This year there was a lot of talk at MIX10 in Las Vegas about the new Windows Phone 7. A large part of this discussion was on Metro UI, the interface aesthetic driving the user experience on the new phone. The Keynotes spent a fair bit of time discussing the new phone and how Silverlight can power the experience of the phone.
I attended the MIX10 session – Windows Phone UI and Design Language which you can watch online: http://live.visitmix.com/MIX10/Sessions/CL14
List of Metro Principles:
- Clean, Light, Open, Fast
- Celebrate Typography
- Alive in Motion
- Content, Not Chrome
- Authentically Digital
Twtpoll: http://twtpoll.com/cco6xc – What words would you use to describe the new Metro UI design. ‘ Typography’ and ‘Content-Driven’ were my two.
The inspiration for Metro came from international mass transit, namely metropolitan train stations and air ports in Europe and the United States. Microsoft created a neat little booklet that explains the Metro design aesthetic. Download the PDF. My big critic of Metro is that it claims to have drawn inspiration from international symbol design, however it seems to be extremely typographic heavy. They have done away with most of the symbols in favor of typography. And while it is very beautiful there is a level of concern in my mind with how well it will localize (translate into other languages). I can see a large German or Dutch word completely breaking the flow of a Metro UI. There are symbols still included in Metro, and they have been used to good effect as a sub-menu element. I’m interested to see the future of Metro once Windows® Phone 7 goes international.
Here is a little interview with Albert Shum, Director of Mobile Experience Design at Microsoft. Listen direct from the source as he discusses the design inspiration for Windows® Phone 7.