Those interested in the evolving Windows 10 user experience will want to take a look at the Groove app, which just received a Fluent Design System makeover.
As you may recall, Microsoft announced that it would begin implementing its new Fluent user experiences (UXs) this year. And though the firm chose to first publicly discuss this new look and feel when it announced the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it’s not actually tied to that (or any other) release. Some Fluent UXs are already shipping in Windows 10 apps today, some will be delivered with the Fall Creators Update, and some will come later.
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The first wave of Fluent UXs is aimed at modernizing the look and feel of Windows 10. And the new version of the Groove app, which is available now in the shipping version of Windows 10, features the not-so-subtle addition of two of these new user experiences: Acrylic and reveal highlight.
As I noted previously, acrylic about using light and colors to illuminate from behind. It’s the first implement of a so-called “material design,” and while it looks like a transparency or blur, it’s intended to emulate the real world material and, in doing so, create more natural experiences.
The addition of acrylic is obvious in the updated Groove app: The menu bar on the left offers a translucency effect that lets through whatever is visually underneath that area. (Typically, the desktop wallpaper and/or one or more other windows.)
The new Groove app also utilizes a reveal highlight to indicate that items in that menu can be selected. Basically, it’s a standard mouse-over effect, but using light-based visualizations. Here, for example, you can see that the Explorer menu item is fully selectable because the mouse is hovering right over it. But the My Music item, right below it, has a subtle border, too, indicating that there is a UX element nearby that can also be selected.
No, it’s nothing dramatic. But then that’s the point of the Fluent Design System: To modernize Windows in a way that is evolutionary, and not revolutionary.