Fluent Design

Fluent Design: One Design to Rule Them All

Microsoft recently announced Fluent Design, a system for building interfaces across devices.

This design is meant to serve as a cohesive interaction language across all of Microsoft’s devices and systems: Windows 10, HoloLens, Surface, Xbox, Cortana, and more.

Each of these products is constantly evolving and shifting to new paths of development and growth with one major objective: to achieve ubiquity. 

We have to keep in mind that this design language has to be coherent within all devices and products. It has to unite them all.

This creates a bonding between products and design language, a strong connection that will affect everything.

There is one particular theory that relates with this interdependence between language and subject. It’s called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: it states ‘’ that language doesn’t just give people a way to express their thoughts and it influences or even determines those thoughts. ‘’

Having this in mind the great challenge of Fluent Design is to adapt to the uncertain future of Microsoft products and provide them scalability as a system. In other words, Fluent Design would come as a solution and a mechanism for growth.

The challenge of building and adapting your products around breakthrough design is that the design has to, in fact, be a breakthrough.

Right now Fluent Design is more of a mission statement than a fully-developed set of standards, but Microsoft has an unfair advantage: history.

Look back to Material Design and see how they achieved such a massive popularity. MD may not be so user-friendly and not so easy to use but it has something really valuable: extensive guidelines.

Show me the way and I will follow.

Microsoft is planning to update the system every few months using feedback from the community. Right now they see Fluent Design as an evolving library of interactions, behavior patterns, and interface elements; it’s not a finished product.

I’m hoping for a design that accounts the user’s long-term needs and desires, that helps him accomplish something worthwhile.

We’ll have to wait and see how this still very young system evolves over the next few years.

For Microsoft, Fluent Design may be the key for aligning with Apple and Google in terms of business model and pricing.


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Pavel Malos

Creating Digital Experiences @ BootstrapBay