It’s strange how influential an operating system UI can be on web design. I remember back in 2006 everyone was using Apple’s shiny table effect and it seems we may be about to see a wave of websites designed using Microsoft’s Windows 8 ‘Metro’ UI style.
Do these large companies that make our most popular devices’ operating systems set the trend, or are they one step ahead? The interesting thing this time round is that the Windows 8 style we see here is designed primarily for touch. The buttons aren’t just part of the UI, they are also delivering content. This means almost the entire screen real estate can be UI. It also works well on various screen sizes - not just desktop and mobile, but desktop to mobile with everything between. This is addressing the same problem many web developers have been solving by using responsive web design. If web design is inspired by operating systems it’ll be interesting to see what affect Windows 8 will have in the coming months.