Posts Tagged ‘design’

The Windows Phone 7 Series is based off a new design language/system, code-named Metro. The Metro design concept provides guidelines and interaction methods for developers/designers to create a consistent and dynamic UX for the Windows Phone 7 (WP7). This is a wonderful opportunity especially for developers to gain a deeper understanding of design fundamentals and adopt a functional design style they can incorporate into Wp7 applications. You may get a glimpse of the Metro design features in action on the Zune UI.

As the name “Metro” suggests, the design language is inspired by the visual language of airport and metro system signage. Consequently, the UI of any mobile app on the Windows Phone is envisioned to be clean, modern and user-centric, to make use of good legible typography and bold colors. Each UI directive to the user should be clear and interaction should be straightforward. I would simply sum up this idea as: interaction with the mobile device should turn from being complex to a simple user reflex. No need to mention, the WP7 design concept includes one mantra we all know by heart: “Content is king“. The UI of your Windows Phone app should delight the user through content instead of decoration, so basically your content should be the UI.

At MIX10 I got a chance to check out the WP7 Metro design book first-hand thanks to David Kelley. Here is also a very nice walk-through of the Windows Phone 7 Series book, put together by Long Zheng (from istartedsomething):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you want to find out about the many cool details of the WP7 design language, the best source is definitely the MIX10 “Windows Phone UI and Design Language” session by Chad RobertsMichal Smuga and Albert Shum.

After watching the session recording, if you should be in search for further info:

Recently I have also discovered the following video featuring Albert Shum, Director of Mobile Experience Design for WP7, who gives a perfect overview of the design inspiration for WP7:

In the 2.part of this series, I am going to share my personal impressions on Metro and focus on its typeface-centric design features.

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Besides doing freelance web development, I’m also attending a Typography class this fall at California State University. Recently I worked on 2 AIGA typography posters, that were some kind of experimental public advertisement work to visually communicate typographic terms. I based my work on notes that I took while reading AIGA’s mission statement.


Term1: STEM

Definition: The stem is the main vertical stroke of a letter.

AIGA Mission Statement: Stimulate creative thinking

Stem has a pretty straightforward explanation. So to stick to the mission and make my target audience think, I took a playful approach and chose to leave out (vertical) strokes from the letters of the alphabet. The end result is like a simple puzzle and in my belief more engaging for the viewer than just listing down the definition of the term.

Sometimes if something is very obvious, we take it for granted and don’t notice it. Once it disappears; it strikes our attention. That’s the basic idea I had, while working on the design.



Term2: Widow/Orphan

Definition: (built into image)

AIGA Mission Statement: Improve the human experience

For the second poster, I wanted to explain the term yet it had to be more than that. In paragraph anatomy, there’s no place for widows and orphans, because it’s simply poor typography. I wished to emphasize that widows/orphans are a BIG NO NO in your paragraphs and columns. Some might not care if there’s a single lonely word (widow) in the last/first line of a column, however little tiny details are what make an experience different (Mission #2) after all.   If you look closer, the definition is there too, so that those interested in the information can check it out. The texture of the sign is somewhat worn out and grungy and the typeface looks rather destroyed. This is also to highlight, that the rule of avoiding widows/orphans is old and shouldn’t be forgotten.




How cool would it be, if AIGA actually used these posters? Especially since I’m the only one, who isn’t a Graphic Design major in class. Now I’m definitely in tune with my blog tagline; non-stop daydreaming!

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