MSR Mood Board

Established: January 12, 2014

Microsoft Research Mood Board is a Windows application that combines image search, image collection, and sketching to support creative activities.

About Mood Boards

Mood Boards are collages of images, sketches, and descriptions used by designers to explore different visual styles. Once a Mood Board is sufficiently populated a designer may then create design concepts using the elements on the Board for inspiration.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

In a collaborative environment a designer may initially get design requirements from stakeholders who may not be designers themselves, and who may therefore describe their expectations in ambiguous terms. For example, a client may say “I’m looking for something modern, succinct, fashionable, warm, and slick”…

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

 … which may give rise to these design
concepts.

Mood Boards

©2014 Microsoft

Or they may say “I want something that reminds me of different materials.” For example
wood, earth, stone, metal, and so on…

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

… resulting in these concepts.

Mood Boards

©2014 Microsoft

MSR Mood Board

And so to support such activities around the discovery of non-designerly content, Microsoft Research has implemented a digital Mood Board application that allows the discovery, lay out, annotation, and integration of such content into the process of exploring design concepts.

In addition, Mood Board can be set to run in the background at the user’s visual periphery to allow serendipitous encounters that fill in moments of idleness.

How to use

Step one

Open the app, enter the search terms in the search box, and click on the search button to search. You may enter up to five search terms.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Step two

Tap any thumbnail to expand it for a
closer look. The Download arrow in the upper-left corner
downloads the image to the canvas.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Step three

When you’re done selecting images, tap
or swipe-up the slider at the bottom of the screen to switch
to the canvas.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Step four

This is the mood board canvas,which contains all the images you selected. Here you can rearrange and resize images, and add text or sketched annotations.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Step five

Tap the New Page icon to add a new page
to the canvas.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Step six

Tap or swipe-down the slider at the top
of the screen to go back to Image Search.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Mini-mode

Mood Board can also run in mini-mode, allowing you to view your image search results in the background. Use this mode when you want to focus on other things, but still want to keep the images in view for inspiration.

Mood Boards

(Images from Bing image search)

Tips

Mood Board tips
Mood Board tips

To copy and paste images use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.

Mood Board tips

The canvas supports erasing sketches using the Eraser end of Tablet/Digitizer pens.

Mood Board tips

Right-clicking switches between Select and Pan modes.

Mood Board tips

In Select mode, Ctrl-A can select all elements.

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