The Industrial Designers Society of America announced that Microsoft had won seven awards in their annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).
The IDEA program is considered by many as the "Oscars" of design competitions - not least as it's judged by the experts in their field. The 20 experts for the 2011 IDEA jury were came from design consultancies, corporations and universities. After weeks previewing entries online and two-and-a-half days of face-to-face evaluation and debate they honed in on eight areas of industrial design excellence: innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to society; benefit to the client; visual appeal and appropriate aesthetics; usability, emotional factors and unmet needs for the design research category; and internal factors, methods, strategic value and implementation for the design strategy category. The results:
- Windows Phone 7 scored a hat-trick with a gold award in the category of Interactive Product Experiences, silver in the Research category and bronze in Design Strategy.
- The Arc Touch Mouse also won gold in the computer equipment category.
- Despite resting in peace, the design work around KIN was recognized - but the KIN packaging was quite cool and KIN One was recognized in the category of communication.
- Richard Banks of Microsoft Research Cambridge win silver in the research category for his Technology Heirlooms project.
- One project related to Microsoft that also won was "Note-Taker," the winning project in the US Finals of the Imagine Cup. Also close to home, the Seattle Children's Hospital with Artefact won silver in the interactive category for their hospital medical information system and Anvil Studios deserves a mention for their silver award if only to link to the stunning Kestrel 400LTD bicycle.