The designers of Windows 11 took inspiration from an approach called calm technology, which was described by two employees of the Xerox PARC research lab more than two decades ago. “Calmness is much needed in today’s world, and it tends to hinge on our ability to feel in control, at ease, and trustful,” Microsoft’s Christian Koehn and Diego Baca wrote in a blog post. “Windows 11 facilitates this through foundational experiences that feel familiar, soften formerly intimidating UI, and increase emotional connection.”

Calm technology also informed the development of the sounds of Windows 11, said Matthew Bennett, who crafted the sounds, following contributions to Windows 8 and Windows 10.