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Don’t call it Metro, call it Good Design

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#31 Dot Matrix

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:26

I don't get how any of this is any different from the official Twitter app either. Both still make use of the MDL, while staying true to their own designs.

EDIT: Now that I come to it, each first party app uses some sort of banner or headline. Are they not Metro now too?


#32 jakem1

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:42

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.


Ignoring the fact that this discussion is about Windows Phone, I can't see why a bank's app won't work with a Metro UI. In fact, my bank has an app for WP that relies on a a WP-consistent UI and works perfectly.

#33 OP BajiRav

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:47

Both Chase and Bank of America have good WP apps. I don't get it either.

#34 jakem1

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 18:56

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...


I don't see your point (and you can lose the chip on your shoulder because it doesn't help your argument). In your first posts you argued that MS were forcing developers to adopt a chromeless UI to the detriment of their apps. Now you admit that devs can ignore Microsoft's guidelines if they want. Which is it, forced or flexible? Clearly Microsoft have chosen to be flexible, after all guidelines don't need be rigid rules and the apps they've allowed in the Marketplace are proof of their flexible approach.

You suggest that all WP apps look the same and that developers have no way to differentiate their apps from the competition but the reality is completely different as a brief look through the Marketplace demonstrates. From personal experience, I can safely say that no two apps on my phone look the same. They may contain similar elements but I expect and want that sort of consistency, especially on a phone.

You also suggest that the idea of less chrome, more content is a bad idea. I can't imagine why that would be the case, especially on a small screen. WP and its apps are extremely easy to navigate thanks to visual hints and clever use of animation. It doesn't need unnecessary chrome taking up space to achieve this. I don't use apps to see all the pretty buttons that their developers want to dot all over the place, I use them for their content.

#35 jakem1

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 19:04

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.


Tap on the ellipses on the toolbar and labels appear under the icons.

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.


Rumour is that the devs behind Untappd have responded to the criticism they've received and confirmed that they're working on a native WP version with a proper UI. Apparently they were in a rush to get something out as quickly as they could.

#36 +LogicalApex

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 19:23

I don't see your point (and you can lose the chip on your shoulder because it doesn't help your argument). In your first posts you argued that MS were forcing developers to adopt a chromeless UI to the detriment of their apps. Now you admit that devs can ignore Microsoft's guidelines if they want. Which is it, forced or flexible? Clearly Microsoft have chosen to be flexible, after all guidelines don't need be rigid rules and the apps they've allowed in the Marketplace are proof of their flexible approach.

You suggest that all WP apps look the same and that developers have no way to differentiate their apps from the competition but the reality is completely different as a brief look through the Marketplace demonstrates. From personal experience, I can safely say that no two apps on my phone look the same. They may contain similar elements but I expect and want that sort of consistency, especially on a phone.

You also suggest that the idea of less chrome, more content is a bad idea. I can't imagine why that would be the case, especially on a small screen. WP and its apps are extremely easy to navigate thanks to visual hints and clever use of animation. It doesn't need unnecessary chrome taking up space to achieve this. I don't use apps to see all the pretty buttons that their developers want to dot all over the place, I use them for their content.


Again, my first posts were questions on the revisions this may introduce to the Metro Design Language. I never said Microsoft forces Metro Design Language on developers to the extent of banning apps for any violations at all. I did state, and have added sources as well, that Microsoft is teaching this as gospel to developers and this is the case. Microsoft allows apps that violate their guidelines into the marketplace because they need apps. But that isn't the point of my posts.

I merely stated that this may signal a shift on Microsoft's part to bring MDL back toward a middle ground. One where chrome is suggested, but not to the point of detracting from the UI.

I also never said all Windows Phone applications look the same. I stated that MDL makes it harder for them to differentiate since the focus is on the text and nothing else. Making something harder is not the same as saying it is impossible. Of course, I think you can make a MDL application look very nice and I spent a lot of time making my app look nice in MDL and I think I did pull it off pretty well. That being said, it is easier to make a unique UI experience that doesn't have to sacrifice usability or common rules when chrome is added to the picture. Chrome allows room for the fluff to be added that makes people think your app is unique and well done.

I don't have a chip on my shoulder. It is just often that people here don't want to or can't have a solid discussion on a topic. They, like you have done, jump to absolutes and then spout of stuff like "Your argument is based on a false premise. MS haven't mandated the sort of chromeless UI..." in response to my posts. Yet Microsoft Metro Design Language does call for a chromeless UI...

It is frustrating when you can't even express a simple opinion, as I did in my original post, without it being attacked and the attacker having no knowledge of what they are attacking about... I'm sure you didn't even take the time to even glance the sources I cited, all of which came from people working at Microsoft on Metro Design Language in one form or another or Microsoft officially.

#37 jakem1

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 20:53

Again, my first posts were questions on the revisions this may introduce to the Metro Design Language. I never said Microsoft forces Metro Design Language on developers to the extent of banning apps for any violations at all. I did state, and have added sources as well, that Microsoft is teaching this as gospel to developers and this is the case. Microsoft allows apps that violate their guidelines into the marketplace because they need apps. But that isn't the point of my posts.

I merely stated that this may signal a shift on Microsoft's part to bring MDL back toward a middle ground. One where chrome is suggested, but not to the point of detracting from the UI.

I also never said all Windows Phone applications look the same. I stated that MDL makes it harder for them to differentiate since the focus is on the text and nothing else. Making something harder is not the same as saying it is impossible. Of course, I think you can make a MDL application look very nice and I spent a lot of time making my app look nice in MDL and I think I did pull it off pretty well. That being said, it is easier to make a unique UI experience that doesn't have to sacrifice usability or common rules when chrome is added to the picture. Chrome allows room for the fluff to be added that makes people think your app is unique and well done.

I don't have a chip on my shoulder. It is just often that people here don't want to or can't have a solid discussion on a topic. They, like you have done, jump to absolutes and then spout of stuff like "Your argument is based on a false premise. MS haven't mandated the sort of chromeless UI..." in response to my posts. Yet Microsoft Metro Design Language does call for a chromeless UI...

It is frustrating when you can't even express a simple opinion, as I did in my original post, without it being attacked and the attacker having no knowledge of what they are attacking about... I'm sure you didn't even take the time to even glance the sources I cited, all of which came from people working at Microsoft on Metro Design Language in one form or another or Microsoft officially.


Sorry if you thought my post was too aggressive (that wasn't my intention at all) but you have to accept that people might disagree with some of the things you said. Here are some of the things you said that suggested that MS were forcing developers in a particular direction and not allowing chrome:

MS stressing hardcore to developers to "drop chrome" so everything was supposed to be text heavy


I have felt that although I like Metro its push for no chrome at all was a bit too extreme.


I like where Google went with Android 4.x to pull in the flatness of Metro, but to not go so far as to render anything but text unwelcome.


Metro [is] too limiting


and in the comment I'm responding to now

the focus is on the text and nothing else


As I've said, apps in the Marketplace clearly demonstrate that these statements are false and Microsoft's guidelines are just guidelines, not strict rules that have to be adhered to.

To be honest, I don't understand why you keep claiming that the focus of apps has to be on text and nothing else. This is patently false. The focus of any app is the content which is the way it should be. The content can be text or images or graphs or buttons or whatever is relevant. The UI can be text-based if necessary but it doesn't have to be and even text-heavy apps generally include icons.

At the end of the day it's up to you to decide what your app will look like and that's always been the case. If you want to cover your app in 3D buttons with icons then MS won't stop you. However, they will recommend that you don't do that because the app will look like rubbish on their platform.

#38 fusi0n

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 21:28

Let me guess - you both think this is about Windows 8? :/ (Hint: it is not)


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#39 +LogicalApex

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 21:51

Sorry if you thought my post was too aggressive (that wasn't my intention at all) but you have to accept that people might disagree with some of the things you said. Here are some of the things you said that suggested that MS were forcing developers in a particular direction and not allowing chrome:









and in the comment I'm responding to now



As I've said, apps in the Marketplace clearly demonstrate that these statements are false and Microsoft's guidelines are just guidelines, not strict rules that have to be adhered to.

To be honest, I don't understand why you keep claiming that the focus of apps has to be on text and nothing else. This is patently false. The focus of any app is the content which is the way it should be. The content can be text or images or graphs or buttons or whatever is relevant. The UI can be text-based if necessary but it doesn't have to be and even text-heavy apps generally include icons.

At the end of the day it's up to you to decide what your app will look like and that's always been the case. If you want to cover your app in 3D buttons with icons then MS won't stop you. However, they will recommend that you don't do that because the app will look like rubbish on their platform.


All of those quotes you included speak about Metro Design Language. It doesn't talk about how well MS does or does not enforce MDL. Since the discussion is about how well the Facebook app adheres to MDL I spoke about MDL. Does every WP app adhere strictly to MDL? No, but that is outside of the scope of this discussion.

MDL itself has certain rules that have to be adhered to to judge how well an app fits MDL guidelines...

I never claimed that it was MDL or else on Windows Phone, but the truth is MS pushes developers to adhere to MDL. I was, and still am, discussing MDL and its guidelines since that is the recommended way to make your WP applications. You're simply attempting to say that since there are apps that don't follow MDL 100% that it means MS doesn't care about MDL. Which wouldn't be accurate at all...

I'm not against disagreeing with people. I prefer it. It is the only way we benefit from discussion, learning from those who share an alternative viewpoint (otherwise I'm just yucking myself up), but there has to be an actual alternative viewpoint. You don't have an alternative viewpoint from mine. You only seem to be willing to say "hey there are non-metro apps in the store so Metro doesn't matter!" My opinion was about how this high profile distance from MDL (supposedly from MS) may indicate a shift in MDL. We can discuss how well MS ensures (or doesn't ensure) apps adhere to MDL in another thread as that is off topic here.

#40 pack34

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 22:00

Do they even call it metro anymore? I thought that once they brought it to big Windows that they're just calling it the new WIndows UI.

#41 contextfree

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 22:39

The iOS/Android Facebook apps already had a Metro-ish design in a lot of ways, hence the WP app being similar to those doesn't necessarily make it un-Metro

But the article this thread was originally about (which it's clear most of the people posting here didn't actually read) lays it out pretty well.

#42 jakem1

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 00:12

All of those quotes you included speak about Metro Design Language. It doesn't talk about how well MS does or does not enforce MDL. Since the discussion is about how well the Facebook app adheres to MDL I spoke about MDL. Does every WP app adhere strictly to MDL? No, but that is outside of the scope of this discussion.

MDL itself has certain rules that have to be adhered to to judge how well an app fits MDL guidelines...

I never claimed that it was MDL or else on Windows Phone, but the truth is MS pushes developers to adhere to MDL. I was, and still am, discussing MDL and its guidelines since that is the recommended way to make your WP applications. You're simply attempting to say that since there are apps that don't follow MDL 100% that it means MS doesn't care about MDL. Which wouldn't be accurate at all...

I'm not against disagreeing with people. I prefer it. It is the only way we benefit from discussion, learning from those who share an alternative viewpoint (otherwise I'm just yucking myself up), but there has to be an actual alternative viewpoint. You don't have an alternative viewpoint from mine. You only seem to be willing to say "hey there are non-metro apps in the store so Metro doesn't matter!" My opinion was about how this high profile distance from MDL (supposedly from MS) may indicate a shift in MDL. We can discuss how well MS ensures (or doesn't ensure) apps adhere to MDL in another thread as that is off topic here.


The discussion's not about how well Facebook adheres to Metro guidelines. The article discusses whether apps in general should or shouldn't be constrained by the guidelines and the benefits of not being constrained. It seems that you're only interested in discussing the theoretical application of the guidelines (rather than the reality of what's devs are actually doing) and then present any deviation as a potential failure on Microsoft's part. The article suggests that this deviation represents an evolution of the platform rather than a failure. I'm simply saying that I think MS should do what they can to ensure apps maintain a certain level of consistency whilst continuing to allow the flexibility that they already accept (and obviously encourage through there actions).

It makes no sense to say that Microsoft have a set of guidelines and everything else is irrelevant. The article discusses moving beyond Metro but you seem to have missed that point.

Anyway, it looks like you're only interested in fighting and I can't be bothered with that.



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