Tag Archive: Metro


MIDAS v4: A Fresh New Look

If you’ve been following our recent blog posts, you’ll know we have an exciting update coming to MIDAS! You may also have noticed from early screenshots we’ve already posted from this update that the default visual “theme” has also gone through some changes…..

The previous “Default” theme: (MIDAS v3)
MIDAS v3 Default Theme

The new “Default” theme: (MIDAS v4)
MIDAS v4 Default Theme

The new “Metro” inspired default theme that will ship with MIDAS v4 will feature slightly larger icons than previous themes – the reasons behind this are two-fold;

1) Larger Screen Resolutions
Firstly, screen resolutions are generally getting larger – for many years the most common screen resolution was 1024 x 768 pixels. A recent study found that currently the most common screen resolution in use is 1366 x 768. As people choose screens with higher and higher resolutions, graphical items appear comparatively “smaller” on screen.

2) Touch Screens
Secondly, touch screen devices (such as tablets and iPads) are now common place, and with the eagerly anticipated release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system later this year (which is very much geared towards touch screen devices), we expect the number of touch-enabled devices to increase dramatically.
If you’re familiar with touch screen devices, you’ll know it can sometimes be frustrating trying to accurately “tap” a very small target area on screen.
Microsoft have conducted extensive research on fingers and touch screens. They discovered that the average width of a human finger is 11mm. As targets for tapping get larger, the percentage of accidental missed taps drops off quickly. Therefore, ideally, a tap target should be at least 11mm (about 40px) in size.

MIDAS v3 Icon MIDAS v4 Icon
“Add Bookings” icon (MIDAS v3)
30 x 30 pixels
“Add Bookings” icon (MIDAS v4)
40 x 40 pixels

In the previous “default” theme for MIDAS, the main toolbar icons were 30 x 30 pixels in size. In the new “default” theme, toolbar icons are now 40 x 40 pixels in size.

Notifications have also been made more prominent on toolbar icons for MIDAS v4:
MIDAS v4 Toolbar Notifications

MIDAS v3 Buttons MIDAS v4 Buttons
Buttons in MIDAS v3 Buttons in MIDAS v4

We’ve also increased the size of other buttons and some text elements – all in an effort to make MIDAS more accessible to tablet, iPad, and other touch screen users, and those using higher resolution screens!

We hope you’ll like the new look for MIDAS v4, but if you don’t, no problem! – There will be a version of the previous MIDAS v3 default theme available for v4 as well!

Firefox 11 Released!

Firefox 11
In what’s been an almost monthly event now since August last year, Mozilla team have released another major increment to the version number of their Firefox web browser! Firefox 11 is now available for download, and yet again, we’re bringing you this news before Mozilla have even update the Release Notes for Firefox 11!

Mozilla have also confirmed this past week that development work has now also begun on a version of Firefox specifically for the new “Metro” interface of Windows 8.

One interesting point that Mozilla programmer Brian Bondy notes about this version of Firefox for the Windows 8 Metro interface, is that Microsoft have imposed restrictions meaning that the “Metro” version of Firefox will only work if Firefox has been selected as the default web browser within Windows 8!

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 We’ll be keeping a close eye on Windows 8 as it draws ever closer to a full release later this year (It’s currently in “Beta” – or as Microsoft are now calling it “Consumer Preview”). We have already tested our online room scheduling software, MIDAS, on Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the brand new Internet Explorer 10 (IE10 is not currently available for earlier versions of Windows), and can confirm that the latest version of MIDAS is fully compatible with this new release of Internet Explorer!