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Monday, April 09, 2012

Windows 8 Metro inspired by London Underground Signs

The upcoming Windows 8 operating system was in some way inspired by London Underground signs. Sam Moreau, who oversees the new Windows design drew inspiration from Tube, subway, airport and traffic signs. The team’s conference room has an entire wall covered with images from the London Underground, New York City's subway and airports across Asia.

Way Out a rama

Windows 8 (rumoured to launch in October 2012) will use a new user interface (UI) based on Microsoft's Metro design language. The Metro environment will feature a new tile-based Start screen similar to the Windows Phone operating system.

Moreau and the 11 other managers wanted to give Microsoft's products "a more cohesive -- and alluring -- design". "Drawing inspiration from signs in hubs like the London Underground that use simple symbols to orient travelers, the Metro design uses bright colors and basic shapes to help users navigate phones, tablets and computers" reported Bloomberg today.

Most Dangerous Door on the London Underground
Perhaps these will be some of the new Windows 8 warning signs

"Since the advent of the graphical user interface, designers have tried to help customers understand computers by modeling graphics on tasks outside the world of technology. That explains why the icon for discarding files became a trash can, and Windows began using drop shadows and transparencies to give them real-world depth. Windows 8 Metro does a complete turn with its flat squares and lack of shadows and shading."

No entry Danger of death by ax2groin
No entry Danger of death by ax2groin
It will be interesting to see just how much  many of the Tube's more familiar signs & icons will have made their way into the new Windows 8 interface.  Maybe before you're about delete a file you'll be warned with a large "Mind the Gap" sign complete with booming voice from the Tube's shouty man. Or a large "Danger Risk of Death" sign may appear if you're about to visit a site that may contain a virus.

Any other Tube signs that may be useful to a new Windows operating system much appreciated in the comments!

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; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, April 09, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE