Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Sep 2011 22:20 UTC
Windows This is mandatory listening and watching material for understanding the design methodology and ideas behind the Metro interface in Windows 8 (and thus, Windows Phone 7). All this sounds great in theory, and Jensen Harris, one of the minds behind Metro, is clearly passionate about it - and I love people who are passionate about their work. It's just that to me, the Metro UI doesn't seem to work very well for actual work. I want window management! I'm taking all this into account for an article on Metro in the Developer Preview. Stay tuned.
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After having played with it...
by galvanash on Thu 15th Sep 2011 01:54 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I haven't done more than watch the video and play around with it briefly, but I like a lot of what I'm seeing. I'm primarily a developer / content creator and see everything through those blinders - so I don't know if this will ever be right for me, but I do "get it".

Even with it being rough around the edges it is already a couple orders of magnitude better than "traditional" Windows as far as how the UI works - with the caveat that the point should be to serve the majority of the market, not content creators and developers.

This UI serves the 70% or so of users that define content creation as typing up an occasional email and maybe writing a school paper - and it does so MUCH better than traditional GUIs. Metro is already more than good enough for that. But it does so in a way that when you are ready to move up to "complex" content creation there is also a UI underneath geared towards power users.

People like me and the others that read this site simply have a hard time grasping this - most people (yes most) simply do not and never will understand how to use a traditional desktop effectively. They don't get drag and drop. They don't get overlapping windows. They don't get managing files. They don't get any of it. Traditional desktops were built for us (power users) - and everyone else is expected to figure it all out just to be able to do even the simplest of things...

What they want is something that gives them a sense of comfort - not something that gives them power. Metro is comfortable. There are some rough edges certainly, but it's simple, it's discoverable, and most importantly it's not scary. There is not a sense of "if I touch the wrong thing something will happen that I'm not ready for - I won't know what to do"...

Although it certainly looks nice and obviously quite a bit of thought went into the overall look and feel of things, none of that really matters. That is so far from what this is about that I find it astonishing that anyone would say it is "just eye candy".

This is a UI to allow non-computer users to actually use a computer without being nervous. It may be good enough for some types of complex content creation, but even if it isn't it just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things (there is still a traditional desktop underneath).

In my opinion Metro is essentially about taking the lessons learned from iOS, and going back to the drawing board and trying to do it better. Microsoft has the benefit of having watched how iOS developed, but to their credit they didn't just copy it, they rethought it and ended up with something very different. And they didn't just address mobile - they addressed everything in one stroke.

If you think it is just eye candy think about your grand mother or your 7 year old child - put yourself in their shoes. This is finally a UI that is designed for them.

If Apple and the rest of the mobile industry isn't worried they should be. When Windows 8 ships it will increase the appeal of Windows Mobile devices immensely. I smell a major market shift coming...

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