[CORRECTION] Build 9901: Metro design is changing

Taube2

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CORRECTION: I just saw a video walkthrough of this build, and realized that the new apps in fact do NOT adjust to the system theme color. They are always blue (which just happened to be the system theme color in the screenshots mentioned below). So this could be interpreted in a few different ways: Either blue is going to be the theme color for most Microsoft apps in the future, or they just used blue in this build because they have yet to decide final individual colors for the apps, or maybe the apps will in fact adjust to the system theme color in the final build. What's interesting to notice is that when you pin one of those new apps to the desktop, the icons don't have a color at all - they are just the white icons on a transparent background. To me that means that individual color themes for preinstalled apps might be going away.
I have not updated the original post below.


I've rewritten this post after I found a huge collection of screenshots of build 9901 (can't post the link, just google "thecollectionbook").

That recently leaked build reveals a huge amount of elaborate UI redesigns, both within a number of existing and new apps, and in the system UI. Seems like "Metro" is going to look truly different than it used to.

Less color
Most of the redesigned apps in this build have lost their individual theme colors. Their app icons (in the Start menu), splash screens, and highlighted UI elements within those apps now match the system theme color. The rest of the app UI uses different shades of grey (mostly dark shades).
colors.jpg
This image shows some of the new app icons and splash screens:
splash.jpg

New icon design language
There are many new icon designs in the new system UI and in redesigned apps. Most of those icons follow a new distinctive design language: they are composed of thin monochrome (mostly white, grey or black) lines (and dots) of consistent thickness and of simple geometrical forms (mostly straight and circular lines). That's a huge departure from past "Metro" icon designs, which were basically monochrome pictograms (simplified visual depictions) of any form or shape, designed to be easily recognizable. The new icon design allows for a more distinctive and consistent look, but it has some disadvantages: thin lines are less easily recognizable from greater viewing distances or on low res screens, and the reduction of the icons to simple geometrical forms makes them more abstract and harder to interpret.
iconss.png

Hamburgers everywhere
Some of the redesigned apps now have a hamburger menu that looks and works just like it does on a lot of mobile apps: tapping a hamburger button in the top left corner will open or expand a menu that includes app navigation as well as access to settings. To me this seems like a smart design choice, considering that windowed apps don't allow you to swipe in an app bar or the charms menu. Hamburger menus can replace some of that functionality, and they are easy to find and easy to use for both mouse and touch. Plus, this kind of design allows for consistent app designs across PCs and phones (universal apps).
hamburger.jpg

My predictions
These new designs in build 9901 are not final, and they are not applied to the whole OS and to all apps (yet), but here are my predictions:
- I think preinstalled apps will all use the system theme color. That system theme color will be used in other parts of the OS as well (it's already applied to the new Cortana UI).
- I think "Metro" will be visually much darker and less colorful than it used to be. Combined with the new abstract and delicate looking icons, that will make for a more elegant look compared to the playful look of current "Metro" designs.
- I think hamburger buttons (within the app and in the title bar) will ultimately replace both the app bar and the charms menu.
- I think the phone versions of the preinstalled Windows 10 apps will look very similar, with hamburger buttons potentially replacing the horizontal "panorama" layouts. (By the way, this build has a WP app preinstalled, and the Store app lists WP apps!)
- I think the old desktop UI (taskbar, window title bar, ?), as well as the Start menu, will be redesigned to match the visual design of "new Metro".
 
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Muessig

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing (analysis)

It seems to me MS is doing a lot to make the entire Windows experience consistent across all their different platforms. That means the store is starting to look a bit more like the WP experience etc.

I'm quite excited to see how they progress this further!
 

SammyD97

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing (analysis)

Looking forward to the finished product. I'll probably decide then if I like the look of 10 or not.
 

Yangstax

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing (analysis)

I would like to see that Live Folder tiles on WP8.1 to be provided on W10 UI. It is very efficient way to organize the apps on the Desktop and the Metro UI screen. On the Desktop, the Metro apps attached to the Start Menu has limited space to show a large number of apps. Live Folders will solve that issue. On the Metro UI, it is a hassle to scroll through a large number of app groups. Live Folders will solve that problem by placing folder tiles on the opening Start screen. The WP8.1 Live Folders really help me a lot to keep my 300 apps in order.
 

Ryan ODonnell

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing (analysis)

I would like to see that Live Folder tiles on WP8.1 to be provided on W10 UI. It is very efficient way to organize the apps on the Desktop and the Metro UI screen. On the Desktop, the Metro apps attached to the Start Menu has limited space to show a large number of apps. Live Folders will solve that issue. On the Metro UI, it is a hassle to scroll through a large number of app groups. Live Folders will solve that problem by placing folder tiles on the opening Start screen. The WP8.1 Live Folders really help me a lot to keep my 300 apps in order.

I would love to see Live Folders on Windows 10!
 

TechmeIN64

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing (analysis)

The headings on the Store (Beta) app look very similar to the headings in the new OneDrive for WP update. I like the small text much more than the oversized text as you can see all heading at once but it still maintains the distinctness of WP's pivot navigation.

The new close, fullscreen, and minimize buttons also look great.
 

Taube2

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

Do you think the multi coloured tiles are going away?

I think they will go away. If you look at that presentation slide from the Windows 10 event (the one that showed that the new OS will work on all form factors including phones), you can see that the tiles are all the same color. The screenshots on that slide were probably just internal design mockups, but they already hinted at one-colored tiles.
 

Mahdi Ghiasi

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

I hoped they bring multi colored tiles from tablets to phones. Seems they're doing the opposite :(
 

boltman2013

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

They should at the very least allow you to group tiles of a similar color together. It looks off having a ton of grey then a red and green or blue. Any tile should be able to change its background to fit in with another group for consistency of UI Start

The must have is the Live Folder Feature of WP81

start_0.jpg
 

several potatos

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

I think the hamburger icon, while inelegant, is a step in a more successful direction; that symbol is extremely familiar to many people who(m? I never get that right) use other operating systems. Windows 8 scared off people too skittish to learn new visual cues. Windows 10 needs to address that.
 

SammyD97

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

I think the hamburger icon, while inelegant, is a step in a more successful direction; that symbol is extremely familiar to many people who(m? I never get that right) use other operating systems. Windows 8 scared off people too skittish to learn new visual cues. Windows 10 needs to address that.

I don't mind the hamburger button except on phone. Big(gish) phone, small hands. It can be quite inconvenient reaching for the top of the screen. I doesn't always have to be at the top. The ellipsis is so much easier because its reachable. They should put it at the bottom at least (if they're looking to make it an ever constant presence on the phone version too).
 

Taube2

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Re: Build 9901: Metro design is changing [UPDATED]

The must have is the Live Folder Feature of WP81
In Winbeta's video of this build you can see a "Groups" section in the "getting started" app, with an icon that looks like a bunch of app icons coming out of the start screen. What I think this means is that Windows 10 will have some sort of Tile grouping feature that's more elaborate than the current one on Windows 8.1. The OS depicted on the presentation slide at the Windows 10 event showed both W8.1 style tile grouping with headers AND WP8.1 style folders, on tablets as well as phones. My guess is that that's how it's gonna be.
 

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