Thursday, June 26, 2014

Google’s Material Design language ups Microsoft’s Metro


So Google just unveiled a proposed unified UI design guidelines fro Chrome OS, Android, it’s apps and the web. They’re calling it Material Design. It’s flat design but not too flat. It looks quite similar to Microsoft Metro but with shadows, gradients and other details that adds depth and style to the whole thing. I thought to myself, this may be Metro done right.

When I watched Google Material Design language reel. I felt that I had seen this kind of vibe before. Then I was reminded of HTC’s video reel for the Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

HTC’s 2012 approach with Microsoft Metro was quite vibrant. There were motion everywhere and things just pop out. In a way, they were already doing what Google will be doing in 2 years.

Google’s Material design took a lot of ideas from Microsoft’s Metro with simplicity, motion and fluidity as its principles.

In material design, surface and shadow establish a physical structure to explain what can be touched and what can move. Content is front and center, using principles of modern print design. Motion is meaningful, clarifying relationships and teaching with delightful details. – Google Developer Blog

This just shows that Microsoft was very much ahead in terms of User Interface design for the Windows Media Center, the Xbox, Windows 8 and even the Zune. They have established a new UI for the next step in user interaction for tablets, phones and other unthinkable future devices.

Google’s new design direction improved on that foundation by having more leeway and flexibility without over simplifying things. Like Material, Metro still has room for customization and tweaks. Microsoft is expected to evolve on the foundations and principles of Metro but they should do it in a rapid pace now lest Google overtakes them. (again)

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