Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Jun 2013 20:10 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Graphics, User Interfaces "Though 'flat design' is a popular meme right now, there is something much, much deeper going on here at Microsoft. With my own lifelong passion for design I immersed myself in the community and got a front-row seat on a journey that has its roots as far back as the late '90s with Encarta's bold use of typography and clean interface. But it truly sprang to life in late 2010 with the launch of Windows Phone and in the last few weeks has advanced even further with Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. I started from the very place I bet you are right now - disbelief that Microsoft is leading the way on design." They really are. If Apple really goes all minimalist and digital (I dislike the term 'flat') with iOS, Microsoft will have taken over the baton. Crazy world indeed.
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Going in the right direction
by Torbjorn Vik Lunde on Sun 9th Jun 2013 06:41 UTC
Torbjorn Vik Lunde
Member since:
2009-09-04

It was been fascinating watching Microsoft grow confident with their particular design style. I remember the XP betas (called Whistler then) had a theme for windows that was quite elegant and minimalist (although not done). Then OS X came out and Microsoft panicked and made XP with it’s Aqua-esque style in reaction. Too bad, Whistler was always better IMHO.

Now they seem to be a little less reactive and are standing on their own feet design wise, but I don’t think they are doing quite as well with design as people say. That is, they finally have their own design philosophy and style, but I still think they got a way to go with regards to implementing that design consistently across the company with high quality.

You may or may not like the design philosophy Apple has taken, but I still think they have the highest quality when it comes to the quality of what they make. When I use non-Apple I always notice the lack of polish. (Not that Apple are perfect, but IMHO more polished than most others.)

It seems very clear to me that Microsoft wants to be great at design, and I think that’s great, but I’m not sure if they’ll get there that quickly. I think Google is putting up a stronger fight against Apple design wise than Microsoft is doing. Google may not have such a unique philosophy (being neither very physical like Apple or digital like Microsoft) but I think they outdoing Microsoft and are even sometimes challenging Apple in terms of design.

This is a bit of a simplification, but not too many years ago Apple was pretty much the only company that really cared about design, now Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many others are all working hard to have great design in their products. That’s a great thing! Now if they could only stop spying on us…

EDIT: Very strange to find quote from Paula Scher in this context. My impression was that she neither is positive towards modernist design (her most famous work is more post modernist in style), although like most graphic designers she probably does not like any design that references real life objects. Most of all though, I’m surprised because when she is interviewed in Helvetica she mentions that she have no interest in computers at all, they are just tools to her.

Edited 2013-06-09 06:47 UTC

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