Microsoft has been continuing to make progress on converging the Azure AD and Microsoft account identity systems. One of the big steps on this journey is to redesign the sign-in UI so both systems look consistent. On August 2nd, Microsoft was stoked to announce that this updated design is in public preview!
This is what’s changing:
Redesign of Azure AD & Microsoft account sign-in experiences
Azure AD & Microsoft account sign-in pages will both change to have a more consistent look and feel, so you users won’t experience anymore jarring transitions when you move between the two.
- Pagination of the Azure AD sign-in page
The new design prompts you to enter your username on the first screen followed by a credential (typically a password) on a second screen. Microsoft has done a lot of testing of this new design and their telemetry shows that people are able to sign in with a notably higher success rate using this approach. It also sets us up to be able to easily introduce new forms of authentication like phone sign-in and certificate-based authentication.
Some screen shots of this new Azure AD and Microsoft experience:
Paginated sign-in flow (desktop view)
- Username and password are collected on separate pages
- This mock shows default branding – when no company branding is configured
Here is the Azure AD and Microsoft Desktop UI (with company branding configured)
You probably have noticed that Microsoft has been rolling out the new design on Microsoft accounts over the last few weeks. Now, it’s Azure AD’s turn. You will now see a banner on the Azure AD sign-in page giving users the option to opt-in to see the new experience. This is a great opportunity for you to do a few double checks:
Check to see that your existing company branding, if configured, works well with the new layout
Any company branding you currently have configured will be carried forward to the new UI: sign-in image, banner logo, username hint, sign-in page text and background color. However, the opaque white box in the middle of the new design might obscure the subject focus of your existing image. If you need to make any changes, you can make them in the “Company branding” pane in the Azure Portal.
Verify automation that runs on the sign-in page
Since sign-in is now done over two screens, any existing automation might break. Do a quick test and update your code if necessary.
Update documentation and training material
Documentation containing screenshots and step-by-step guides for signing in might have to be updated to explain the paginated flow and show the new UI.
Note that there are still a few pages like MFA that will continue to show the old design. Microsoft is working hard to bring the new design to these pages over the next few weeks.
Microsoft understands that this will be a disruptive change for some, but they believe that this sets up an exciting future of innovation in the sign-in space. To give you time to prepare for the change, they will leave the new experience as an opt-in public preview for the next few weeks. Microsoft plans to switch over to the new UI by default during the last week of September.
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