You didn't know? Visual Studio 2012 launched officially last week. I encourage you to go and check the reimaged home for Visual Studio on Microsoft.com to read more about the event and more importantly, the new capabilities of Visual Studio 2012.  

One of the new tools in Visual Studio 2012 that I believe holds most potential is the Storyboarding add-on for PowerPoint. You and your team can use this tool to tell user stories.

Storyboards in Visual Studio 2012 are PowerPoint decks containing illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing the interactions of a user with an application.

Storyboards, like mockups, are used for design evaluation. They allow you to create a prototype of a system and to test its design through the acquisition of feedback from users. They also constitute a means for business users and interaction designers to model and communicate requirements visually to the development team.

There are other tools out there to produce wireframes, mockups and storyboards, but where Visual Studio’s storyboarding add-on may have an advantage is in its complete integration with PowerPoint. PowerPoint is, arguably, the most ubiquitous tool used by individuals around the world to create and consume stories. We usually call them presentations.

You and your team can now create design and model requirements with Visual Studio 2012, with the certainty that you have a ubiquitous vehicle to share them with your stakeholders and users in order to get feedback, wherever they may be in the world, and whatever their technical skills may be. My mother knows how to use PowerPoint.

Telling user stories can now be fun too! The product team released a series of new storytelling shapes last week that portray a new character that will surely become very popular amongst the Visual Studio crowd – and beyond: Max.

This is Max pissed off frustrated with his phone:


This is Max in flow:

Your meetings with users to gather feedback on requirements are going to be so much more entertaining… Thank you Max.