What's behind the design of Windows 10 – and why it won't be Hamburger hell

The problem has been that universal apps will have different interfaces on different devices, but the different interfaces aren't all in the preview apps. In future builds, he said, the Photos app will have a hamburger when you use it on a PC but a pivot you can swipe through on a phone. Outlook app commands that have been on the hamburger menu will move down to the app bar, like switching between accounts or jumping from your inbox to the calendar. An early version will show up soon, with the final version of the app bar control appearing in later builds "once the Office team has finished building it".

The address bar in the Edge browser might move back to the bottom of the screen – but it might not. Shum told TechRadar that the team had got feedback supporting both positions. They're weighing up the importance of muscle memory against the problem of having auto-completions in the address bar spill upwards into the tab, covering the page.

Experiments in design

Another problem, admits Gallo, is that people didn't realise that what they were seeing as a Windows Insider was not just early code but also design experiments – especially with the hamburger menus.

"In our early insider builds for the phone, we definitely went hamburger crazy. It was part of our experimentation and it was not clear to everybody that we were experimenting with the apps there. Even as we build our own apps we're evolving the concepts. We're inventing a new design language; we will be doing that all the time. But when we do this we need to be clear that we're experimenting."

"We're going to change a bunch of the apps," Gallo told us. "I know you're frustrated you don't have some of the one-handed functionality of the phone – you should see the feedback inside Microsoft. 'Oh my god, you crazy people over in design land…' We'll make a bunch of tuning there. There definitely were some teams that had some bad designs and we're glad we caught them before RTM."

Education app

A sample layout for a Windows 10 education app

Go your own way

But Gallo doesn't want app developers to feel they have to copy either Microsoft's experiments or the final look of their apps. "I want developers to try different things. Sometimes we say 'I have all the scenarios and let's make these five really good and you can't break out of that'. But openness is also the venue for creativity. We want to allow developers to do it their own way, they're completely free to invent their own way – and fail. Many of them will fail but those who succeed will learn from the failures and go rebirth it again."


Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.