WP7: Mango Update Concept

Sunday, March 27, 2011 29 comments
Remember my older concepts of the WP7? Last year I came up with the Aero, Control Panel, and Multitasking. Now I want to show you my latest ideas for the WP7. Hope you like it.

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.

Aero Integration

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.

Control Bar

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.

Live Thumbnails

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.

Aero Style

Basic Style

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.


  • Jarrod said...

    I gotta say... this is actually pretty nice. I've seen a few other mockups from Nokia/Symbian fans; I thought they sort of missed the mark and failed to understand what makes the Metro UI so great. But this one feels... just about right! Well done.

    I'm loving the idea of mixing "Aero" with the Metro UI so that wallpapers don't clash with the tiles. It would be interesting to visualize how that works when swiping to the right to reveal the app list. I.e., would app titles remain sufficiently legible, and would the smaller icons feel swallowed by the wallpaper, etc.

    The "Control Bar" is also a crafty solution. Not sure if double tapping a capacitive home button would work well, but one could presumably also hit the volume rocker once (like we do now), then swipe left/right to access whatever portion of the Control Bar they needed.

    Again, well done! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jozef Kocúr said...

    Thanks guys :)
    I am a big fan of the Metro UI...I know "AERO" is a radical change...but my idea is bring a change to customize Home Screen on your own...If people ruin the idea of Metro UI by using crappy wallpapers, it will be their problem...

    Control Bar..I tried many concepts of "Control Bar" and trust me I couldn't find a better solution. I will upload pictures of other solutions soon....I also agree that using of volume button to open Control Bar would be better...I was thinking about that; I don't know why I came up with idea of using Home button...

  • Anonymous said...

    That is just so amazing. All the other fan made concepts are kind of.. i dont know but this is just spectactular! Keep emailing Microsoft for a design lead job!!! :D

  • Jozef Kocúr said...

    Thanks, but Microsoft would never hire a 17 years old kid :D and I don't feel like a lead designer for them :D maybe in future...
    but anyway, I will continue in this work...and maybe one day they will contact me :)

  • Juan Andreu said...

    No f*ckin way u're 17 y'old!!!

    Dude, keep workin of those designs, ull be rewarded for that, im pretty sure.

    Now, i got a task for ya, make an idea for system managemen. I mean, like a task manager. So u can include advanced features on the multitasking thing, like a context menu or whatever. :)

    i wanna see what u can come with..

    Best Regards!

  • Jozef Kocúr said...

    @ Juan: Thanks :) Yeah, I'm a junior at High School...

    I tried to include more things to multitasking menu, it just interfered with the philosophy of the Metro UI...I didn't like it at all...

    Maybe, I will find a solution :)

    Thanks, again...

  • Juan said...

    Sup,its me again xD

    Hace u ever used Microsoft Expression Blend?

    "Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone and Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone can be downloaded for free."

    Check it out: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/windowsphone/Default.aspx


  • Anonymous said...

    I would like to see things like app folders kind of like the youknowwho phone, but i must say that some times when i am scrolling down to an app that begins with say W that it takes a while and i could be sped up, another idea (a small one) would be to have letters show up when you are scrolling that are more discreet than now for the long list of apps, also an idea similar to apple, but it doesnt hurt to use some good ideas by apple that are small

  • Anonymous said...

    Nice work...

    this is most probably the first thing i want to see in the upcoming Mango update.. FTW~

  • Anonymous said...

    I LOVE THE DESIGNS AND THE IDEA OF THIS BEING IN THE UPCOMING MANGO UPDATE........GET THIS SENT TO MICROSOFT ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous said...

    Awesome! The best one from all I have seen so far. I wish Microsoft would see this and implement.
    PS. Neverim, ze mas 17 rokov :) Mas skutocne skvele napady a zelam Ti len to naj do buducnosti. S takouto kreativitou sa o to nebojim. Drz sa ;)

  • Anonymous said...

    PS. Vacsinou som ticho, ale toto mi skutocne nedalo :) Taketo komentare su rozhodne zasluzene. Obdivujem Tvoju kreativitu a ze si sa s tym tak vyhral. S dovolenim som Ta "bonzol" stranke wpcentral.com. Uvidime, ci o Tebe napisu clanok :)

  • Jozef Kocúr said...

    Diky...Publicita vzdy potesi, aj ked moc jej nie je...vela webou ignoruje koncepty..aj ked raz zacas sa najde "vacsi" web, ktory nieco uverejni...este, ze su ludia, ktori zdielaju :)
    ja som stale len amater s dobrymi myslienkami...
    sice raz zacas sa mi ozve nejaky zamestnanec z Microsoft, pojde mi jeden nasluboval ucast na MIX 2011 v Las Vegas, no niekto z vyssich miest bol proti :D

  • Anonymous said...

    To je to najmenej, co mozem urobit :) Hej, to som videl. Na jednom takom som na Teba narazil :D
    Skoda, myslim, ze na MIX 11 by si bol hlavna star. Mozno bol proti preto, ze bol prilis zamestnany zistovanim moznosti ako koncept okopirovat :DDD
    Nedalo mi nekopnut si :))) Dotknutym sa ospravedlnujem.

  • Anonymous said...

    Very nice work, hope too MS will take that, cause this is excellent!

    Or at least with a registry hack or something else

  • Dmitry said...

    Hi Jozef,
    Have some additional animation ideas based on your concept. Could you provide me with your aero homescreen .psd file, if you don’t mind? I want to try some animation mockup.

    Pozdravy z Ruska!

  • Dmitry said...

    There is a way to avoid double clicking on the home button to pop up the control bar. Animated mock-up of your design with drag-to-lock control bar: http://youtu.be/EbhcSSe4iBw

  • Anonymous said...

    I love these ideas, I hope they all get integrated. I was thinking about the transparency and background ideas before I read this because Android has a home replacement called "Launcher 7" and I thought it looked so good with the Nexus live wallpaper, black tiles on 50% transparency.

  • Michael_Imperfection said...

    Wow! I find almost every aspect of your concept unbelievably amazing. I really wish that Microsoft would look into your ideas some more. The Aero Style with Gradients, instead of just solid hex colors, and the Control Bar, are amazing and something that I really hope to see integrated into Windows Phone 7. Be it through Microsoft, Hackers, or even Nokia, these would be awesome features to make Windows Phone 7 that much better both aesthetically and functionally.

Post a Comment


©Copyright 2011 Jozef Kocur