How Windows8 Is Affecting WebDesign?

April 7, 2014 | By | Reply More

The lay opinion of Windows 8 is generally that it has been something of a failure, or that it hasn’t been as much of a hit as people expected it to be. Though we can state some reasons to upgrade to Windows 8 but reports show that Windows 8 hasn’t been adopted by as many people as Windows 7 had at this point, and that it hasn’t even managed to surpass Vista yet. You can also have a look at reasons why Windows 8 failed to impress us.

How Windows8 Is Affecting WebDesign

The reality though is that Microsoft is very much playing the ‘long game’ with their strategy for Windows 8. This can be evidenced by their new approach to upgrades – the 8.1 upgrade is just around the corner which marks a departure from their previous method of launching completely new products every four years or so. This new iterative system should allow them to refine Windows 8, and should give people more opportunity to jump on board.

It’s also worth noting that Windows 8 was built largely for hybrid devices with touchscreens. This is something we’re only just starting to see in stores, which means that people are only just getting the full Windows 8 experience. Even the Surface Pro – Microsoft’s ‘benchmark hardware’ – only recent enjoyed a global release.

In short, Windows 8 is here to stay, and very gradually it’s making its mark on the web. Here’s how web design might be affected by the impending dominance of Windows 8 devices…

Touch-Friendly

When the web was born, it was born into an age of mouse/keyboard inputs. Now though, we are seeing more and more people interact with the web by touching the screen, and Windows 8 looks to take this to the next level as even our desktop computers encourage us to reach out and touch.

Thus web design is going to get ever more touch-friendly, with large clickable buttons, gesture inputs and other touch-based controls. Make sure your site is optimised for touch, because pretty soon people are going to stop wanting to click on hypertext.

Metro-Style

Microsoft’s much vaunted ‘Metro Style’ is something that is very strongly felt throughout Windows 8. They’ve attempted to create their own consistent design language that takes all the best bits from other modern touchscreen interfaces. This has meant large crisp images, lots of white space, attractive typography and glyphs and the absolute minimisation of ‘chrome’ elements such as menu bars.

As people become more used to using this interface, it will come to be more and more what they expect to see when surfing the web. In short, the success of Windows 8 is likely to birth more websites that look like Windows 8. How does your site stack up when compared to the Metro UI? Does it make it look dated?

Less Multitasking

Something else that represents a big change for Windows 8, is the full screen nature of the browsers. If you surf the web on Windows 8, you won’t be able to play Minesweeper at the same time or (as easily) watch YouTube – unless you return to the Desktop setting. Chances are that this trend will only continue.

What this means for web designers is that they’ll be freer to design their sites to be more spaced out without fear of them getting minimized to cramped proportions.

The best way to make sure you are ready for the dominance of Windows 8 devices is to get using them, so if you haven’t already now might be the time to upgrade and adapt.

Category: Windows 8

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