Microsoft focuses on design to unify separate platforms

Microsoft is making design a key theme as it tries to bring Windows to more screens, spanning phones, PCs, and TVs through Xbox. Not only will deign be a big part of Microsoft's push moving forward, but it will also be instrumental on unifying the different Windows experiences on these separate devices to create a cohesive environment.

With a similar modern Tiles-based UI spanning across various different products, Microsoft's design is often compared to the Bauhaus movement where function is stressed over ornamentation. The similar design philosophy helps to make Xbox, PCs, and Windows Phone appear related. We're already seeing Microsoft inject new design philosophies into old ideas, like the new Metro-inspired Start menu that's being leaked as part of the next iteration of Windows.

Moving forward, we can expect design changes across the various platforms to have similar meanings. As an example of this, former Nike designer and current Microsoft Live Tiles designer Albert Shum says that the "hamburger icon" will undergo some changes to bring consistency across various Microsoft products.

Right now, on Windows Phone, it could represent an expanded menu where more options can be featured. On Xbox One, the same icon can mean "enter" on a virtual keyboard or it can also call up a menu with more options inside select games.

Shum wants the menu to mean the same thing across different devices, so we can probably see some changes here to make the design consistent.

Another feature that will be expanded will be Cortana, which made her debut on Windows Phone 8.1 as Microsoft's digital assistant. Cortana principal designer Kat Holmes says that she is working on expanding Cortana to PCs and Xbox.

The company is already starting this unification with Universal apps, and we can expect more to come. With designers having more leadership and Nadella open to more design ideas, what are you looking forward to seeing on the next versions of Windows and Windows Phone? Are there any design ideas that you think Microsoft should take?

Be sure to read the full design profile on Microsoft's future in the source link below.

Source: AP

Chuong Nguyen

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails.