Metro: Why Windows Phone devices do not come with a user manual

Posted on October 13, 2011


When we walk or drive on the streets, we usually see a lot of signs.  We know that an encircled “P” with a slash means no parking and “Ped Xing” means pedestrian crossing.  We also encounter these signs not only in the streets but in airports or train stations.  These signs are intuitive to us, that we don’t need to pause and analyze what that sign means.  Otherwise, we might be crossing the street and stop in the middle trying to interpret what red in a traffic light means and before we know it, its too late already.

Hence, Microsoft came up with the design language and philosophy called Metro.  With Metro, it will be easier to find the content that we need.  Windows Media Center and Zune were among the first to use the Metro interface.  Today, it is being used by Windows Phone and soon, by Xbox and Windows 8.  Even some Microsoft websites now have the Metro interface which would give us a consistent look and feel whatever platform we are in.  Did you know that when you buy a Windows Phone device, it doesn’t come with a user manual?  That’s how simple Metro is!

So what’s the secret of Metro?  Here are the principles behind Metro:

  • Celebrate typography – fonts should be clean and legible
  • Alive in Motion – delight the user by adding animations
  • Content, not chrome – no menu bar adds more space for content to be displayed
  • Authentically digital – don’t try to be what it’s not
Whether you are using a PC, a phone, or a game console, Metro will be there to guide you.
Posted in: Windows Phone