Windows Phone 7 design – the use of teases and transitions

Many have asked what’s up with the poorly fitting text on the many screens of the Windows phone 7 OS, with words and even screens often spilling over from one screen to the next, and space seemingly being wasted.

LukeW, Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! Inc, explains what is really going on from a product design point of view.

He notes the Windows Phone 7 Series uses a Natural User Interface (NUI) paradigm that turns actual content into interface controls, and that the user interface needs to signal what elements are interactive and encourage exploration.

This is often achieved through “teasing”, and in WP7 on the home screen this is achieved with a slight animation that hints at the content below the home screen image.

The Windows Phone also makes use of truncation throughout the user interface, with each of the main application screens include a tease of the content on the next screen over. This hint of additional content gives people a reason to move to the next screen and explore.

Transitions also help communicate interactions, with animation reinforcing that UI elements are active and provide feedback when an action has been successfully completed.

Read Luke’s full and detailed blog post here.