Monday, 1 October 2012

What is “Metro Design” and why you will see more of it

Metro is the term Microsoft uses for the user interface on Windows 8 and other applications.  It is based on a Swiss graphic design style from the 1950’s.

Windows 8 "Metro" Start Screen

King Country Metro Sign
The inspiration for the name Metro came from signs at public transportation systems, including the King Country Metro which is the public transport system in Seattle.

We wonder how many other inspirations came to Microsoft developers while sitting on a bus!

There is however a hitch, Microsoft have stopped calling it Metro as they don't have the trademark, so the working title at the moment is "New User Interface".  

The look may seem familiar as it’s already in use on XBOX live, and is similar to Windows Media Player.  Expect this look to become the standard across all Microsoft products, with Skype already rumoured to be getting a new look.

The Metro style will mean that you use your computer differently, with many of the new features being shown off in some flashy Microsoft videos. 

However don’t be scared off. Once you dig past the flashy interface  Office still looks quite similar, as demonstrated in this video of Office 2013.

The biggest change is that the user interface will be consistent across the desktop, tablet, phone and even the kids Xbox!

So once you have mastered it on one you will be able to easily use it on all your gadgets.

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