03-15-2013 12:31 AM
33 12
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  1. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    I don't think Metro was a gimmick at all!

    I think Gaichuke summed it up very well. Metro is about putting the content up front! Metro is about admitting that we are working within a digital medium and adapting the user interface to make the most of that digital medium, instead of trying to base things on real world counterparts. I think Metro is highly functional, it is clean, it is simple, and if done right it pulls your eyes straight towards that which is important... that being the content, not the chrome.

    When design is done well, it does fulfil a functional purpose. Whatever fulfils a functional purpose is by definition not a gimmick.
    But a little bit deepness in the background or simple graphics. Not necessarily adding tons of eye catching icons and a chromed look.
    03-13-2013 03:54 PM
  2. RussellMb's Avatar
    I think the modern UI concept is the best around. Besides, it's unique. 3D, animations, icons, etc. are starting to feel dated. The goal of modern UI is to present relevant information in a clean, straight forward format with less distraction. No body would complain about the interface if WP had all the games and apps plus the requisite holes in the OS plugged in (Ask Apple). Modern UI is the future.
    Simon Tupper and WinFan1 like this.
    03-13-2013 05:30 PM
  3. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    Sure Modern could well be the future, but as I said earlier, there is no reason why Modern should not be a work in progress rather than a finished product. I think that Modern is a better choice than Metro. The term Metro puts too much limitations while Modern is broad and leaves place to imagination. I hope Blue brings some cool stuff that is worth showing off.
    03-13-2013 06:07 PM
  4. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Simon, thanks for starting an interesting thread! I'm getting tired of the "why WP sucks/rocks" threads. Personally, I wouldn't object to a *little* bit of depth; and I mean very little- just enough to help distinguish tiles from each-other. I've only seen W8 briefly in the store so I can't really comment on that, but on WP8 there are times when adjacent tiles will blend together because they match the phone's background. A little depth, or some other visual cue might help separate them in those cases. And I would agree that it would be nice to see MS continue to evolve their visual aesthetic and their design language (within limits). But I'm not sure I would talk about this in terms of the "limitations of 'modern' UI". You like the live tiles and general approach, but want to see some tweaks? Okay, but I would have to disagree that the UI is somehow holding MS back or that it will be their undoing. And it seems you're stretching in a few places to make a bigger argument.

    You correctly point out that MS needs to get app performance and features on par with iOS/Android. This doesn't have anything to do with design language. This is one of the biggest barriers.
    As far as having a product that you'd be "excited to show to friends", I'd argue that Metro/Modern is much more interesting and share-worthy as-is. I can't imagine anyone in 2013 (or even 2009) saying "wow, check out this grid of icons (iOS/Android) or wow, look at my desktop/launch bar (W7/OSX)". Every other start/home screen and desktop looks the same as it has for years and years.
    Regarding 40-55 year old's finding it "childish": well, this is not MS's target (I hope). Gen X is a relatively small demo compared to Gen Y and Gen Z- and MS needs to worry about the latter two. Businesses have no need to upgrade, having just moved to W7. Consumers will not upgrade until they need a new machine (unless they're just real enthusiasts)- phones and tablets have eaten into both desktop/laptop usage and discretionary tech spending. The key is to attract younger buyers and new users.
    As far as the change in terminology from "Metro" to "Modern", I don't think this reflects any change in thinking by MS; it is due to legal considerations around the fact that German company Metro AG already uses that word. In fairness, I'm not sure that you actually made any argument about the reason for the change. Anyway, I suppose Modern may be less "limiting" than Metro, but this is all semantics. MS has a consistent, coherent design philosophy. They will absolutely make adjustments to that as they go forward. They'll want to have some immediate visual cues that their next big version of the OS is "new" and "better" (or at least distinctly recognizable as the new one). People get tired of looking at the same thing. Apple has made drastic improvements to both hardware and software over the last few years, but you hear lots of complaints that the iPhone 4/4S/5 look so much alike; and look at how tired and stale iOS itself looks these days, though again there have been constant performance improvements.
    Simon Tupper likes this.
    03-14-2013 10:32 AM
  5. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    @Chris, I think you brought some strong points and I understand that "Metro" is not necessary limiting Microsoft, but maybe it is too pure? This is why I pointed out the change in terminology from "Metro' to "Modern", it is broader. I don't want to loo like I'm bashing WP and W8, because I love the product and what it brings. I own a Surface RT a Nokia Lumia 920, a HP w8 touchscreen laptop and a W8 desktop... If I had to hate W8....
    03-14-2013 02:28 PM
  6. SOMEnameItried's Avatar
    First I'll start by saying, I think anything can be used if it's tasteful.

    If you look at many styles today, 3d (shadows, embossing, etc..) tend to be poor in design. For example a person putting together a UI might use drop shadow because you can't clearly read the label, and that's bad.

    Going back to designers like Saul Bass, what make design good is how easily distinguishable it is the user. When you look at the classic Ma' Bell logo, it's incredibly clean. The I <3 NY, by Milton Glaser is so simple and incredibly genius! Think about how that's been adapted to todays texting..

    Icons for example are probably in many respects similar to animation. If you make a silhouette out of a character action (just black and white), it has to make sense to the view what their doing. You'll usually find that their poses have arms outside the body area and things are asymmetric. That's why places like Pixar spend time posing character for the camera a certain way. Icons and design are no different..

    Personally I've always cycled between two extremes. simplicity vs complexity (heavy 3d / graphics styles). I'm not saying it's right, but I feel that when you have something simple like w(p)8 and its UI being very clean, you have to beef up the appeal with more animation / transitions while complexity (3d) you can do less because you're already overwhelming the user visual sense.I think Microsoft did a great job at incorporating transitions with minimal wait time, while playing with really good type design.

    As for overall limitations, I feel there will be a need between simple and advanced / power user interfaces. For example, there are people that want certain features to just be a button. This isn't bad, and I'm sure certain things make perfect sense, but for me there are certain designs where I'd like to have power features available that allow me more flexibility than just having that simple button. (I'm a developer, so that might have something to do with it too :) )

    Anyway, good discussion!

    Cheers,
    Kelly
    Simon Tupper likes this.
    03-14-2013 11:42 PM
  7. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    I agree that going to a more animated OS rather than adding some 3D is a good idea. But I'd still like to have more background choice in WP than white or black. As I said earlier some backgrounds that give the impression of depth could make the tiles pop out and I would certainly chose one of those if they were available. My first post was really broad and did not express well what I wanted to say. What I would like is a little something that changes a lot and obviously more features, and more apps to be original.
    03-15-2013 12:06 AM
  8. spaulagain's Avatar
    Ugh, all this 3D and depth talk is making me sick to my stomach. The Metro design language (screw that Modern name) is all about being flat. If you start adding depth and gradients etc it kills the integrity of the design language. Of course MS is going to continue developing and improving their UI. But gradients shall not be involved.

    As a UI designer, I find myself naturally gravitating towards flat design languages. Gradients are difficult to control consistently and require a lot more resources. Its also a lot easier to make a Responsive Design with a flat UI because you no longer have to create some logical, but false physical presence. The UI can be whatever it needs to be to fit the view and present the content in the most efficient way.

    Metro has a few issues when it comes to clearly conveying actionable UI elements, but other than that I find it far superior without a single gradient.
    Laura Knotek and a5cent like this.
    03-15-2013 12:31 AM
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