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Don’t call it Metro, call it Good Design

design metro windows phone ios android flat

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#16 nMIK-3

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 16:52

Thats a great article, very well said from the author.


#17 OP BajiRav

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 17:04

Your argument is based on a false premise. MS haven't mandated the sort of chromeless UI you refer to and there are plenty of apps in the Marketplace that take the standard look of WP apps and enhance them with background images, icons, etc. I'm not aware of any rule that says that all apps must look the same which probably explains why they don't.

There may be many apps that use the standard Panorama and Pivot controls but that's because a) those controls work exceptionally well on a small screen and b) Visual Studio comes with templates that use these controls and developers are obviously using them. There's nothing stopping developers from using these basic controls but still producing apps that look fresh and interesting.

I happen to like the fact that WP apps have a relatively consistent look and feel and I think it's important for all platforms. I don't like the look of iOS but I think Apple were right to include rules that ensure that 3rd-party apps have a consistent look because it aids usability. Android by comparison is a dogs dinner of incoherent, ugly looking apps. It's a shame that MS have allowed apps like Untappd into the Marketplace without asking them to drop the iPhone UI and replace it with something that is consistent with WP's UI.

I'm happy to have devs develop a "brand connection" as you put it but it should be consistent with the platform they're targeting. WP's UI guidelines are flexible enough to allow distinct looking apps that perform the way a WP user expects.

I couldn't have said it better. I think people wrongly assume that metro means everything has to be plain, bland colors with large text. The "chrome less" approach is confusing to put into words but there are apps which differentiate enough to stand out. I think the twitter app is nicely done and has its distinctive look and is still based on the pivot template. Flixter is another good example.

#18 Dot Matrix

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 17:21

It will be interesting to see how this all play out. From what I've seen the new Facebook app is completely non-Metro.


What? Did you look close enough? How is this not Metro? Have you even used the app? (It still has swipe gestures (R and L) and everything that makes Metro, Metro. It just doesn't have landscape support, which the last app had (and poorly implemented). There's no gaudy design, 3D icons, or anything else going on here that takes away from the Windows Phone UX.

wp_ss_20130503_0003.png

#19 jakem1

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 17:24

I couldn't have said it better. I think people wrongly assume that metro means everything has to be plain, bland colors with large text. The "chrome less" approach is confusing to put into words but there are apps which differentiate enough to stand out. I think the twitter app is nicely done and has its distinctive look and is still based on the pivot template. Flixter is another good example.


Additionally I think MS have to actively push to ensure that 3rd-party apps are designed with the platform in mind. It's all well and good to say that devs should be able to apply a distinctive look to their apps across all platforms but the reality is that that would mean that most multi-platform apps would, like Untappd, just look like cheap iOS ports. WP doesn't have the market share to end up in a situation where top-tier apps port a Metro-style look across to other platforms and even if they did, Apple's rules would likely prevent those apps from making it into the App Store.

Microsoft have to be firm for the good of their platform and for the good of their users.

#20 Dashel

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 17:43

What? Did you look close enough? How is this not Metro? Have you even used the app? (It still has swipe gestures (R and L) and everything that makes Metro, Metro. It just doesn't have landscape support, which the last app had (and poorly implemented). There's no gaudy design, 3D icons, or anything else going on here that takes away from the Windows Phone UX.


So really, the guy that tries to be a poster child for it, doesn't have a clue what it means. Nice.

#21 chrisj1968

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 17:59

Additionally I think MS have to actively push to ensure that 3rd-party apps are designed with the platform in mind. It's all well and good to say that devs should be able to apply a distinctive look to their apps across all platforms but the reality is that that would mean that most multi-platform apps would, like Untappd, just look like cheap iOS ports. WP doesn't have the market share to end up in a situation where top-tier apps port a Metro-style look across to other platforms and even if they did, Apple's rules would likely prevent those apps from making it into the App Store.

Microsoft have to be firm for the good of their platform and for the good of their users.


The Modern UI might not work in many environments such as banks. Personally I'm against Windows 8 due to implementation and the UI. While looks wise, it is cool. But I'm old school and like the old school.

I hope windows 8.1 opens the door for those of us who want a more old school use of windows.

#22 Dot Matrix

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:01

So really, the guy that tries to be a poster child for it, doesn't have a clue what it means. Nice.


Ad hominem is all you got? Fine then, which one looks like a Windows Phone app, and which one doesn't? Facebook or Untappd? There's your ****ing answer.

#23 Brony

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:02

Modern UI is still too faulty to be considered a good design.
For example, Panorama, is frustrating to not to know when some user could swipe and when not. And sometimes Panorama add loops that a extra PITA.

However, my main complain against Modern UI (windows phone) is some icons are not intuitive at all, and some are used regularly. So, without tooltip (that touch interface lacks), sometimes the UI feels like a minefield, touching icons that may be they don't do what i expected.

#24 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:07

Modern UI is still too faulty to be considered a good design.
For example, Panorama, is frustrating to not to know when some user could swipe and when not. And sometimes Panorama add loops that a extra PITA.

However, my main complain against Modern UI (windows phone) is some icons are not intuitive at all, and some are used regularly. So, without tooltip (that touch interface lacks), sometimes the UI feels like a minefield, touching icons that may be they don't do what i expected.


Wouldn't say that was the Metro Design UI's problem but the developers.

#25 trek

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:11

Ad hominem is all you got? Fine then, which one looks like a Windows Phone app, and which one doesn't? Facebook or Untappd? There's your ****ing answer.


So they removed one gradient - otherwise it looks just like iOS and Android.

Posted Image

(Image stolen from Thurott)

#26 +LogicalApex

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:18

Your argument is based on a false premise. MS haven't mandated the sort of chromeless UI you refer to and there are plenty of apps in the Marketplace that take the standard look of WP apps and enhance them with background images, icons, etc. I'm not aware of any rule that says that all apps must look the same which probably explains why they don't.

There may be many apps that use the standard Panorama and Pivot controls but that's because a) those controls work exceptionally well on a small screen and b) Visual Studio comes with templates that use these controls and developers are obviously using them. There's nothing stopping developers from using these basic controls but still producing apps that look fresh and interesting.

I happen to like the fact that WP apps have a relatively consistent look and feel and I think it's important for all platforms. I don't like the look of iOS but I think Apple were right to include rules that ensure that 3rd-party apps have a consistent look because it aids usability. Android by comparison is a dogs dinner of incoherent, ugly looking apps. It's a shame that MS have allowed apps like Untappd into the Marketplace without asking them to drop the iPhone UI and replace it with something that is consistent with WP's UI.

I'm happy to have devs develop a "brand connection" as you put it but it should be consistent with the platform they're targeting. WP's UI guidelines are flexible enough to allow distinct looking apps that perform the way a WP user expects.


Just because there are apps in the marketplace that ignore MS' guidelines doesn't mean MS isn't telling developers the things I mentioned. Ever since the launch of Windows Phone Microsoft's message to developers has been "more content, less chrome" and this hasn't yet changed. I've read the Metro design guidelines in great detail because it was something I wanted to get right when I released my Windows Phone application (and I feel I did). Many developers over use the panorama control flooding it with graphics and left to right scrolling which isn't the way it is supposed to be used.

But why take my word for it...

http://dev.windowsph...principles#more
http://ux.artu.tv/?p=179
http://ux.artu.tv/?p=234
http://www.jeff.wilc...esign-guide-v1/

But I'll go back to the other side of the room. I forget that here I'm supposed to remember that I never know what I'm talking about...

#27 Athernar

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:20

Ad hominem is all you got? Fine then, which one looks like a Windows Phone app, and which one doesn't? Facebook or Untappd? There's your ****ing answer.


What happened to Metro being about typography and being chromeless? Content visibly going beyond the current viewport?

Or has the once-future of computing decayed away to little more than a visual style centered around hard edges, block colours and silhouettes?

You seem to be forgetting your passion. For shame.

#28 OP BajiRav

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:22

Additionally I think MS have to actively push to ensure that 3rd-party apps are designed with the platform in mind. It's all well and good to say that devs should be able to apply a distinctive look to their apps across all platforms but the reality is that that would mean that most multi-platform apps would, like Untappd, just look like cheap iOS ports. WP doesn't have the market share to end up in a situation where top-tier apps port a Metro-style look across to other platforms and even if they did, Apple's rules would likely prevent those apps from making it into the App Store.

Microsoft have to be firm for the good of their platform and for the good of their users.

Untappd is just one lazy port I think. If they are using PhoneGap then it should not be very time consuming to adapt to WP L&F in their app.

#29 +LogicalApex

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:26

What? Did you look close enough? How is this not Metro? Have you even used the app? (It still has swipe gestures (R and L) and everything that makes Metro, Metro. It just doesn't have landscape support, which the last app had (and poorly implemented). There's no gaudy design, 3D icons, or anything else going on here that takes away from the Windows Phone UX.


The UI is as Metro as Android 4.2.2 and Holo from Google.

The key point of Metro is content is king so you're supposed to shed as much non-content Chrome as you possibly can. But, I'm shocked to even be discussing this with you (and you on the side not knowing what Metro Design Language states) as you're the poster child for Metro, ModernUI, Windows 8, and all things Microsoft.

Are you trolling me?

#30 OP BajiRav

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:26

So they removed one gradient - otherwise it looks just like iOS and Android.

Posted Image

(Image stolen from Thurott)

..and added app bar instead of the buttons. Has a pivot like functionality for swipe left-right. It uses some metro stuff and is kind of a hybrid iOS-metro.