“They’re design guidelines, not laws”

Arturo Toledo argues, “Don’t call it Metro, call it Good Design.”

A few days ago, Facebook announced the release of a new Windows Phone app (Beta). The app does not use the typical out-of-the-box controls i.e. Panorama, Pivot or Page that have “traditionally” given Windows Phone it’s particular flavor and perhaps even differentiation from iOS and Android design languages. The release of the Beta sparked a range of comments, some in support, some against the design aspects of this app. To be clear, the ones that support the app (me included) are not saying that this is the best ever possible app of all times… We are simply celebrating the fact that a major industry player like Facebook is pushing what I’ll call Metro, to the next generation.

If you’re interested in the challenges of designing apps in the Modern era, this post contains lots of food for thought.

3 thoughts on ““They’re design guidelines, not laws”

  1. While I’m all for this, I feel that the rest of Microsoft needs to get some consensus. Having apps fail cert because they don’t meet the design guidelines or because testers (or whoever) don’t “find value in the app” is completely ludicrous.
    I recently went thru Microsoft’s own MAAP program for businesses (app accelerator) for Windows 8 and can’t even count the number of times I built the app based on Microsoft’s own people, mail, etc apps and was told by UX designers at Microsoft I was doing it wrong. Very frustrating.

  2. I’ve been noticing a lot of poorly built and/or designed Windows Phone/Win 8 apps lately. It’s as if the developers want it to do bad. Like the Weather Channel app, it looks good, but operationally it stinks. I’m just speculating of course, but you gotta wonder.

  3. @Brandon, I feel your frustration, but consider the end user. I believe that Microsoft is trying to bring a more unified and easy to use experience to the end user. And if they say something is “wrong”, then you should step back and ask why with an open mind to their reasoning. I’m a strong believer in the primary customer/goal/purpose of any IT tech/developer/admin/etc is not computers. It’s people. As a developer, that one part can be the most frustrating. But I think that if we keep people as our #1 goal, then our products/work will only get better. As Ed said, that post definitely has a lot of good food for thought…

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