection blog during her tenure. She posted her farewell article, A New Year and a New Beginning, on January 1st, but don’t think that’s the last you’ve seen of her online. She promises that she’ll be blogging soon – she’ll let us know where, and I’ll let you know in turn. In the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter, where her handle is @hundredflavour.

What About User Experience?

Windows 3.1, as seen using the garish yellow and red "Hot Dog Stand" colour scheme

While I’m glad that Qixing is going to be applying her skills and knowledge to Windows’ user interfaces, there remains the need for someone to help developers, designers and people who play both roles build useful, usable and beautiful interfaces, applications and experiences. This is becoming even more important as mainstream software development extends beyond the desktop OS to the web, mobile phones, tablets and even big-ass tables.

I’m planning to pick up some of the slack in the tech blogs where I write, Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy. In addition to articles on programming, industry trends and reports from the field, I’ll also be posting articles about usability, user interface and user experience, as seen from the developer’s point of view. I’ve had some experience in this area, and where my skills and knowledge fall short, I can always call on my “friends in UI places” and bring their opinions and know-how to you.

Once again, congratulations Qixing, you’ve been a great teammate -- and yes, we’ll keep evangelizing user experience!

[This article also appears in Global Nerdy.]