Refactoring Windows 10: How Microsoft designed these colorful icons

In the Windows 10 preview update released today, Microsoft brings new colorful icons that incorporate the Fluent Design design language. At present, many built-in core applications have been upgraded, and Microsoft also said that more applications will receive icon upgrades in the next few months. Microsoft says the change is part of “Microsoft’s efforts to redesign icons over the years.”

  

Refactoring Windows 10: How Microsoft designed these colorful icons

The Windows family has been plagued with icons, and some icons have been simplified since Windows 10 was released five years ago. Microsoft opted for simplified monochrome icons, but they were designed for colorful Live Tiles and were never really adopted by app developers and Windows 10 users.

  

Refactoring Windows 10: How Microsoft designed these colorful icons

“Flat monochrome icons look great against a background of colored tiles, but as more and more icons become available,” Christina Koehn, Microsoft’s head of Windows and device design, wrote in a Medium post today Styles enter the ecosystem and this also needs to evolve. When the icons in the taskbar and start menu are styled differently, it puts a greater cognitive load on scanning and finding apps. We need to use a modern Fluent design The language incorporates more visual cues into the icon design language.”

  

Refactoring Windows 10: How Microsoft designed these colorful icons

In the improvement of the icons, not only the user’s familiarity with Windows is maintained, but also the cross-platform development needs are reflected. Koehn explains: “Using the Fluent design system, we introduced depth and color to the icon system. These extra cues are subtle, but make a big difference when scanning the interface.” This color is on the taskbar and start menu Locking apps is faster, and Microsoft plans to use a similar icon and its design language in apps for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.

Respecting the legacy of Windows, the new colorful icons feel familiar yet fresh. According to Koehn, Microsoft’s design team “explored a myriad of design directions” for the calculator icon, from the monochrome version to the Fluent version that now exists in the OS. Examples include the evolution of calculators and Windows Mail applications.

  

Refactoring Windows 10: How Microsoft designed these colorful icons

“You’ll start seeing some new icons today, and more apps will get new icons over the next few months,” Koehn revealed. “Redesigning these icons marks our commitment to the evolution of the Windows OS, which continues Its legacy redefines the Windows OS at the same time.”

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