Windows 11 brings wholesale aesthetic change to the world's most popular operating system, and Microsoft has paid special attention to certain areas to deliver a unique experience.
Fitting the bill is the news that Windows 11 will have a different audio profile in dark mode, with the operating system changing automatically to deliver a more serene and soothing experience once dark mode activates—a very nice touch.
Windows 11's Dark Mode Is a Peaceful Place
In a Medium blog post, Windows Creative Director Christina Koehn and Principal Design Director Diego Baca explained some of the design subtleties crafted for Windows 11 to help "deliver experiences that feel familiar, soften formerly intimidating UI, and increase emotional connection."
Calmness is much needed in today's world, and it tends to hinge on our ability to feel in control, at ease, and trustful.
So, in Windows 11, dark mode comes with a separate soundscape to its light mode counterpart, adjusting the operating system audio experience to accommodate those core feelings.
Speaking to CNBC, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "The new sounds have a much rounder wavelength, making them softer so that they can still alert/notify you, but without being overwhelming."
But if you're expecting an entirely different set of sounds and tones, think again. The difference between Windows 11 dark mode and light mode operating system sounds isn't like switching from classical music to grindcore. The change is subtle and calming, not jarring and disturbing.
There are other changes, too. In the same CNBC article, Matthew Bennett, who helped to craft the new Windows 11 sounds, explained that the entire audio experience in the operating system is led by the idea of "calm."
The place you spend your time working shouldn't bombard you with distracting and irritating tones at various moments. Notifications are a part (bane?) of life, so why not at least make them into something you don't dread the sound of, that alerts you without deafening or annoying you ad infinitum.
Windows 11 Is "Emotional, Human, and Deeply Personal"
The language surrounding Windows 11 design is interesting. Microsoft's design team is crafting the new version of Windows using emotive, alluring, warming language that pushes away from the operating systems of old.
It's a sea-change, especially for Microsoft. Windows 11 design has taken on the feedback of millions of Windows users, and the result is an operating system that is softer, with rounded edges, beautiful themes and backgrounds, and ultimately, a different vibe to its predecessor, Windows 10.
For many, the changes have been a long time coming, and the curved edges, easy-to-use menu, and centered Start menu are welcome. But most of all, people are actually looking forwards to a new Windows operating system once more.