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Read this: Interview with Albert Shum, Windows Phone Design Boss

Metro

First impressions are everything and Windows Phone has that covered. It’s by far one of the most unique and beautiful operating systems at first glance. Its beauty is also more than skin deep, spend a few minutes playing around and you’ll know something is different about it. Albert Shum recently sat down with Jay Greene at CNET to talk Windows Phone and design.

Who is Albert Shum? He’s the man in charge of the Windows Phone Design Team. You can thank him and his team every time you press the power button (or double tap in the near future) and start the journey from lockscreen to live tiles. The profile at CNET is worth reading if you want some background information on some key figures behind the design and function of your killer phones.  

The profile they paint of Shum is exactly what you’d expect from someone instrumental in bringing Windows Phone to fruition. I won’t spoil the story, but it involves working at Nike, the Courier, and Zune. Read the rest at the source below and see how Shum is weaving creative thinking with engineering.

Source: CNET

(Regarding that image above, we all know it's 'Metro' deep down.Shh, don't tell Microsoft)

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Comments

There are 62 comments. Sign in to comment

index1366 says:

Genius. 'Nuff said.

The ZennyBoy says:

That statement at the top of the article was genius and beautiful. I saved the picture to my 920. It felt necessary.

oniororo says:

You inspire me. Saved!

Thanks Albert Shunn for a beautiful os

Eas195 says:

The way more crisp and clear, than Android and iOS.
Btw, was his name Shum, or Shunn?

Neo Nuke says:

Love being the first to flat design.

Gatlyn says:

Flat design is really where the world is headed. It's becoming more popular in television ads, product packaging, and even iOS will soon adapt it. It's really great that Microsoft is on the cutting edge of this trend.

RogueCode says:

Metro != flat design.
It is merely a bi-product.

mr toes says:

Genius is the only word
Lets hope shum stays instead of a lot of his colleagues

Jaskys says:

What's the point of all this rant?

MiNi.SpIdEr says:

But double tap is Nokia thing...

Gaichuke says:

This is true.
 
Shum has absolutely nothing to do with that. Correct address for those praises might be Peter Skillman, the former UI/UX leader of MeeGo Harmattan OS in Nokia.

I think he meant to thank him for what lies behind the action. Not the action itself. Shum didn't invent the power button either. ;)

mondokjm says:

Perhaps they should consider having Shum help out the Xbox Music Team. A little bit of inspiration from the Zune days could go a long way.

blackhawk556 says:

I wish they did

That would be far too simple for them!

The ZennyBoy says:

I'm glad somebody else had the same idea after reading this. Hopefully the resolve that whole debacle sooner than later.

It's already later! Xbox music shouldn't have been released so half ass. They really don't seem to be in any kind of hurry, or even worrying about this mess. I miss Zune so much.

Jf.Vigor says:

The latest update to Xbox music def improved it. I love it as much as Zune now. Just needs the ability to save non DRM songs to SkyDrive (which they promised is coming soon)

The ZennyBoy says:

Man, where have I been? Have they fixed the album art issue? I tried it with my own CD collection and it was absolutely hit or miss.

xconomicron says:

Use mpatool...it should be in the WP8 marketplace. I use it on my unlocked Titan. This is/was a problem in Zune.

The ZennyBoy says:

Looks like I've got a project tonight. Thanks.

xconomicron says:

Yea np dude! Love that app! Its a shame though that we even have to use it though. Zune is good a getting most album art to my collection, but not all. But anyway...hope everything works out. I'll probably be using it still when I upgrade to WP8.

The ZennyBoy says:

Now that's just where I ran into my issue. I never had a problem with my album art using Zune for my WP7 (Samsung Focus to be exact). Then when I upgraded to WP8 I quickly realized how useless the new drag and drop mass storage feature was for putting my music collection on the phone.

blackhawk556 says:

The problem we have now is not the OS design. The design as proven to be new, innovative, and fresh. The problem we have now is that the team is slow to roll out new features. This is what is holding the platform back.

karelj says:

Agreed. They need to be going at full throttle yet it seems they are cruising.

Onerunjunior says:

New features? I'm waiting on features that are over 10 years old. I really, really like WP8, but jesus christ is it way behind what a modern smartphone OS is.

ihavewp8 says:

He's probably rich now that it's worldwide.

onwu says:

I think he's the difference maker. Windows Phone Metro seems better thought out than Windows 8 Metro for sure.

ihavewp8 says:

Maybe co founder of apple Steve Wozniak can tell him Genius and beautiful since he purchased a lumia 920 I bet it made many iphony mad

Visva27 says:

First impression of windows phone 7 is not upgrade with wp8........

The sad part of the Metro Theme and it's growing popularity outside of the Windows ecosystem is that once Apple releases their next iOS with similar asthetics, people will "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" over it and praise how innovative, fresh and cutting edge it is...even though MS has been doing it for several years now. 
I really wish MS would trademark the look so Apple can continue with their icons.  Apple is best at ripping off other's ideas and trying to claim they are new and groundbreaking. 
Just watch, the next big iPhone iteration with be revealed with a metro-style theme, NFC and wireless charging and the press will go gaga and iSheep will go nuts.

Apple change anything significant in IOS? Not bloody likely...

xconomicron says:

Don't be too sure. I'm already reading excitement about this new UI change in ios 7. you know isheep will follow whatever Apple does.

kittananj says:

I read it already, this is a good article. Thanks Sam!

Great article but the comments on CNET are mind numbing.

Mr. Shum's design influence may very well extend beyond Windows Phone. I had an occasion to visit the Lowe's home improvement site on the web. Lo and behold I was confronted with the very familiar Metro...er...modern tiles describing the various departments and products. The modern UI is clean, concise and fun. Thanks Mr. Shum et al

erichon99 says:

JC Penney too....ironically former apple retail chief led that initiative

Catlasers says:

This guy and his team have done a beautiful job. Im a UI designer so its cool to see some contemporary takes on UX. Without metro, I would only have gingerbread/corn bread or iOS .... Annnnnd that would suck.

AskaLangly says:

It's next to kinetic typography in my book. Love it.

Oxymoron428 says:

Yes, Shum's design is pure genius! I've sold a few windows phones just by showing off the way it looks :)

slyjr2 says:

Hey folks I am watching Scandal and spotted two Windows phones. Appear to be Lumias. Kerry Washington fine ass

Jazmac says:

Awesome. Love that show.

slyjr2 says:

She had an 8x and the black dude had a 920.

vistascan32 says:

Everyone on House of Lies (ShowTime) uses the 920. There are 4-5 characters that use them..... They actually use the wp8 interface too.

My wife watches a show called The Client List with Jennifer Love Hewitt.  The heavyset blonde on the show was sporting a red Lumia 920.  I just happed to be walking through the living room when I saw it and made my wife rewind so I could be sure that is what I was seeing. 
 
Can you imagine?  The day that it becomes "chic" for everyone to carry Windows Phones?  Lol

mayur89 says:

awesmmmmmmm

KQ17 says:

Wow, didn't know the guy grew up in Canada and went to BlackBerry's "farm team", U of Waterloo. 

onysi says:

can u imagine if he used this design for blackberry.

KQ17 says:

They're too conservative to use something like that.

Thank you mr. Abert it was your design which made me go all in into MS ecosystem. Can't stand icons on a grid anymore, or ever again.

Onerunjunior says:

This guy have an email address? I've got about 50 features that the OS needs right now to match it's great look. UI uniquness is great and all, but they really need to get their asses in gear and release the basic features smartphones have had for 10 years. Good looking is nice, but I'd prefer to have more functionality to support it.

theefman says:

I agree. What's the point of a good design without the functionality to go with it? Same reason Windows 8 is struggling. MS needs to stop patting themselves on the back for the design and work harder at making it as functional as it is visually attractive.

Onerunjunior says:

I really like WP8. It's a great OS visually, and some things click like the back button. I think my biggest pet peeve after not being able to change the sounds the phone makes other than the ringtone is the fact that the keyboard doesn't always function exactly the same in all apps. I cannot understand why some apps don't do autcorrect or capitalization. Who didn't check that before it went out the door?!?

rodneyej says:

This is true!!

Kellix says:

Fantastic interview, Glad MS got him.

Pleistoros says:

Guy's Great. But no offense, I would keep the on/off button instead of double-clicking.