I have been working on a few different projects lately, some for phones, tablets, web and other cools things. It’s rad because it allows me to think back on each project and draw inspiration from them. I also tend to do a bit of research and draw inspiration from what other people are doing, and I have started to notice a problem especially around Metro and Windows Phone 7.
Everything is starting to look the same!
Metro is a the style coined by Microsoft for the phone’s platform and also seems to be filtering through to Windows 8 (what we have seen so far). There is an awesome style guide available to everyone so people can get a good feel for what Metro is and how to design an app that fits in with the style.
The problem is, people are taking it to seriously. App after app is hitting the marketplace with no personality. Sure they look pretty good, but when you start to realise there is no variation from application to application, everything starts to blur together. There is nothing special for users to remember your application, besides functionality of course.
Applications need personality to be memorable and make it exciting for the user to use and want to come back again. I mean, I would choose a twitter application simply on looks, most of them do similar stuff, some have an extra feature or 2, but in the end, what I remember is the look and feel. If it looks a little better or swishes around a bit nicer, then it’s a winner for me.
Most app are no different, it needs that edge over the competition, that special User Experience that people really enjoy and that memorable element in the design that people never forget. These are the applications people come back to, and tell their friends about.
Companies do this with their logos and marketing, they create an iconic piece of media that hopefully you will never forget, and when ever you see it you know exactly what it is and what it stands for and they spend insane amounts of money to achieve it. There is a massive advantage if everyone knows your name.
I think Metro is great, I love the ideas behind it and a well made Metro application can look and feel incredible. I just hope we don’t get lost in a sea of applications that all look the same.
What do you guys think about Metro?