Earlier this week a friend and I were discussing the “Metro UI” style which is used in the new Windows tablets / phones and the Windows 8 start screen (seen to the left, picture taken from Wikipedia). You’ve probably seen it splashed across your favourite US or UK TV programme recently (probably several times – product placement has been huge).
Based on the classic Swiss graphic design, initial reviews of the style were favourable. It uses clean typography, simple graphs and bold colours. It has even won several graphic design awards. Apparently though, Microsoft is currently calling the style “Modern UI” or “Microsoft design language” due to a legal battle with Metro AG.
Despite the cleaner look, I personally don’t like the new style. Too colourful and haphazard for my taste, though the animation is inspired. I will always prefer a clean white space – I do so love my Apple products…
That being said, my friend set me the challenge of creating a (relatively) simple metro style Excel dashboard for my training teams. Since the challenge was an interesting one I accepted. Here is a picture of the basic result below.
Obviously I have taken a few liberties with the style. I’ve used the new Segoe UI font that Microsoft uses, but there is a lot of additional text in the report. The background is slightly different, though I have tried to incorporate the actual colours used. The final result though, looks much less clean than the Microsoft version. I guess I have to give Microsoft props after all, it’s not easy creating something clean. Also, the main redeemable features of the Metro style – animation of the brightly coloured squares and rectangles is currently missing in the training dashboard. Since this report isn’t going to change, there is currently no animation. However I may add that in later!
You can if you wish download the sheet I used here. Feel free to incorporate it into your own reporting if you feel the need. It’s a simple dashboard and doesn’t incorporate any interactive features, but I think you can recognise the Metro UI style.
What do you think?