• Microsoft


  • Technology

To showcase its commitment to security and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft wanted to create a graphical timeline of its security contributions over the past decade. Redtech developed an infographic, a visual representation that provides an overview of ten years of Microsoft’s technological and social involvement in computing security. Redtech based its design on the clean and modern Microsoft Metro design language. The infographic was so well received that Microsoft created an online version of the image for its Trustworthy Computing website. Microsoft also used the graphic to “wrap” the walls of its booth at the 2012 RSA Conference, and gave away a large-format poster of the timeline to attendees.

The Challenge

Microsoft Trustworthy Computing focuses on providing secure and reliable computing experiences to customers and to making the Internet a safer place. Microsoft has spearheaded numerous security initiatives and campaigns, issued many code enhancements and software updates, and embarked on security collaborations with researchers, law enforcement, industry organizations, and vendors. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft wanted to create a graphical timeline that encompassed all of its past security endeavors. The challenge was to condense and coalesce major time periods and minute detail into a single, easy-to-understand graphic.

The Solution

To be effective, the graphic had to clearly delineate time periods that spanned two to four years, and also clearly articulate detailed information on topics such as the evolution of computer security issues, major viruses and attacks, and security collaboration within the industry—at a glance.

Our designers envisioned a static image that was also an interactive experience: readers would view the big blocks of time first and then refer to detailed sections to learn more about the history and details of each time period.

We proposed using the new Microsoft Metro design language, to achieve a cleaner look and clearer distinction so that viewers could quickly scan the image. Even though it was a new look-and-feel to which most viewers would not yet be accustomed, our design team felt that Metro was the best choice for the situation because it has less gradation than previous Microsoft design schemes, and is more representational than realistic. We presented the design comp to the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing team, who found the progressive, modern design to be just what the subject matter needed to reach its audience.

The Results

The graphic in the Metro design was so successful that Microsoft created an online version and featured it on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing website. Microsoft also translated the graphic into a booth design for its presence at the 2012 RSA Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, and created a large-format poster version as a giveaway item. The design wrapped the booth walls, creating a life-size interactive experience for conference attendees, and the poster was also a hit. The design was so engaging that without any intervention from booth staff, attendees stopped to explore the timeline. It was truly a “sticky” educational experience that brought about great connection between attendees and Microsoft, and encouraged them to learn more about Microsoft’s security efforts.