Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

[concept] Merging metro and the desktop

7 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi
 
Pretty much entirely because of exam procrastination, I've undergone a project to do a redesign of how I think Windows should behave, in the process of learning how to do graphic design since it's always been an interest of mine. This is a learning experience for me, so I don't expect much praise for how it looks visually. In stead, when reading this try and focus on the UI concepts themselves and how I'm proposing Windows should behave. The main focus of this is merging metro with the desktop in a way that's both elegant and user friendly.
 
Having gone through a lot of different formats of how I want to present this, I've eventually settled on writing a pretty lengthy document that goes into extensive detail, explaining why I decided to do what I did at every turn. If I had the time or the patience, I'd explain what I'm talking about with animations, but I sadly have neither of those things.
 
Here's a quick preview. The changes are subtle, I know, but that's kind of the point. The Window borders are based off those for Office 2013.
 
post-520715-0-47428300-1401726053.png
 
So yeah, without further adieu, here's a link to the pdf on Onedrive.
 
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=716B2014D306864F!30992&authkey=!AKdvWpggvqpUoe4&ithint=file%2c.pdf
 
Unfortunately, the Onedrive pdf viewer murders the quality of all of the images, so you'd be better off downloading it. This is crazy frustrating, actually. I hope Onedrive does something about it.
 
If you'd rather just look at some pictures, here's a selection of them:
 
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=716B2014D306864F!30996&authkey=!AEMHzSVR1FFFwwY&ithint=folder%2c.png
 
So yeah, feedback would be nice. As I say, I'm not exactly an experienced graphic designer, this is the first time I've attempted anything, really.
 
Thanks for reading.
 
 
So over the last couple of weeks I've been doing this Windows design. Most of that was spent thinking about it, the rest was spent illustrating it. It turns out, I've put a lot of thought into it and I really think the best way of expressing it is by writing a hell of a lot of detail, so I'm afraid this post is very, very long. I'm not going to blame you if you skip the text and just look at the pictures.

I'm not a designer by any means. This was a learning process for me, in fact. The focus here isn't on the actual images, but more on the concepts they're representing. The main focus for this concept has been merging the two opposing environments of metro and the desktop.

Conception
I actually started this thing by thinking about the action center. I felt like a pull down from the top of the screen was the best way of accessing the notification center. Not only is it an elegant way of doing it, but it's also the accepted norm and people are going to expect it to be there when they buy a device. A good UI panders to the expectations of the public.
But the trouble with that in Windows 8 is that the top swipe is already taken. Swiping from the top grabs the app you have open so you can snap it to the side or close it. So I had to move that functionality somewhere to make room. I decided that, instead of simply switching between individual applications, a swipe in from the left should take you to a multitasking menu that looks just like Windows Phone's, and then if you press and hold an app in this menu, you pick it up ready to snap it to the side or drag it to the bottom to remove it from the list. This way is actually far clearer than the current implementation. I've seen a lot of people struggle with how it is currently and most people just don't use the snap feature because they can't figure it out. I'm willing to bet my way is how iOS will do it.

ffbqx4_medium.png
via i59.tinypic.com

This was a design I did for this at the time.

But that just got the ball rolling. I thought that, while adding features from Windows Phone into Windows tablets was important, if we're using the same OS for tablets as we are for desktop, it was just as important to figure out how these features should work with a mouse and keyboard, and then for it to be a really good experience for the mouse and keyboard, the two currently disjointed environments had to come crashing together in a way that was both elegant and user friendly.

This is what I came up with 
 
The Window
So for starters Windows borders look fugly. I used metromix a while back and, though it was a great program, I couldn't really use it because it felt too much like a dirty hack. The borders around those metro windows just weren't right. It was like looking at Windows running an emulation of a totally different OS. Don't get me wrong, metromix is brilliant, but it isn't the elegant solution we need for running metro apps on the desktop (Which is fine, of course. It's essentially a third party hack that fulfils its purpose perfectly so I wasn't expecting any more.)

So when Microsoft showed off their vision for metro apps running in desktop windows, I was shocked. It looked just as fake, just as inelegant, just as clashing as this third party hack. It was even more frustrating because Microsoft had only a year or two ago shown us exactly how metro apps should look on the desktop. Office 2013 is a gorgeous looking piece of software. It's like they had some proper designers who sat down and said,

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You sir, should be hired by Microsoft right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

you can't remove the system tray; well, at least not the clock. It's incredible handy (to see if a server has the same clock as the rest of the DCs, for example).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The only suggestion i have is to change the multiple desktops to something like metro IE tabs, those could be shown at the top or bottom of the multitasking menu.

Kind of like what I did in a concept a while ago

http://i.imgur.com/8E9ubj8.png

you can't remove the system tray; well, at least not the clock. It's incredible handy (to see if a server has the same clock as the rest of the DCs, for example).

Doesn't the concept move the system tray along with the clock to the top?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Clearly a lot of thought has gone in to this and it's the first 'mockup' I've seen that actually would be usable. 

You've got a long career ahead of you.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'd remove the taskbar. Its features are duplicated in the left sidebar, which works for both mouse and touchscreen. The sidebar should be made aware of both apps and desktop programs, and the taskbar done away with entirely.

 

And if you're going to retain the traditional max/min/close buttons, I'd move the close button over to the left corner, and set the default to double-click. How Windows 3.x had it. This would help prevent accidental program closing due to stray mouse clicks.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

wow this is actually a rather nice concept

 

with a little bit of tweaking here and there this would make a great OS experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.