So it looks like yesterday the people who can participate in something Microsoft calls the “Alpha Ring” can take a look at the new Fluent Design. Fluent design is basically a replacement to Metro UI that was introduced with Windows 8 (might be wrong on that, can’t really remember 7) to kind of give the opening to have a united theme between all devices. This was met with a lot of resistance as most people don’t like change, and this changed almost everything that people liked about Windows. I don’t have any sources, but just ask yourself or anyone around you and see if they liked Windows 8 when it first came out. I would say a good guess would be 75% of people didn’t like it, again a guess.
So now Fluent Design is meant to replace that. It kind of borrows from many different styles so hopefully people won’t shit all over it like they have in the past. I really liked Metro and I’m pretty sure I’ll like Fluent. It has some Flat and Material design aspects, which are very popular with Android and many “Modern” sites/apps.
I’ll explain what is new, but if you don’t want to read and are angry with letters and stuff, you can just watch the video below. So to start off with let’s talk about the Guide, or when you press the Xbox button. Doing so still brings up the side panel, but now instead of the icons or tabs being vertical, they are horizontal. Also notice that you start in the middle of 7 icons, meaning that you are never more than 3 clicks away to get to whatever content you want vs being 6 clicks with the old version (or more, it feels like more). From here you can do almost all the things you would think you’d be able to. Look at messages, friends list, etc. Nothing else to major here except for they keep putting these cards on top of each other. I think now with the current version you just get launched into different apps, which can be a pain. But the look and feel of the new guide is really nice, I enjoy it. Just as long as they don;t make it harder for me to turn off my controller I’m fine with that (I’m talking about you Sony. Microsoft can do it in 3 buttons step up your game….).
The next thing we have is the home screen. Most people will just have their recent apps/games and pins. That’s really all you should ever want, but if you want you can follow games, people, etc These Content Blocks are really interesting . It just gives you a way to track your favorite things, in one small little package. Really neat, but I won’t be using them. Speaking of the Home screen I think they still really mess up having ads here. I pay for a yearly service, But I do find good sales and things here so maybe its not all that bad. The content blocks can be arranged with the push of a button and it looks easy to add and remove them.
Lastly the Community tab got its own level up with design. I really don’t go here, but for people who do this is a real step up from what there is now. Game DVR clips can be seen here as well as screenshots. There are also ways to filter the content. It looks like you can narrow it down by:
- Games (Games you follow)
- Clubs (Clubs that you follow)
This seems like a great addition to what there is now. I know I see random crap from people I don’t even know on mine and get confused why, so I’ll be turning off the popular one. If only they had Beam Streaming here…
So here is that video that I promised earlier from Major Nelson, Xbox spokesperson and all around good guy:
Right now this is only available to preview members, and if you want to look into how to get into that follow this here link: https://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/console/xbox-insider-program
And before you start raging all over your keyboard, just remember that they need to evolve. Well I guess they don’t need to, but the design is something they want to have cohesive throughout all Microsoft products. It’s not that drastic of a change, just looks a little different. Remember, just because you can freak out about something doesn’t mean you should. It is just a console UI.
I don’t know when this will release to all of us normal people, but you could expect it within the next couple of months. Also if you are in the Alpha Ring, remember this is for testing and you should do your due diligence and try to find things that are wrong. Send in those bug reports and things that don’t feel right and I’m sure they can get them fixed before release.
Fun Fact: To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature.