Microsoft first introduced its fluid design changes for Windows 10 in Build last year, adding subtle animations to many Windows core applications and parts. We have seen a number of changes in application design in the Fall Creators Update and the recent April 2018 Update, and now Microsoft is presenting some future plans for Fluent Design in Build 2018.
During a session in Fluent Design At Today, Microsoft unveiled a series of new subtle changes that will appear in Windows 10 applications this year. Microsoft is using shadow effects in Fluent Design, along with the modernization of contextual menus and the implementation of consistent controls for the back button in applications.
The changes make a more refined version of Fluent Design, and hopefully it will avoid the somewhat inconsistent implementation of Fluent in Microsoft's own Windows 10 applications. Third-party application developers should adopt Fluent controls to access these newly designed elements in their applications, and even Microsoft should take them to their Windows applications.
Shadow effects for Windows 10 applications provide more depth in applications, and Microsoft is also emphasizing the use of color. All of these subtle additions should be added to more beautiful applications, but Microsoft is also acting on feedback on user interface elements focused on the touch of Fluent Design.
Several of the controls found in Universal Windows applications that use the fluid design are quite large and optimized for tablets and touchscreen devices. Microsoft admits that developers know that the user interface is too large, especially for mouse and keyboard users. It is balancing that with smaller controls, and even a compact mode that is designed for denser and more complex applications.
Microsoft is even adjusting the location of the back button in Windows 10 applications to make it more consistent. For the time being, application developers can place a back button within the application, or at the top, but it is not always clear to Windows 10 users. Navigation changes for Fluent Design applications also include support for keyboard shortcuts and even the Xbox One controller to navigate the applications.
All these fluid design changes are introduced this year, allowing developers to take advantage of them in Windows 10 applications. Microsoft is slowly changing the design direction of Windows 10 and is modernizing applications in the process, and these subtle changes help to refresh the overall appearance of Windows.