The Microsoft design language

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Windows 8 is Windows reimagined. To that end, Microsoft developed five principles that drove the experience design decisions for Windows 8. This talk will describe each of these principles and how they relate to each other. It will also give you concrete guidance on how to apply these principles in your own apps.

For more information, check out this course on Microsoft Virtual Academy:






B33 McKinley



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    The Discussion

    • User profile image

      great session!

    • User profile image

      Wonderful presentation on the 5 principles of the new Microsoft design. I loved it !!


    • User profile image

      I've tried several times to download and play the MP4 versions without much luck. Is there something wrong with the encoding?

    • User profile image

      @Ryan: I just pulled down the high quality MP4 and it played through fine for me in Windows Media Player. What version of the MP4 are you trying to view?

    • User profile image
      ilija injac

      Very cool session! A must for every developer/designer!

    • User profile image
      El Pibe

      Very good insight on the design principles.

      Content over chrome

    • User profile image

      You might also enjoy, "Why has Microsoft's design language captured the essence of modern interface design? 5 key elements."

      I wrote it after //build/ 2011 last year.

    • User profile image

      This session was a great way to get insight into the new modern UI of Windows 8. Helpful for us developers.

    • User profile image

      Very interesting session, thanks!

    • User profile image

      You are a very good presenter Will!
      I enjoyed your session.

    • User profile image

      nice session Smiley

    • User profile image

      great session Smiley

    • User profile image
      Stayu Kasabov

      I don't understand one simple thing.
      Yes i like the design language a lot.
      Its clear, easy on the eyes, functional etc.
      But i think that Microsoft Design is still wrong about desktop paradigm.
      Two things.
      First you can't hide start menu. Is a clear starting point in user interaction.
      When you are in desktop mode you have different approach to interaction a pointer device. An absence of start menu will heart seriously the older user base.
      Second. When introducing something new, you must rethink and redesign the other basic point of user experience The Explorer.
      Chrome elements are useless, why not take a metro approach there?
      I feel this design incomplete and i am frustrated with that thing.
      Gui speaking its like watercolor theme for win xp.
      I just don't get it. They have a big budget, dedicated effort and result is "we want you to forget your desktop?".
      This is plain wrong.
      I like the direction. I like the simplicity of new visual language.
      But something is missing.
      Give the User one simple button with new logo for starting point of a metro interface and put some of the same design philosophy in redesigning a windows explorer and you have a winner.

    • User profile image

      new design forced to visual studio 2012 and windows server. it's a bad move.

    • User profile image

      The only thing they forgot to think about is multimonitor configurations where mouse doesn't stop.

      Don't like "metro" on desktop. Have Win8 but using it only in "desktop" mode, not "metro".

      Still prefer to see icons, desktop wallpapers and multiple WINDOWS in same time.

      Sorry, MS, but your "metro" sucks on desktops. Too simplistic for professional users.

    • User profile image

      I created as a tool for wireframing and prototyping Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps using the new Windows UI design pattern.

      They are a library of customizable vector UI elements built in PowerPoint. Each UI element can be hooked up to action buttons and slide transitions to build an interactive prototype with no coding or Photoshop experience. This encourages even non-technical and non-professional designers to focus on the content before chrome principle when mocking up app ideas with the new Windows UI.

      Drop me an email on the site's contact form to learn more or get a discount code from me.

    • User profile image
      Yang Yu

      Awesome presentation. Exciting stuff coming to MS

    • User profile image

      , BlackTiger wrote

      The only thing they forgot to think about is multimonitor configurations where mouse doesn't stop.

      Don't like "metro" on desktop. Have Win8 but using it only in "desktop" mode, not "metro".

      Still prefer to see icons, desktop wallpapers and multiple WINDOWS in same time.

      Sorry, MS, but your "metro" sucks on desktops. Too simplistic for professional users.

      I agree completely, "metro" is kinda great for mobile devices, but awfull for bigscreen devices..

      Also there is esthetics which shows it's nice face, MS talks about content over chrome, and have a very dull visual look (you say actually that you should use 1 color background and 1 color foreground (icon/text)), but we all know the big concrete flats which is fact content over chrome (people can live in it (content) and all concrete (no chrome), but we also know that people don't like to live in those buildings and rather live in more fancy (chrome) looking houses.

      To me as a user the change that was given to something like skydrive made everything look more ugly, bigger (I see less information as before) and isn't more intuitive than the previous version, and let's not get started on the 'contacts' list of, i can even find less information as before.. So how's that with your so called content over chrome religion..

      Also with everything really looking the same, I personally don't see the difference anymore between a lot of apps and even confuses me more as before.. All demo's I see are from small apps which only show a little bit of information, but never really fully fledged applications which have both a lot of content to consume and enter/process..

      Also the filosofie is, use every pixel for content, but with "metro" it seems that it's using every pixel for spacing not content, too much 'white'space which could have filled with important content, but due to 'having to follow the MS rules' your stuck with large fonts to show the info.. Instead of having to scroll vertical, we now have to scroll horizontally..

      To me all this "metro" style is all BS as everything is already possible with current windows/macosx/android etc. and never has been any different. And as said, "metro" has it's base as "touch" which ofcourse is not something we are sitting in our offices behind big screens and not use touch devices (which will become another RSI-nightmare), typing on real keyboards is still much better as typing on a touchscreen..

    • User profile image

      Metro design of gumtree

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