All you need to know about Modern UI Design at Microsoft

The word ‘Metro’ was replaced by the term ‘Modern UI’ at the time of launch of Windows 8 in late 2012. However, Microsoft explains the term was never coined by it. It was ‘Modern UI’ for them earlier as is today. So, when actually did the word ‘Modern UI’ come into existence? Well, it all began with the transition of design in Windows Mobile to the flat tiled interface in Windows Phone 7, three years back.

A brilliant community of designers then had brought a new line of thinking in the Windows Designer team, exhorting them to think differently about design and establish a Microsoft design ethos. It strongly believed products that feel immersive and responsive are compelling, delightful and bring the interface to life.

Microsoft Design story

It was this thinking that marked the era of transition in Windows Design history. Design was never in Microsoft’s DNA but Microsoft Windows today looks a lot more different. If the words of the designers are to be believed, it was not just design, a lot more factors like layout, style and creativity were considered as elements of foundation in the newly proposed design.

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Modern UI Design

Via a post, titled Modern design at Microsoft: Going beyond flat design,” Steve Clayton, editor of Microsoft’s Next blog, explains what Microsoft thinks about design today. The article posted on the website has an unusual layout.
Through the article, Steve pinpoint the factors that propelled him and his team of designers come up with the new design such as providing a fluid experience, doing more with less, and focusing on minute details for creating a beautiful experience for users. From his viewpoint, Microsoft’s new user experience design principles was mainly influenced by,

Modern Design Movement (The Bauhaus)

The philosophy bases its principles upon stripping away superfluous elements and focus just on working elements. The practice of mimicking materials such as glass, brushed metal or leather are an attempt to merely decorate experiences without being functional.

International Typographic Style (or Swiss Style)

It’s a graphic design style that emphasizes cleanliness, readability and objectivity. The use of bold, flat color makes the style look more compelling.

Motion design

For inducing creativity and productivity in products such as Windows, Office, designers thought of using motion to support those activities.

The parameters helped Microsoft designers reinvent the way their products look and are used.

Now when you look at a Windows Phone, Windows 8 tablet or PC, or an Xbox console, they look like a family of devices. And when I use these devices, they behave like a family of devices, sharing my content, settings and experiences across them. I vividly remember the first time I was handed a Windows Phone. I entered my email address and saw the phone light up with my contacts, photos and social networks — magically and effortlessly. It happened again when I first powered up my Windows 8 tablet, wrote Clayton in his post.

To read the complete story, visit Modern Design at Microsoft page.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.