Microsoft is extending its Metro style user interface beyond the products we’ve seen to date such as – Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows 8. As, the Visual Studio is already showing some Metro style and so is the Microsoft Dynamics business.
At Convergence last month, Microsoft’s annual gathering of Dynamics partners, the comapny gave a sneak peek of Microsoft Dynamics with a Metro style interface.
In a blog post about the demo, Kees Hertogh explained how this delivers an immersive experience that makes the most of live tiles, deep linking and the panoramic canvas approach. “With the Metro style design standard, we will be able to provide an ‘immersive’ experience for business applications–one in which the navigational elements of the operating system take a back seat to what the application can do, literally ‘immersing’ users in the application,” writes Hertogh.
Examples of specific design elements implemented include:
- Live Tiles providing direct insights and quick access to different tasks, with a focus on displaying actual content vs. superfluous graphics.
- Deep-Linking allowing you to ‘pin’ any part of the application to the Dynamics Home page or Windows Start page, essentially ‘flattening’ the application experience and making any given task directly accessible from the highest navigation level (the Windows Start page).
- Panoramic canvas enables you to explore content in a non-task directed way. The horizontal panning, ideal for a touch based exploration, is specifically useful for data-dense information hubs where you can achieve related and conscious goals like understanding your business performance metric directly on your start page, or find related quotes on a project overview.
Microsoft Dynamics will continue to evolve with technologies like embed constraint optimization and machine learning to deliver even more advanced proactive and forward-looking capability to power your Dynamic Business.
Kees goes on to explain how the concept application that was demonstrated shows a shift from a sole focus on historical data to proactive insight. Additionally, the concept highlights the importance of context with embedded use of Lync and in the future Skype for real-time discussions around business data.
The activity stream inside the application experience will provide frequent updates by both users as well as key relevant activities driven by the system itself (e.g. customer approvals, status updates, etc.) and the application will be device aware.