I know why this started, it began when I read two articles; one by a guy at ZDNet and the other was from a guy who is a Silverlight developer. The former’s post was on why he felt no passion for Windows Phone; in summary it didn’t have the geeky features he got on Android or iOS. The latter said what he liked most about developing for Windows 8 was he didn’t have to learn design.
Now both of these sentiments and many others like it are why I decided to just make a quick post about how to design for Metro interfaces.
(Why Lord did I want to push this rock?)
Because I thought everybody was doing it wrong.
Or a better way to say it is thinking wrong. About Metro. For those of you that don’t know Metro or the Metro Design Language is the user interface created by Microsoft; it will be the main thing you see this fall if you get a Windows tablet or desktop. It is a shared interface that is on both the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7.
Metro is radically different than what you see on Android (Google) or iOS (Apple). It has none of the things you think about when you here Windows. Metro does away with a lot of the traits we ascribe to modern interfaces; their is little to no Chrome or glossy effects between us and the program. It stresses direct interaction with the content. As of now it doesn’t make use of controls or customizations.
To some its an affront to all that is decent and holy; to me its the most compelling set of ideas put onto a system.
I’m writing this because I think I can help people slightly better understand the concepts behind Metro and maybe how they can make it interesting for themselves. What I see is confusion about how somebody should go about designing in Metro. It’s like someone has taken the training wheels off so its a scary time.
I just want people to not be scarred; I want them to understand that the same rules to develop software before still stands. I also want people to push and Metro to make it work for them. I want designers and developers to bring their A games to Windows and not treat this like they treat Android; as this place you slag off work. I am frankly tired of iOS getting quality applications and everyone else gets pixilated shit in a bag.
Metro is as compelling and as beautiful as you make it; to me its about the future of computing where data visualization becomes part of the workflow. It’s about creating serious and complex touch applications.
Over the next few posts hopefully I’ll convey the idea that Metro can be an expansive idea (yes you can use linen in the app). So I hope you enjoy the posts, comment, and give feedback.