What do you expect from the Mango Update? Multitasking, HTML5 support, new IE? I want to show you some of my ideas that could make WP7 better.
The idea of Aero Integration to WP7 has been stuck in my head since May 2010. In June 2010 I created the first concept of WP7 showing the semi-transparent tiles with own background on the home screen. I liked it; I thought it looked much better than original WP7’s UI. In the last couple of months I have learned a lot. I realized that the WP7’s user interface does not need to have semi-transparent effects to be beautiful. However, the integration of the Aero could be one of the things that customers would appreciate. After publishing that concept I found out that people liked it. Many people want to have a chance to personalize their home screens.
Let’s look at the advantages of this concept.-Beautiful looking UI would become more beautiful by using the right combination of the backgrounds, system’s color and the transparency level.
-Personalization on your own.
-Good marketing trick.
Also, this concept has a couple of disadvantages.-The concept could ruin the idea of the Metro UI.
-Beautiful looking UI would become intricate by using the wrong combination of the backgrounds, system’s color and the transparency level.
I don't think the current Metro UI is bad. On the contrary, I love it a lot! All I want to say is that people need a choice.
Thus, I think the Aero Integration should be a part of the next Windows Phone 7 update.
I came up with the idea of having an all basic system setting right on the home screen with my first Windows Phone 7 Modification. Later, I realized that it was a copy of the Notification Area from Android OS. I tried to find a solution to add quick notifications, Zune’s control, and the basic system control to the one area. Widgets and Control Panel did not work. I have tried many different concepts. Firstly, I tried to add a 3rd additional screen to the left of the Home screen. Then I added control buttons and quick notifications right to the Tiles. They both interfere with the idea of the Metro UI. Finally, I came up with a smart solution. I call it Control Bar.
The Control Bar brings quick notifications, Zune’s control, and the system control buttons to the top of your screen. To open the Control Bar simply press the Home button twice quickly. This opens the Control Bar, which primarily shows the system control buttons. Just slide to the left to launch Zune’s control buttons, or to the right to show latest system notifications. In the notifications area you can also scroll down to show more notifications.
Control Bar is not a solid part of the Home screen. Open it only if you need to.
Different platforms have a possibility to categorize items. WP7 does not even let us arrange items in the menu. I am coming up with an idea of Live Thumbnails. Imagine you can categorize items in the menu; even add a category to the Home Screen as a tile. The tile may show the thumbnails of items; the user gets a possibility to open an application/music file/contact right from the tile by pressing twice on the item. I think the best use of this would be in the Tablet OS (maybe Windows 8?).
Am I the only one who doesn't like the pictures of the Multitasking that Microsoft presented at the MWC in February? I think the cards with horizontal scrolling don’t fit the idea of Metro UI. So, I decided to change it a little more. The result was the cards with the vertical scrolling. To open Multitasking Menu just press the back button twice quickly, or use a zoom out pinch gesture. To close applications simply swipe the card up.
Backgrounds in the Hubs
Windows Phone 7 does not let us to change background in the Hubs (except Picture Hub), so sometimes it may be hard to read some text. I am coming with the idea of using the transparent mask on the background to dim an image. I also want to show you the idea of using the album mosaic in Zune instead of a picture of an artist.
Well, that's all for now. I will try to come up with something new soon. At least with some new "styles" of the home screen. If you like some of this ideas, please share it with other people. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter.
If you like some of my concepts, vote for them at Windows Phone Feature Suggestion Box.
Also, check my older Windows Phone 7 concepts.