Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Polaris and Orion

When Update Rollup 12 (UR 12), codename “Polaris”, was released for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in January, it included a new Process Driven User Interface. This is still only available for CRM Online customers, it does provide an glimpse into the changes coming in the Dynamics CRM user experience (UX). If you want an idea of where this new UI/UX is going, take a look at Outlook.com, the former Hotmail browser based email.

Outlook.com User Interface and User Experience - Coming to Dynamics CRM

The single window paradigm, Polaris, signficantly reduces the amount of pop-up forms in Dynamics CRM,  (whic is a good thing). The Polaris release provided this new experience for just a few forms, think if it as a preview, including Account, Contact, Opportunity, Case and Lead detail forms. Orion, scheduled for Q2 2013 has a goal of replacing all forms with this new experience. Below is an example of that new experience.

Dynamics CRM - Polaris UI / UX - Coming to all of CRM

In the new UX, opening an individual record form, all editing and updates takes place in the same window. Even the lookups no longer popup another form, rather, they provide an "inline" lookup. The same goes for grids in the main window, no more popups, just a nice clean, in-grid editing experience…nice!

Michael McCormack, Senior Program Manager Lead for the user experience team within Microsoft Dynamics CRM said “The whole purpose of Orion is to get rid of that window problem we’ve had for so long.”  Yeah!!!

Polaris also provides cross browser support! See supported browsers and OS's here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2784954

In addition, the commitment to cross-browser support was emphasized multiple times. Mr. McCormack even said he doesn’t currently use Dynamics CRM on Internet Explorer at all and neither does most of his team. He said this helps ensure they provide an excellent non-IE user experience. Double Yeah!!! (PS – the new release actually runs faster on Chrome….go figure 🙂 )

Dynamics CRM on Chrome

Dynamics CRM on Google Chrome

Dynamics CRM on Mac OSX Safari

Dynamics CRM on Mac OSX Safari

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