The Metro style

Microsoft’s Metro design User Interface has become quite popular after the launch of Windows Phone. In this article, I’m going to give an introduction of Metro UI design of windows Phone and Windows 8 operating system.

What is Metro UI and how does it look?

Well, Metro UI is built based on Swiss design language and resembles like signboards that we see in our day-to-day life in traffic signals, coffee shops etc.

    

It mainly focuses on the content than UI elements. Windows 8 and windows phone has a unique interface that gives more information on a glance with minimal actions.

Simple info graphics and an ordered layout make a good Metro design.

Metro Design Principles: (Stated by Microsoft)

Microsoft follows the below design principles for its Metro based UI.

Clean, Light and Fast

Removing any elements in the UI that are unnecessary helps in focusing on the principal tasks of the UI, and makes the UI feel good, fast, and responsive.

Alive in Motion

The transitions between screens in a UI are as important the design of the screens themselves. Flip to back transition gives life to a UI and communicates well with the navigation system.

Typography

Giving importance to typography makes the content more visible, clear and straightforward. It pays attention to the scale and weight.

Content, Not Chrome

It’s the content on the phone that people want, not the polished buttons. Reducing the visuals on the phone that aren’t content will help in direct interaction with the content.

Authentically Digital

A user interface is created of pixels; With Metro design Microsoft avoids using the shading and glossiness used in most of the software interfaces.

User Interface Elements – Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8:

Information is organized in a Content hub. Accessing and navigating to the contents are done using a set of UI elements specified below.

Live Tiles

Tiles are bigger than icons and they are dynamic. Unlike static icons, live tiles gives brief information and dynamically changes its content based on events.

For example, a calendar tile shows up the today’s events and email tile will show you how many unread emails you have.

This is a screen shot of windows 8-pre beta. It resembles like windows phone. Applications are listed as tiles directly on the start screen than hiding in a Programs menu. Now Start menu is just another app in windows 8.

 Pivot and Panorama HUB

Pivots are more like a Tabbed control that splits the window in to several logical categories. It can be used to show multiple aspects of same content.

Panorama view gives a birds eye view of the available contents. It uses a combination of image blocks and texts that provides a visual communication.

So finally, Future Microsoft’s operating systems would have this Metro standard. You can download the Windows 8 developer preview to experience the interface by installing it in a virtual machine.

It comes with a pre installed Visual Studio 2011.So you can also get your hands on Windows 8 app development.

Happy designing, coding and engineering!!

Again…Badly hit

Yesterday night,While returning home I had a self skid resulting in scratches on my left hand elbow and toe. Thank god that I was wearing helmet(I always do) other wise I would have ended up in severe injuries on my face and head. The worst part is, My friend Ram who sat behind also had injuries more than mine. I felt bad as I am responsible for the cause. Hope he will get well soon. We went to the nearest hospital and we have been told that we are clinically alright.

I called my colleague / friend Amar and he came immediately. Our agony flew away when he approached us with a SMILE and said ‘Dude, what happened’ :). It’s good to have friends who make things easy.

Last month I had some mild injuries and this one was the second incident. I have to be careful and avoid such events from happening again.

I understood one important thing from my yesterday’s fall. I was in lot of pressure for the past one month in work and I keep thinking about the next day’s work even after coming home. But after yesterday’s event, Nothing was in my mind other than my health. I’m taking leave for the next two days. My mind is totally free from pressure and I’m cool regardless of the pain 🙂

Great… That was a nice lesson…Work is not so important. It’s better to take a break when we are in pressure 🙂

Now I’m reading the book that I stopped a month ago. I’m cool and relaxed 🙂

Life is Beautiful !!

Hope to go pro someday!!

Dusting off my dreams,
Holding tight the fading ambitions,
Bringing up the spirits and
Heading towards the destiny that’s not far away…
I hope to go Pro someday!!

– misterB, a wanna be s/w architect

The crowded gift shop

I entered in to the gift shop in my office building to buy books and toys for my niece’s birthday and wondered on seeing the crowd inside. I have never seen so many people inside this shop.

What’s so special…?

I went ahead and found people buying some red colored greeting cards with hearts and roses on it.

Oh yeah…!!

Tomorrow is valentines day and the folks are buying cards and gifts for their loved ones…

❤ It’s good that there’s a day for the beloved ❤

Wishing all an advanced valentines day wishes 🙂

Real books and the other kind

Reading books is the universal way of gaining knowledge.

Once there were manuscripts written on palm leaves, clay tablets that passes information to their generations. Later we had hand written books inked with pen. Then came the printed books.

Till this day we use the printed books and consider it as the appropriate way for reading and learning.

But now, the technology has changed the way we read books. Surfing the digital library and downloading electronic versions of books to devices like Kindle, iPad and Smart phones has become a common trend.

Are these devices a complete replacement of real books or just a ballyhoo? So here is my personal opinion and comparison of the different kinds of books.

Real books:

Books are the best companion to a man.

Reading books in a sepia-toned paper is what I love to do. I’m a solitary reader and I always prefer to read in paper-books and delve in to the imagination. The feel that gives you while  reading line by line, flipping through the pages and getting lost in another world by the author’s creativity is something that can’t be explained.

 

Audiobooks:

We learn about our culture and history from our grandma’s bedtime stories during childhood.

Audio books give you same kind of feel when you plug in the earphones and cuddle in your bed. I heard few chapters of Harry Potter and lost in to the captivating story. But some audio books would sound just like TV news. It all depends on the narration.

An Audio book with a good narration is another choice when you don’t want to open a book. You can also finish the book much sooner than reading.

Electronic Books:

During my college days, I wanted my texts books to have search feature 🙂 I spend most of the time finding a topic and then have very less time for studying.

Now we have brilliant devices like Kindle and iPad, which gives you the best reading experience and incorporates search and much more useful feature on it.

I have seen animated video playing on newspapers in sci-fi movies.

iBook 2 does that. It has videos, animations, key notes and many more useful features on a book. They are very interactive.

Finally each has some benefits over the other and it all depends on our personal choice. Currently I’m reading The Fountainhead book and I have printed, electronic and audio versions of it. I read it in all possible ways, whichever is convenient at that moment 🙂

And the bottom-line is, digital versions may be smarter but they are no way equal to a real book.

Happy reading 🙂

Two years over.

I have completed two years in my current company(Tcs). This is my third company.Hope my career be interesting and fruit full.

Nothing much to say. Just a quick post.