Microsoft is giving the Xbox’s user interface (UI) a visual makeover applying the principles outlined in its Fluent Design guidelines, announced a few months ago at its Build developer conference.
Fluent Design is the company’s new design system that Microsoft created to take over all of Microsoft’s products, from Windows 10, to Skype, to Xbox.
The idea behind it is to look at everything that’s visual through five lenses: “Light,” “Depth,” “Motion,” “Material,” and “Scale,” most of which have been applied to the redesigned Xbox interface.
Elements now make use of translucency and motion, and are more reminiscent of Windows 10 on PCs, in an effort to bring consistency across Microsoft’s various products. But the Fluent redesign goes beyond just aesthetics, which is why Microsoft refers to it as Xbox’s “next major system update.”
“The look, feel, and movement of the dashboard has been updated to focus on speed, customisation and expression — for you,” reads the company’s blog post. The focus is on making the Xbox dashboard’s main page more customisable and uniquely tailored to the user, who can now chooses to pin everything from a game (or app) to a friend.
This new “Home” page will also dynamically evolve over time, based on the player’s activity: “For example, adding a game to your Home screen may pull in an Activity Feed post from the developer, show when your friends are playing that game online, suggest your next Achievement, and provide a quick shortcut to the Game Hub for that title.”
The Community section is getting a visual update, too, with a new full screen view layout for comments, clubs, game hubs, and profiles. The Xbox Guide is also being improved, with a new flyover window that lets you quickly jump between tabs and apps with either the left thumbstick, the D-pad, or the controller’s bumpers.
Fluent Design will more broadly rollout to Xbox and other Windows products in the coming weeks and months; for now, only Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Ring will see the changes. “This is just the beginning of some major updates arriving for Xbox gamers later this year,” Microsoft says.
“We’ll be introducing plenty of new features in the coming months across Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Mixer, and mobile devices designed to make your gaming experiences all about you. […] We’ll be sharing more when the update releases to more fans later this year.”
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