Saturday, June 22, 2013

Windows, iOS & Android Based off the Same Design

Windows.com compared to the recent redesign of blogging website, WordPress.

Despite dismal sales of Windows 8, their is no shortage of websites adopting its minimalistic design of matte colours, thin text and clean lines. The design Windows calls "Metro" has spread like wildfire, not only appearing in many popular websites across the inter-webs but in operating systems like the new iOS 7. "Metro" first appeared in Microsoft's digital encyclopaedia, "Encarta" back in 1995, before the program was discontinued in 2009. It was then spotted on Microsoft's short lived "Zune" portable media players and Windows Media Player. The user interface was perfected over the years and drew inspiration from 'International typography design' or 'Swiss design,' a design that has existed in magazines for centuries often substituting images for text.


Look familiar? International Typography Design is the common factor.

The 1980's West Berlin train sign depicted above is similar to various elements of Windows phone, a 1950's book cover of International Typography Design which depicts the famous 'grid principle' has a striking resemblance Window's "live tiles" and the introduction to popular designer, Josef Albert's work shows to be much like the menus found in Windows phone. International Typography Design originated in Switzerland in 1920 and by the 1960's the design escaped from the swiss borders, becoming an international phenomenon. Its principles are simple; clean, structured and vibrant. 

A complete design overhaul saw the highly anticipated Windows operating system dramatically shift and adopt swiss design. Its unveiling in late 2011 caused much uproar in the PC community, who wondered why Microsoft would 'complicate' an already great user interface. Windows 8 was met with luke warm sales but was complimented by designers. Along with the overhaul, Microsoft redesigned their website to match Windows 8 and its mobile counterpart, windows phone. It wasn't until early 2012, when websites too started altering their designs, adapting to a simpler more metro-like appearance. Now lookalikes can be spotted in many email clients, operating systems and websites, but really how can we blame them?

Left: Windows 8,  Right: Windows Phone

2 comments:

  1. Dismal sales? Sales are inline with Windows 7. Way over 100 million, already dwarfs sales of OSX for example. Don't always believe the hysteria on the Internet as indication of sales numbers :)

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