Fluent Design System – Why You Should Care About The New UI Style

When it comes to the User Interface Design system done by Microsoft, you probably have in mind some failures connected with Metro and Modern. Mentioned concepts were not so bad, but they were too radical in the time when they were presented. Fortunately, currently Microsoft has done a great job. Giant from Redmond has prepared the design system that have a chance to influence UX Design in a very positive way.

What is Fluent Design

To get to know what is the new visual framework it is necessary to understand it’s principles. They are inspired by the real world elements and move UI design into a new dimension.


  • Light
  • Depth
  • Motion
  • Material
  • Scale




Light is used to accent the interaction between user and the digital product. Like in a real world it draws human attention.



The purpose of the depth is to give a sense of space to the design. It accents layers of the application architecture and prioritize elements



Motion is used to show the connections between the elements, to highlight the relationships. Animations and transitions makes the solution more natural and of course it delights users.



In contrast to Material Design which uses the metaphor of paper to create UI, fluent uses multiple surfaces and textures to make the experience rich and natural.



Microsoft prepares it’s design where 3D interface is a norm. Time of AR and VR is coming, so our approach to design has to evolve.

Why Fluent Design may be successful

Google’s Material Design has got a good press. It is a robust, modern and clean concept that effectively supports the application creation. Its idea is simple: it uses paper as the metaphor, bold intuitive graphic design and meaningful motion to guide users.

It seems that Fluent Design is a natural successor of the Material. It expands the idea of material and adds new dimensions into the UI. Microsoft’s child is even ready to take a step into 3D world, which is important when it comes to the AR and VR app design.

Fluent Design system feel natural, because it presents the information in a way we perceive it. It is a system where minimalism meets skeuomorphism, and binds two worlds in one magically consistent UI.

Before the Fluent was introduced, I have written an article where the matter of skeuomorphic design was presented in a positive way. Post had to confront the critique. However, now some thoughts included there may be useful when it comes to the Fluent Design. The world of UI design is changing, again.
If you would like to read the article, feel free to click here.

Success of Fluent is guaranteed?

It is hard to say if Fluent Design will become popular. Nowadays Microsoft has not so much power to influence mobile, wearables and other modern device’s UX. Giant from Redmond may even loose the next part of OS for PCs in the near future. However, nothing is sure in the tech world.

In my opinion, to succeed with Fluent Design, Microsoft will have to create a living community and open the guidelines. Make it open to expandable.

Apples’ and Google’s design concepts has it strong position and it will be extremely hard to compete with them.

But still, the principles of Fluent sounds promising and inspiring. If Microsoft will continue to developer it wisely, it may influence the modern UI design.

To conclude

Fluent Design System is the step forward in UI Design. It is the concept for the modern era of devices that operates with 3 dimensional elements. However, the current vision of Microsoft’s idea is not completed yet. We have to wait for its final version. For now, it looks very promising.

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