Thursday, September 27, 2012
Ugly websites: happy tiling!
Since the day the Metro UI was launched it seems like everybody is planning to rebuild his website according to these guidelines. Apart from that everyone should decide for himself what he thinks is beautiful and what not, I still get annoyed by the fact that there are so many people who are applying these design principles without thinking about the ultimate objective of the new Metro interface.
More and more websites look like stacks of boxes from the 8bit era. We have been waiting so long for CSS3 support in IE in order to be able to have rounded corners, and suddenly that is no longer necessary. Square is the trend.
At last we are able to add subtle gradients to our background without the need for rendering textures in Photoshop, suddenly that is no longer necessary. One color for the background is the trend.
Headings and subheadings should be big, huge! If you would have claimed that a heading should be 42pt large about a year ago, most people would have thought you were nuts. Huge headings are the trend. By the way it is not bad if those heads won't fit on the screen because you only need to swipe to the right. Awesome. We only have to buy touchscreens within our company and that will be settled. Oh yes, what was the keyboard shortcut?
And now we have those nice little tiles. Live tiles. Awesome and beautiful on a tablet or phone. Unless you have been thinking about how to design those tiles. If you didn't think this through then probably your semantic zoom will fail, pinning will fail and no live updates will appear on your tile. It is again just a stack of boxes showing application names. And not that many fit onto your screen, you need to swipe again. Don't get me wrong. I do like the Metro UI tiles. Really. But the message is do we really need to redesign our web sites to show a stack of boxes instead of that beautiful wordpress template? Unless you come up with something which lives. If you don't, you have probably missed the real uses of a tile.
Less is more. Absolutely true. Less graphical assets, no chrome, less color and a well worked out typeface will give you a clean and quick website which can be consumed on many screens and devices. But you should ask yourself the question: do I need that? Really? A good responsive website can be quick too without turning back to the good old 8bit era.
Right. That said I must admit that probably somewhere in the future my designs will have
Metro elements as well. Perhaps a tile of my own. Who knows. It is just my thought, my view, don't get upset. :-)