[Updated] Modern UI Style - the new "Metro"

Brent Schooley / Friday, August 10, 2012

Modern UI Style

Update: We were all wrong.  It's "Microsoft design style". 

Recently it was reported that Microsoft would be replacing the Metro name for its design language for Windows 8, Windows Phone, Zune, Xbox, etc.  It now looks like Microsoft has decided on "Modern UI" to replace Metro.  The latest batch of Windows Dev Camps have been updated to reflect this choice.  I think this is a great naming decision and I'd like to take a moment to explain why.

It resonates with designers

Modern Design - Bauhaus

As I will explain in Part 2 of the Modern UI Design series (see, I'm committed to it now too), Microsoft's design language for Windows 8 has its roots in some fundamental design concepts and movements.  One of the major influences is the Bauhaus movement and the related Modern Design movement.  One of the major ideals of Modern Design is distilling things down to their essence and removing trivialities and flair.  Does this sound familiar?  It might if you've read any of Microsoft's principles for Modern UI design.  The phrase you have probably heard is favoring content over chrome.  The goal is to eliminate all of the extraneous chrome from the application and focus on the content.  This was the overarching goal of the Bauhaus movement and continues to be the focus of Modern Design.  Designers will get that.  They'll draw parallels to what they've learned studying Design and they'll bring those concepts forward in their Windows 8 and Windows Phone designs.  I think that's a wonderful thing.

It is easy to communicate to consumers

The name is perfectly marketable.  This is the "Modern" platform.  Forget what you know about what applications used to look like, this is what they're going to look like moving forward.  This is the design language for the future of computing.  For possibly the first time ever, Microsoft has picked a great name for something very important to their future.  Modern UI will be everywhere in all of their products.  It's a consistent, cohesive effort and now it has a fitting name.

What do you think about the name?  Catch me on Twitter @brentschooley, visit my CodeSnack blog, or comment below to let me know!