With the current debate over the limited personalization options on WP7 devices, I decided to dig up a story that was posted earlier this year, which has some relevance on this topic, and may provide a solution. Back in the early days of Windows Phone 7, Long Zheng of Istartedsomething.com uncovered a series of slides that showed the evolution of the Metro UI. Microsoft finally settled on the current one but, I think they should bring back some of those concepts and package them as user selectable templates. The beauty of the designs is that while they maintain the Metro UX, they go beyond theme and accent color customizations currently now available.
The concepts contain customizations that change the font (style, weight, variant)icons, some layout and one of the designs even has a nicely done background picture. (The diagonal design should never be used though!) Since the templates will be applied system wide, there would be an option for developers to have the changes applied to their apps to match the system, or else they could choose to stick with their own design. On an unrelated tangent, there is an abundance of ugly looking designed apps on the marketplace. These developers need to check out this PowerPoint presentation that contained the concepts like the one discussed here and apply it to their apps. So, would you guys welcome a feature offered different templates as a way to customize your WP7 device? More pictures after the break