Windows Phone Metro is Dead

6 years ago from adrian io, Design & Code

  • Sam MularczykSam Mularczyk, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Aesthetically, pivots and panoramas were absolutely beautiful. However, from a UX perspective, they weren't solid enough to base an entire operating system around the two. Pivots were originally intended for filters, not for navigation between disparate areas of apps.

    That's why you see apps using pivots for navigation and panoramas for home screens, whereas on iOS and Android apps have more variety. The basic navigation principles just aren't flexible enough for app developers from other ecosystems.

    Plus, certain aspects of Windows Phone aren't that intuitive. Once you're used to it, it's incredible and by far the most fun and efficient OS out there. But if not, you might struggle to accomplish some tasks.

    That's why the design language is changing drastically. As a Windows Phone user, I'm wary of what we're seeing right now - some of it looks nice, but most of it looks totally unfinished. I have faith that they'll clean it all up, but we'll see.

    I remember hating the full-width tiles when they came out... now I couldn't imagine life without it. I sincerely hope it continues to be the most beautiful operating system out there... I'm also considering iPhone, but I'm not willing to give up my 41mp camera ;)

    2 points
    • adrian ioadrian io, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

      You're right, pivots and panos aren't meant to be used as navigation and once you learn them they are a joy to use. I just think they should stick with Metro and evolve it further, to cater for more complex apps like Office. I'm not sure plonking in a hamburger menu and calling it job done stays true to the original Metro design principles. I wish the original Metro design team (Jeff Fong and co) could comment on this.

      From what I've read so far [1], people who use Windows Phone, chose it because it had a distinct design language, it was very different from iOS or Android. It was refreshing and new and in my opinion iOS and Android was inspired by Metro. Material design especially, but they evolved those principles further and made it theirs.

      Now it seems that distinctiveness is being removed from Windows Phone and loyal WP users are complaining (see [1] - almost 19k votes to not copy Android), rather than evolving Metro, MS are just copying Android as it seems. It's the safer route, yes, but will it increase adoption?

      I know we're missing tons of data that only Windows' design team has access to and these decisions were based on research and tons of testing. But just from the online outcry I've seen in the past few days, it seems that MS will alienate their loyal WP userbase,

      Why would an iOS or Android user want to switch over to Windows Phone, if it's almost going to be like Android, except with fewer features and apps.

      And are developers now suddenly going to port their apps over, because the design language is similar to Android and iOS?

      Let's see what the BUILD conf will bring, but at the moment I can't share your optimism.

      I'm hoping you'll be right though ;)

      [1] https://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/6623043-stick-to-modern-don-t-copy-android

      0 points