The first time we got an in depth view of Windows 8 it was at the Build conference. Since Build, Microsoft has gone into great detail about the technical side but hasn’t really gone in on the design side. I think that needs to be addressed, especially before Windows 8 is released. While Microsoft’s designers have talked about the Metro design language they have done it in small venues or venues outside of the Windows dev community. I think its high pass time Microsoft picked a place, set a date, and sit down with the community to publicly have the Talk.
There are a lot of questions.
What exactly qualifies as a Metro application?
How do you design for Windows 8?
What are the best practices?
How do you keep it from being boring?
These are just some of the questions coming from developers. From designers I can only guess what they’re thinking. But how do you make compelling applications without the design elements they are used to. Does Metro have lickability?
From a user’s perspective; we want better applications. And we want the applications the other platforms get (specifically Apple’s iOS). There is a concern that Windows 8 app space will look like Windows Phone, or Google’s Android, a lot of applications poorly implementing UI styles. And ports of programs that look like whoever did it didn’t give a damn.
Personally I always liked the MIX conference because it was the one closest to consumers and honestly it talked about design and stuff I could clearly grasp (I like the shiny sue me). MIX also served as one of the few venues where the designers and the font nerds could gather and network. I mean I know the technical stuff is important, but it don’t sell if it doesn’t look good.
Microsoft needs a design conference and I don’t care if its called Design or MIX 2 Electric Boogaloo. You have just introduced a new interface on people and for us the user you need to so the people who make the apps the way. They will thank you, I will thank you, and Steve Ballmer won’t throw a chair.
PS You can also party your butts off (this is known as a side benefit)
PS part Deux, Could you also add info on Windows Phone
7 8 (Phone needs love too)