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Behind the Windows 8 Metro UI

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Sam Moreau, Principal UX Designer for Windows, joined me at \\Build on Day 2 to talk about the Metro Windows 8 UI. Where did swiping from the edges come from? What is the idea behind Charms? How do you swipe through apps backwards? Should every application migrate to a Metro style over time? Where should developers who are new to Metro start? We cover all of these and more.

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  • GuestGuest

    Want transcript or machine transcribe audio like youtube,thanks.

  • Emi CyberschreiberEmi ​Cyberschrei​ber

    I loved watching this video! saddly still there will be people who will complain about new UI.


    of course is different. but i jumped from MS-DOS to 3.1/3.11 and then 95. if i couldn't deal with a change still i would be using MS-DOS. and i have been using Windows since that.


    and it feels nice, with mouse and keyboard it feels cool. and its beautiful. of course i had to change the default Green haha but it feel nice when you pan across a nice pic. and you feel it moves with the tiles. of course it needs works. but these 2 weeks its been cool. of course i almost dont see new UI like i didn't see a start menu never. the only time i spent in start menu was when i couldn't remember name for program and i couldn't find it.

    so no, as you didn't see much start menú you wont see much new UI since most apps are still on desktop.


    but when i go there (new start screen) it feels and looks nice. i wish people would understand the idea behind metro, like with these videos. but its hard.

    i like also change, if i wanted something looking almost the same, i would stay in Windows xp and dont upgrade like alot of people.

    and Windows 8 is adding alot of cool features! so they are more reasons to upgrade.

  • Hi, 

              I also found this new Metro UI beautiful and awesome.

    The concepts of charms is good . I wish if this concept can be introduced to Windows Phone.

    The Chrome Less browsing of IE-10 looks cool. Still i am facing lot of issues in IE-9 but I hope they will get resolved in IE-10.

    I am afraid perhaps some naive users get confused betweeb two UIs .anyways all the best Windows 8 team.

     

              

        

  • Fabulous FadzFabulous_​Fadz One does not simply walk into Mordor

    Finally found this interview. And the answer to my left handed question is very good. At the time of my asking I hadn't seen that you could swipe from the left to bring in previous windows. So all in all. Windows 8 is a big Win.

    Love the Metro UI since first seeing it on Windows Phone 7. The only problem I have with Windows 8 is that for a whole week I didn't get to think of WP7. Now I constantly think of both, and scenarios to get apps that work together utilizing both platforms.

  • MagicAndre1981Magic​Andre1981 xperf addicted

    amazing and beautiful? This crap? Sorry, the MetroUI sucks completely on a desktop PC with mouse and keyboard. It is completely unusable. Everything takes longer compared to Windows 7, you have to move the mouse often from the left to the right side of the monitor and back to do simply tasks. This is a simple NIGHTMARE! Connecting to a WiFi shows a green rectangle over the right side of the monitor. What a nonsense is this? I'm on the old desktop, klick on a link, now I switch to the metroui and the metro IE runs. I''M on the desktop and don't want to switch to the crap!!!!!

    If we have no choice to disable this teletubby UI, Windows 8 will be the largest disaster for Microsoft ever. Each day a lot of topics in the WDP MSDN forum where started where the users complain why it can't be disabled. Listen to the customers or don't you want to sell your products any longer?

    @Emi ​Cyberschrei​ber

    with Windows95 it was a large improvement over the old win3.x UI, but this teletubby UI is the worst nonsense I've ever seen.

    Looks like Sams team consumed drugs while working on it or their childs designed the UI while watching the teletubies on TV.

  • Hello there,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences in designing Windows 8. The charms and the use of edges are clever. As a UX designer, I am very aware of a problem however that I should mention.

    The color scheme of Windows 8 is highly problematic. 

    In WP7, you can set a theme color so the default apps are at least somewhat unifying the experience in the midst of a chaos of well designed and poorly designed third-party apps. In Xbox Metro, the experience is unified with a theme color (Xbox's green), while juxtaposed with colorful tiles that show TV and games. Things pop and don't seem chaotic.
     
    In Windows 8, meanwhile, it's a crazy rainbow of colors which third-party apps will surely not be able to follow. Are there any reasoning behind why email is yellow and calender is red, and so on? They all seem arbitrary decisions to me, and are designed to only look good for the particular arrangement of tiles in the demo for now - almost any user intervention will destroy the color composition balance of the Start screen.
     
    A good color scheme is not only for beauty, but also a unifying experience for users. I can see the understanding that the differences of W8 apps are exaggerated so it may coexist better with websites as apps - but I doubt it's a good strategy. Having a unified color scheme will help users distinguish well designed or official ones, versus ones that aren't designed for Windows 8. It will also reduce unnecessary noise in the design.
     
    Thanks. Keep up the good work.
  • bluestarbluestar

    Windows 8 ARM support: A blow for Intel http://morldtechgossips.blogspot.com/2011/09/windows-8-arm-support-blow-for-intel.html

  • notimpressednotimpressed

    I have to agree a little with MagicAndre1981. The UI feels very childish. I hope they figure out a lot of the issues and come up with better designs before RTM. What they currently have will not win my over for my desktop.

  • EricEric

    I think Metro looks very good for tablets but I think this is DOA for normal desktops and most notebooks. You cant go to full screen only apps its not going to work. I have two 24" LCD's so I can keep a few windows open at a time, personally I cascade them so I can click on visible corners to bring windows to the forefront. I hope this isnt "done" becuase you have to do more for Desktop and Notebook users. Also the idea of no start menu is not a good idea. If you are in explorer start menu should be Win7 start menu with a big button close to the bottom to go back to Metro. But then again even that isnt sitting well with me. You have to come up with a system where all apps can run at the same time not metro vs others. You guys are smart, I am sure you can figure it out, dont stop now!

  • ivanivan

    I've seen Metro UI being disabled, there is a flick gesture somewhere in the corner which suppose to bring back Win7 UI, for all those desktop lovers.

    Honestly though, Metro UI on WP7 reminds me of DOS. Very dull colors, tiny-tiny boring buttons, no way to put background behind boring square buttons on main screen. And it takes longer to flip through the icons and run animation when icons are clicked.

    The Windows 8 Metro looks much improved, yet still those two colored tiny buttons appear all over the place. Many non-tech users I talked to just laughed in disbelief of how poorly designed some of the UI elements are.

    You are making a bet, but this time it is going to be hard to shove it down the consumer's throats, because there are some companies who actually listen to their customers...

  • I understand that Windows8 is in the Developer Preview stage and that there are a lot of rough edges. BUT one thing that worries me on Windows 8 is Multitasking. The Swiping gesture is ok to multitask between 2-3 apps but that's about it . Heck even Windows phone can multitask better!

    I'm sure you see the problem. What's the solution you've come up with? Why aren't you telling about it?Perplexed

  • leighleigh

    @magic. Just use the keyboard to swap programs. No problem. All the keyboard shortcuts work like a charm ... Even the charms.

    Keep your comments professional, please.

  • it would have been good if Metro UI for 32 bit Windows 8 has been released instead of just 64bit Windows 8. Even to this day majority of Windows Operating Systems are 32-bit based, therefore it would be great if they release Metro UI for 32-bit Windows Developer Preview so that developers can learn the new Metro UI

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