Microsoft Stitches an Office UI Fabric for Add-In Makers
No more ugly, off-putting Office add-ins. A new framework helps developers maintain a look and feel that is consistent with the new Office user experience.Few things in personal computing are more jarring than when add-on software foists unfamiliar and cumbersome UI elements and workflows on users, bringing productivity to an unceremonious halt. Microsoft wants to help Office developers get in step with the rest of the company's productivity software ecosystem with the release of the Office UI Fabric framework on GitHub. "Office UI Fabric is a responsive, mobile-first, front-end framework for developers, designed to make it simple to quickly create web experiences using the Office Design Language," explained Jeremy Thake, technical product manager for Microsoft Office 365, in a company blog post. Microsoft's own developers rely on the framework, he went on to reveal, and it "is used internally on products within Office 365—such as our suite branding, OneDrive.com, Outlook.com, Delve and the Video Portal." Partner members of the company's Preview Program are currently putting Office UI Fabric through its paces, and their commercialized wares will soon sport a new look, Thake said. "You will start to see the add-ins in the Office Store updated to use Office UI Fabric, which will increase the consistency of add-ins you use to increase your productivity day-to-day." Developers with Web experience will have a leg up in terms of adapting their Office add-ins.