Microsoft illustrates how Windows 11 design came together

Designing Windows 11

Windows 11 is set to take its place as one of the more distinct versions of the operating system. Ever. It may not be radically different than its immediate predecessor, but the OS very much stands its own.

More so, when it comes to design.

Overall, the operating system can be termed as an evolution rather than a revolution. And nowhere else is this clearer than the Windows 11 user interface. The UI is sleek and streamlined, similar yet different enough for the changes to be instantly noticeable.

If you are wondering just how Microsoft took the design decisions that led to this, the Microsoft Design team is here with a fascinating insight into the process and philosophy that underpins this creation.

This peek behind the curtains comes via a blog post on Medium where the team talks about designing the next generation of the operating system.

And the way the world is now, the company focused its design efforts primarily on usability and accessibility. The Microsoft Design team talked about needing a deep empathy for current and emerging human needs:

“This has been one of our most people-driven releases ever and a guiding design principle was based on a key theme surfaced during research: calm technology that makes our lives genuinely better. Calmness is much needed in today’s world, and it tends to hinge on our ability to feel in control, at ease, and trustful. Windows 11 facilitates this through foundational experiences that feel familiar, soften formerly intimidating UI, and increase emotional connection. Experiences that bring you closer to what you love most: family, friends, passions, entertainment, and creations. Windows 11 is where everything comes together, and the need for this has never been stronger.”

Sure, some of the design decisions have proven to be slightly controversial — the design and positioning of the Start Menu, as an example. The company says that the new location is about putting the users in the center and creating a design that was adaptable for different devices.

Listening to feedback, Microsoft learned that people for looking for a softer user interface, hence why we are here.

The whole post is a very interesting read if you after insights into some of the design decisions that the Windows maker settled on. Give it a scan at the link above.