FLU­ENT DE­SIGN IS MI­CROSOFT’ S STRONG­EST AT­TEMPT TO MAKE WIN­DOWS LOOK GOOD

It’s heavy on the feels, too.

HWM (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

As­cal­able, too. PCs, tablets, phones, game con­soles, even dis­play-less de­vices - they will all be in­flu­enced by Flu­ent in time to come. And when you fac­tor in vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity sys­tems, and in­put meth­ods such as key­boards, mice, sty­luses, touch, voice, ges­tures, mo­tion con­trollers, and even pres­ence, Flu­ent be­comes not just about ap­pear­ance, but in­ter­ac­tiv­ity as well. There’s good rea­son why Mi­crosoft calls Flu­ent a ‘de­sign sys­tem’ and not a ‘de­sign lan­guage’.

In essence, there are five build­ing blocks to Flu­ent: light, depth, mo­tion, ma­te­rial, and scale. ‘Light’ is easy to un­der­stand: it’s used to cre­ate at­mos­phere and illuminate in­for­ma­tion, so you’ll al­ways know where to look and where to click or tap. An ex­am­ple that il­lus­trates this is the HoloLens mixed re­al­ity head­set, where your gaze di­rects a spot of light in­stead of a mouse pointer.

‘Depth’ is all about lay­er­ing and how things such as win­dows and con­trols not on the same plane re­late to one an­other. ‘Mo­tion’, on the other hand, is about us­ing ef­fects like tran­si­tions and an­i­ma­tions to es­tab­lish re­la­tion­ships be­tween two apps or pieces of con­tent. For in­stance, Win­dows Story Remix, a new cre­ative app due for the Fall Cre­ators Up­date that lets by Ng Chong Seng t the Build de­vel­oper con­fer­ence in May, Mi­crosoft of­fi­cially un­veiled its Flu­ent De­sign Sys­tem, a bold new de­sign lan­guage for an in­creas­ingly com­plex world.

Now, it’s no se­cret that Mi­crosoft has been test­ing new ways to im­prove the user in­ter­face and user ex­pe­ri­ence of Win­dows 10. Co­de­named ‘Pro­ject Neon’, Flu­ent builds on the com­pany’s Metro de­sign lan­guage that was first in­tro­duced with Win­dows Phone. Cur­rently, we’re see­ing mostly sub­tle blur and translu­cency ef­fects in a few first-party apps (e.g. Win­dows Store, Movies & TV, Groove Mu­sic, Mi­crosoft Photos, Paint 3D) in re­cent Win­dows 10 In­sider test builds, but more will ar­rive, in both fre­quency and ag­gres­sive­ness, as Mi­crosoft builds out the Fall Cre­ators Up­date and fu­ture Win­dows 10 re­leases. “It’s go­ing to be a jour­ney,” says Mi­crosoft.

To be clear, de­spite its mo­bile ori­gins and the fact that most of us will ex­pe­ri­ence the new de­sign lan­guage on Win­dows on the desk­top, Flu­ent is any­thing but a PC-ex­clu­sive. Be­cause Win­dows 10 is de­signed to run on all sorts of de­vices, Flu­ent has to be adapt­able and

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