When it comes to designing an app for use in Metro, there seem to be a few different approaches that I’ve seen so far.
The first of these approaches I’d like to call the “Minimalist”. This type of app works hard to stick very close to Microsoft’s own styling and seems to do a very good job of minimizing the need for clicks everywhere you turn.
For first time users, navigating this style of app will probably be the easiest experience.
Then we have the “Multi-Click’. These apps seem to follow Microsoft’s style for the most part but are perhaps not as minimalist, a little more crowded and generally full of more complex navigation.
You probably can do more with this type of app, I’d wager, but you’ll also be using hidden menus that are either in corners or accessed through the right click.
In almost every instance I before the former, not the later. A good example of this first style that I mentioned is the Chicago Tribune app. To take a look at the second style, the USA Today app is a good example. And then we have the Telegraph app.
This third app doesn’t seem to exactly follow the Metro styling and goes about things in a very unique way.
Just from the screenshot you can see the choose to have the intro page resemble a newspaper, which I thought was a pretty cool way to go about it. In this shot I have the hidden ‘right-click’ menu exposed which allows you to choose different sections of the paper to browse.
Here we have the sections laid out by large ‘clickable’ icons. This actually starts to look a bit more like Metro than what we see at the intro page. Now let’s see what happens when you click on a section.
As you can see, this brings up another screen with even more clickable picture icons, each of these being different stories.
And finally, we have an article to read. For the most part, I enjoy the way the articles are laid out (once you finally get to them), and they are pretty easy to read here.
I want to start by applauding the Telegraph for taking a unique approach that is certainly a “Multi-Click” app, but one of that manages its own style pretty well, actually.
It was nice to see they were afraid to try something a little different than most of the news apps I’ve played with, though I still maintain that a simple approach seems to work the best for me.
My biggest ‘issue’ with this app is that it seems to take way too many clicks to get anything done. One screen opens up into another screen, which opens up into another, which opens in to yet a third screen before you finally find yourself looking at potential articles to read.
This makes for a somewhat confusing mass, though I’m sure not everyone will feel this way.
In the end though, I give them props for at least attempting to do something that no one else had, even if the execution falls a little flat.