Windows 11: Microsoft Details Small and Big Design Changes | Applications and Software

The preview version of Windows 11 has been available for a few weeks and, along with several features, its look has received a number of changes. This past Tuesday (13th), the Microsoft design team published an article detailing the new features in the operating system interface and explaining the team’s development and creation process.


New start menu and taskbar centered on Windows 11 (Image: Playback/Microsoft Design)

Windows 11 brings animated and interactive interface

The new Start menu and centralized taskbar are the most obvious new additions to Windows 11, but the look of the operating system is also accompanied by a variety of animations and user interactivity. Essentially, the system looks smarter and friendlier.

Some examples worth highlighting include checkboxes with nice animations when the user interacts with them and a glow bar accompanied by a sun icon that rotates and expands as you drag it. The set of multiple micro-interactions builds an interface that is both familiar and modern at the same time.

Checkboxes are animated in Windows 11 (Image: Reproduction/Microsoft Design)

Checkboxes are animated in Windows 11 (Image: Reproduction/Microsoft Design)

Brightness adjustment bar in Windows 11 interacts with user (Image: Playback/Microsoft Design)

Brightness adjustment bar in Windows 11 interacts with user (Image: Playback/Microsoft Design)

Microsoft designed OS to be “soothing”

According to Microsoft design leader Christina Koehn, the new look of Windows 11 was created from more than 85 behavioral studies and research with new and long-time users. In the article published on Medium, she and design director Diego Baca explain that the operating system brings with it a “deep empathy for current and emerging human needs.”

Based on this, the numerous animations applied to even the little things were implemented to provide a nice and calming interface. “Calm is sorely needed in today’s world… Windows 11 facilitates this through basic experiences that feel familiar, smooth the previously intimidating user interface, and increase emotional connection,” said the Microsoft design team.

While the small details really make a difference in the look of Windows 11, the main novelty is the possibility to centralize the taskbar together with a new Start menu.

“After hearing people express the need for more efficiency and less noise when using the Start menu, we’ve designed a cleaner, simpler experience that puts people at the center, prioritizing the apps they love and the documents they need,” said the designers .“It also adapts to the shapes of modern devices and allows easier access to all screen sizes, from a Surface Go notebook to an ultra-wide monitor.”

More customization and built-in wallpapers

Windows 11 brings more themes to increase personalization (Image: Reproduction/Microsoft Design)

Windows 11 brings more themes to increase personalization (Image: Reproduction/Microsoft Design)

In addition, Windows 11 is designed to make it easier to use on a machine for the first time, bringing initial settings much more useful compared to Windows 10. Other changes that might go unnoticed include rounded corners on all features and windows, new iconography and an updated font in the texts.

Not least, Microsoft worked with a graphics studio to formulate a variety of wallpapers to seamlessly integrate with the new Start menu. “We want your journey to Windows 11 to be literally centralized from the start,” the company said. More themes are also available to bring more customization to the operating system.

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