It’s in the details: building the Alarms and Calculator app for Windows 8.1

One of the design principles of Microsoft Design Style is Pride in Craftsmanship, or “sweat the details”. One of the important ways to do this is to align to the grid. I found this hard to illustrate when explaining this to others. Best I could come up with is showing the use of the grid in apps like Nick and Cocktail Flow.

Nick-grid  Cocktail-Grid

I just watched the presentation of Steven Abrahams at //build 2013 “Lessons Learned from Building Alarms and Calculator for Windows¬†8.1“. This is a very interesting talk with a very good example what it means to really sweat the details. Look at the way the buttons of the calculator are designed, or the amount of work went into the alarms app. And with even wishes for Windows that are needed for certain scenario’s for an alarm clock. It all sounds so logical and simple, but the trick is to think about it when building an app … even a simple looking app like Alarms or Calculator! A good new one to get inspired on this subject of Pride in Craftsmanship.

Below the changes made to the use of fonts to get a balanced and readable calculator. A before and after shot.

calc-before calc-after

For the Alarms app a new control was developed. The goal was to make time beautiful and human readable. They also added delight through subtle animations.





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