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24 Weeks of Windows Phone Metro Design | #24 Pushing Metro Further with Design Inspiration

 24 Weeks of Windows Phone Design Index


Pushing Metro Further with Design Inspiration

In this final post I won’t close the door. Instead, I want to leave the door open to the possibilities ahead with regards to Metro design. To push Metro design further. I love Metro design - as an architect I was helpless in appreciating the core principles and my admiration to the folks in the Windows Phone design team who consciously materialized/realized this design style. Metro has changed many things inside and outside of Microsoft and it will continue to do so.

Today in the industry I’m following two big design trends: Skeumorphism and Modernism. And I’m not referring to ‘Modern UI’ re: Microsoft rumored new term for ‘Metro-style’ but to digital user interface design inspired in the Modernist movement, a design movement that many other companies, agencies and designers have pursued much before Microsoft started Metro. Metro design is one the many UI languages that are inspired in Modernist principles. It wasn’t the first one and it won’t be the last one.

By now I hope we all agree on the difference between ‘Metro design’ and ‘Metro-style’ right? If not let me tell you the way I understand these two very different things:

Metro design is a design language inspired on Modernism movement principles and extends these to include principles that guide us in the digital era.

‘Metro-style’ is an application platform.  I’m so glad to hear the Windows team decided for the right path to drop ‘Metro-style’. There were multiple reasons they decided to do so. I won’t discuss that here but I’m glad they dropped this term. Microsoft has confirmed publicly and in private that the right way to refer to ‘Metro-style’ apps is Windows Store apps.

Ok, settled. ‘Metro-style apps’ is now Windows Store apps.

So the application platform issue is settled. How about Metro design? You know - the principles?

Do we really care how we refer to those? Argh, I’d like to say no but I kind of do. At the same time I don’t want to continue calling them Metro because as a friend of Microsoft I don’t wanna step on their toes. So how do we call them?

As far as I know the Windows design principles continue to be:

Show pride in craftsmanship
Be fast and fluid
Be authentically digital
Do more with less
Win as one

And the Windows Phone design principles to me still are:

Light, Clean, Open, Fast
Content, Not Chrome
Celebrate Typography
Alive in Motion
Authentically Digital

I’m looking forward to learning from BUILD 2012 more about these two sets of principles and how will Microsoft will refer to the different terminology. I plan to adhere to their guidance on this regard and will update this post as soon as we get some clarity here.

Independently of this I will leave you with a collection of links to sources of inspiration I’m currently following an exploring:



Minimalist Apps not in the way the look but in the way they function

Microsoft Office Vision

Microsoft Office Labs Website

Microsoft.com - Hotness!

25 Beautiful Responsive Web Design Samples

Milwaukee Police - Badass!

Introduction to Genetic Algorithms

Programming Architecture

Tom Wiscombe of EMERGENT Architecture

2 Responses to “24 Weeks of Windows Phone Metro Design | #24 Pushing Metro Further with Design Inspiration”

  1. David Egerton Says:

    The whole 24 weeks articles are a great read and contain some very good articles that will be helpful - together with other information and thoughts I have about our own web redesign.

    Thank you for taking the trouble (and the significant time) in producing this series of articles based around windows metro. Excellent quality with good supporting links.

  2. ArturoT Says:

    Thank you David! Look out for the upcoming “offline” version of this series (aka a big PDF file)

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