Microsoft Introduces Fluent Design to Office Apps

Fluent Design

Microsoft’s Fluent Design System is nothing new, as it has already been integrated into recent Windows 10 updates. However, the company has recently added this overhaul to their Office 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

What changes can we expect? Let’s take a look.


The redesigned Ribbon now includes new animations, easily accessible icons, and modern yet subtle color changes. Microsoft has also collapsed the traditional three-row view into a single line that highlights the most important features, though the traditional view will still be available for users who prefer it.


New Colors and Icons

Apps will now have new icons and colors built as scalable graphics, giving crisp, cleans lines on screens of all sizes. Office.com users will be the first to use this feature, with Insiders seeing changes later this month.

Zero Query Search

An AI- and Microsoft Graph-powered feature brings up useful recommendations for searches every time the cursor is placed in the search box. This feature is already integrated into Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app.


The Focus

Microsoft is focusing on three principles when making the shift toward Fluent Design including:

  • Customers: Using a customer-driven innovation process to co-create the design of the Office apps.
  • Context: New designs keep in mind the context that you’re working in, so you can focus on the job at hand. That means surfacing the most relevant commands based on the work you’re doing and making it easy to connect and collaborate with others.
  • Control: The way someone uses the apps often depends on specific parts of the user interface, therefore Microsoft is giving users control and allowing them to toggle significant changes on and off.

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Tori Youngbauer

Tori Youngbauer

Tech Writer // Cat Enthusiast

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