Everyone and their Grandmother has an idea of what Windows Phone does wrong. In fact, we’ve been so caught up in this narrative of things Windows Phone does wrong that we’ve forgotten what it does right. Which is not to be an apologist for its failures, that’s not me. I’d rather see Microsoft building up those strengths and fast. Consumers have your device, give them something to be jealous of. To miss. Give devs a reason to say, Holy *@ I would use the @$#£ out of that device. The hardware is by and large pretty fine with some frankly baffling omissions here and there, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now.
Here I’m going to post some fan concepts that may be familiar and them promptly ignore them for the rest of my write up.
Now that we’ve seen some pretty pictures, here are my ideas of what Microsoft can do to freshen up the Windows Phone UI.
First, I’ll start at the Start. It goes without saying that this is the first feature of Windows Phone that most people encounter, it is also, personally one of my favourite Windows Phone features and has only gotten more attractive with folders and background images. But why stop there, why not put pictures instead of that huge black space behind the tiles. I’ve seen s concept which is similar to what I have in mind and it’s here:
That’s nice, but it’s not quite there. What I’d envision is that the tiles right now stay as they are, then the rest of the image that doesn’t fit within the tiles is blurred and carries over to the app list. This way the tiles act like a windows. Perfect for an OS known as Windows.
Interactive live tiles…sound great…in theory…but aren’t just useful or practical enough for the vast majority. Personally, I think the task view would be great for interactive panes. But on the other hand, I don’t quite see any ting that needs to be interacted with.
Shockingly enough, “Black or White” tends to get old fast, and the Windows Phone UI is no exception. It’s just rather dull besides being elegant.
Now, Microsoft could include colour in a way that does not defy the principles of metro. For examples, giving each stock/app hub a triple tone. White or Black and two related colours, or hey could go completely wild and paint everything neon pink and yellow, I don’t care for the details. I’m leaving it up to Microsoft to figure out how to tastefully apply colours to Windows Phone 10 (yes I know its Windows 10 but there has to be some distinction made). They did so in Windows 8.1, and they could successfully merge both UI’s into one that looks pleasing to the eye.
A prime example?
A key design principle is better focus on the content of applications, relying more on typography and less on graphics (“content before chrome”).
Microsoft could play with fonts, font weights, word placements in order to further Metro and take it to the next level. There should be consistency obviously; It’s annoying enough when we have “people”, “Store” and “BATTERY SAVER”
Several Apps already take metro places and I do believe that Microsoft should follow them.