The new TechCrunch design is simple and clean. Gone, rounded boxes and gradients, shades of gray. I think it signals a new era in the Internet design: the simplicity of transportation graphics, also chosen by Windows Phone 7 and its Metro UI, comes to news. I’m glad the leader of technology news decided to change the look: but I think this is bigger than just the appearance. Quoting Mike Kruzeniski, the Metro designer:
Content, Not Chrome It’s the content on the phone that people want, not the buttons. Reducing the visuals on the phone that aren’t content will help you create a more open UI, and it also promotes direct interaction with the content.
Many sites are overloaded with Baroque graphics, and when today I opened TechCrunch, I loved the modern look.
You know you’re a graphic designer when you see CMYK and RGB like Neo sees the Matrix.
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional graphic designer, but I always had a passion about design. If you glance at my portfolio, past and current ventures as well as this blog, you’ll find numerous examples of design elements and ideas. This post is for developers as well as designers, I’ll try to analyze my perception of what is so cool about Windows Phone UI.
The Revolution of Metro UI: Typography
If I just had one word to define Windows Phone UI design: Typography would be it.
Typography is the cornerstone of modern design, but it was sadly missing from the UI of mobile devices. Small screens with traditional small print UI is what mobile devices inherited from Palm, iPhone and Android. The modern UI design tends to use large print, and TV-like appearances and animations. It’s interesting to see many HTML 5 sites using simple clean and large layouts.
With Metro UI, Microsoft dared to change all that. Typography is now the main component of the Windows Phone experience.
Quote from Mike Kruzeniski, Windows Phone Design Team:
Our design inspiration is very typographic, and it felt like it was time for User Interfaces to be uncompromising about type as well. Type is information, type is beautiful.
The best example of modern controls taking advantage of typography in Windows Phone UI is Panorama. All of a sudden cramming text into one screen looks old. I believe Microsoft should be credited with this innovative approach to mobile user experience.