- 01-16-2013, 12:42 PM #26
Personally I love the new Win8 OS. I've had an iPhone for 5 years and love this new way of doing things. Thought the iPhone was always a flawed design and find all this refreshing. Also, I'm a Microsoft Certified partner with a Silver Software Developers Competency. Have about 3000 customers around the country using my software. I am NOT a Windows basher or Apple head :) I'm rooting for this new OS to finally take off and was just responding to SINIME's post about the 920 cutting off the last tile. It's actually a separate issue and different from the original posters complaint about the wasted space at the top of his HTC. If I had an HTC I'd find it less annoying with the open area at the top since these phones still display a full 7 tiles. So this thread really has two points being discussed and they've melded together to create a third discussion in some ways.
Regardless, I still think it would be best to reduce that space at the top. This is not a desktop PC. it's a small screen device. Space is valuable. They can't try to make this exactly like the desktop version. Some things need to be tweaked. I'd like to think I'm right and in time Microsoft will reduce that unused space at the top like they finally got rid of the wasted space along the right between Win7 and 8.
01-16-2013, 03:05 PM #27
- 544 Posts
Trust me, designers at Microsoft have spent a lot of time considering that spacing.
Many people have the habit of just cramming everything together, but from a usability standpoint this is a mistake. With everything jammed together you spend more time hunting for desired content. Actually, this is the problem I have with iOS. When you've bombarded with icons you spend a lot longer hunting for the ones you want. Sure, it's not a problem for the stuff used often, but it becomes a problem for infrequently used apps or when you've got screen after screen of icons. This is one of the reasons I like the resizable tiles so much, because the sizing gives certain tiles instant visual hierarchy.
With Windows Phone that space is an instant visual cue that you're at the top of the page; you'll notice that the gap at the bottom is the same size. Secondly, it gives time and system icons enough breathing room that they don't feel like an afterthought.
The Lumia 920 only fits 6.5 tiles because of the display's aspect ratio. It's ratio is actually identical to the lower standard of 800x480. But HTC and Samsung came along with their 1280x720 displays. So with 48 fewer pixels to work with everything is scaled down slightly, hence the ability to fit 7 rows. I wish Microsoft had enforced a single standard, preferable the Lumia 920's dimensions because the ratio matches the lower res phones. But I'm guessing HTC and Samsung were bound by manufacturing resources; all of Samsung's higher end displays are 1280x720.
- 01-16-2013, 03:19 PM #28
Well the design is evolving constantly as is everything else. We'll see where they go with it. I'm just a straight, level, and plumb, kind of guy. The inability to end with a full tile at the bottom on my 920 (like you can with the HTC) bugs me. I'm weird I know :) Maybe I'll get an HTC or Samsung next time. Thanks for your thoughts.
- 01-16-2013, 03:46 PM #29
clicky - exactly at midpage). You'll be fine buying a Nokia as soon as they release a 720p screen. :-)
- 01-16-2013, 03:59 PM #30
yes I'm aware. Wasn't at the beginning of all this the other day, but since then was educated on the fact that the screen resolution is different with the HTC vs Nokia. So it's really a Nokia issue more than a Microsoft issue. I realize that now but am still just suggesting that the space at the top isn't really necessary for function so maybe another option for Nokia would be to allow the user to optionally collapse that space if Microsoft and their API's would allow such a setting. With that removed it fits perfectly on the screen as depicted in this Samsung promo shot. In that photo there is no space. I assume they just nudged up the screen to make it more esthetically appealing for the photo OR maybe they have been able to modify the behavior of the top of the tile list.
01-25-2013, 03:28 PM #31
- 9 Posts
It bugs me too (Lumia 920). I have medium sized live tile in that bottom position (weather.com) and the temperature is always hidden and I need to swipe up to view it. Not a big deal, but not the functionality I'd like from a live tile I pin to the start screen. I may or may not move it up.
Here's my take though. On the Lumia with the blank space, it PERFECTLY centers the colored tiles with the rest of the phone body. Maybe that's what they were going for. A slight added benefit is that with partial tiles off the bottom, someone picking up the phone for the first time would think "hmm, there's something down there" and then swipe down.
- 01-25-2013, 03:40 PM #32
Glad you agree. We seem to be a minority. :(
I've tried to place half-tiles at the bottom that have info typically near the top of the tile so I can see the live tile data without having to scroll up. Sort of gives me extra functionality I wanted.
I've heard these same theories about how it helps offer a visual cue to the need to scroll down for more info if you are a new user. Personally, I hope that's not the reason because that's ridiculous. Just as bad as the idea they did it so as not to overlap the top tile when a notification comes in. Anyone who owns the phone knows damn well to scroll down for more info. As far as toasts, well just let it overlap for a few seconds. Or better yet, push all the tiles down while the message is displayed and then snap it back when it clears. Really no good reason to intentionally waste over 5% of the screen except for some misguided GUI guidelines (my opinion) that belong in the pile with the Win7 gutter idea.
- 01-25-2013, 04:00 PM #33
Considering i'm never really on the homescreen for any measure of time before going into a app, it doesn't really bug me. I suppose if i left the phone on all day on my desk with the homescreen active, it would bug me........i guess.
- 01-25-2013, 04:10 PM #34
I agree. Im sure everyone does. It's not a huge issue. No ones losing sleep over it. But like the gutter, it's a questionable UI design and I'd argue should be changed.
FYI: I have a wireless charging stand in my office. The phone sits upright and facing me a good portion of the day. Everything I want visibility too is on my top live tiles. When I get a toast, etc., I wake the screen and view what I want. That's my personal usage behavior.
- 01-26-2013, 10:51 AM #35
I personally feel that this is a design decision. The Metro UI seems to be all about clean balance with asymmetry. Look at how the text overlaps in any of the Hubs or in most any app for that matter. Everything is lined up to the far left with the "white space" or gap on the right. The small dark space "balances" the large organized tile space. I'm thinking that they went so far as to auto-hide the signal bars and battery icon just to preserve this aesthetic. Maybe I'm wrong, but this look + feel is what drew me to Windows Phone in the first place. As for the Lumia vs the 8X and why one has it more prominently than the other, well, aren't the screen sizes different? One is 4.5 vs 4.3 I thought.
- 01-26-2013, 11:02 AM #36
Also, imagine working on an IRL desktop/table and having all of your tools, books, etc laid out in front of you with no extra room to move them around and get comfortable. In order to reach your laptop, you'd have to rest your arms on your book and to reach the pen and paper, you have to reach across your coffee. Or possibly worse, the opposite way around (I hate those little drops of coffee on my worksheets!) A little elbow-room is a good thing in real life as well as in on-screen design.
- 01-26-2013, 11:26 AM #37
Let's not even start talking about this metro design on the desktop and business environment. As far as desktops are concerned this Windows 8 UI is a disaster. My company develops Windows business productivity software. Of all my customers I've spoken too so far who have upgraded to Win8 on their PC's they hate it. Some have reverted back to WIn7. The decision to get rid of the start button is killing the productivity. The emphasis on "space" and touchscreen doesn't resonate with someone trying to get a job done fast and efficiently.
I've said this before, I'm not a Microsoft hater. I have been developing Windows based software for over 20 years. They make money inspite of themselves not because of it. The genius and marketing of Bill Gates is long gone and they operate on momentum. Just about what happened to Apple in the 90's when Job's was fired and what will happen to them again now that he's dead.
As I've acknowledged already, this dead space on the top is minor/ Compared to all the much larger strategic and tactical mistakes Microsoft has made and continues to make, this is nothing. But the bulk of their business is in the enterprise, server, and business world. if they try to push this design on that crowd, they are going to get hurt IMO
- 01-26-2013, 11:37 AM #38
There's always someone who claims to work for a company that develops Windows software, have "customers" who have upgraded to Windows 8 and "lost productivity" and how Windows 8 is a disaster after they upgraded. Frankly any individual who blindly upgrades to a new OS without testing sounds like someone who shouldn't be doing it in the first place. And its hard to believe a business would do this at all so I'm calling BS on all these stories from "IT people" who claim Windows 8 is so bad their customers can't work as productively as before. Especially when it takes just 1 click to hit the desktop tile and be in the familiar Windows environment or they can simply rearrange the start screen to have their programs front and center.
- 01-26-2013, 11:46 AM #39
My Dad is a software architect and has been programming for 20+ years, all in MS focused languages. He's been a .NET developer since it started over 10 years ago. Guess what, he loves Windows 8.
Microsoft sees that the future of computing is drastically changing. Touch and gesture are here and rising. While the keyboard and mouse will never go away, they will eventually no longer be the majority.
Yes, enterprise is a huge part of Microsoft's business, but you know who works at enterprises? CONSUMERS. And just like they have with Apple products, consumers will drive the demand of enterprise. Consumers will get used to the new UI, love it, then demand it in the work place. Or they will BYOD. We already have several people at my company including myself, getting a Surface Pro to use at work.
Microsoft did the research, they know what they are doing. Its the people stuck in yesteryear that dragged MS products in the mud for so many years and allowed Apple to get the edge.
Last edited by spaulagain; 01-26-2013 at 11:57 AM.
- 01-26-2013, 11:49 AM #40
The majority of the world is not people working for Fortune 500 companies my friend. They are small businesses with 5, 10, 20 employees. Those are who we cater too. They are buying computers over the internet from Dell or they have a computer tech they hire locally to manage their small setup of 1 server and 5 or 6 pc's. Nothing BS about that. That's the real world. Believe it or not, but these people buying new computers because their pc just broke are not enjoying this new "pretty" design. it's made for a touch screen experience. Not enough business software available for the metro side so you spend most of your time back on the desktop side. Unfortunately the start button was removed in Microsoft's wisdom. It's creating a cottage industry from companies like StarDock.com and others who are making good money hacking into Win8 to add the start button back. You can call it BS, but I just call them like I see them. Not anyone's punk fanboy or troll.
- 01-26-2013, 12:05 PM #41
My company is less than a hundred people, the company I used to work for was less than 10. I know the majority of people don't work in Fortune 500 companies. That's the point!!!! They are consumers.
Apple came out with a brand new UI when they launched the iPhone, did that stop people from using it? No. Infact, consumers ran to it. You are always going to have some minority of people that want the old and use the hack. But those aren't the ones driving the industry, they're the ones dragging it down.
I'm not a fanboy, or a troll. In fact I used to hate MS for their boring and horrible UIs. So how does that fit into your equation?
- 01-26-2013, 12:33 PM #42
I have no equation my friend. Just being honest and offering an honest "in the trenches" viewpoint. I hope you're right and I'm wrong because my livelihood depends on Microsoft's platform succeeding. So far, the Win8 sales have been a bit disappointing and the Win Phone has been way underperforming since it was introduced. This reworked design is much better and I've tried to promote it with friends and business associates but so far the enthusiasm for this new UI just isn't there. Unfortunately, more and more of my customers are moving to Mac/iPAD/iPhone setups for their small businesses. This is hurting the potential market for my software and I'm frustrated like many WIndows based software companies.
Microsoft just sat on their hands for too long and didn't see the mobile market dominance coming. Their smartphone market share has ticked up a tad but Microsoft will probably need to do everything perfect over the next 3 years AND get lucky and have Apple and Google make a big mistake to be a major player at this point. In short, theirs a chance they can pull it off, but it's no guarantee. This 2.0 design is good and the merging of their PC and phone business with a common UI is gong to give them a fighting chance. Not trying to split hairs here on small stuff like this UI design "flaw", but I can't help think it's too little too late. They need to move faster. They need to dazzle and innovate. So far the general user community isn't overly impressed from what I've seen.
- 01-27-2013, 04:55 PM #43
Your points are valid., but I just wanted to clear that up since I feel I accidentally triggered a response regarding a "Windows Desktop" instead of a "real" desktop.
Last edited by wpn00b; 01-27-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: trackpad...not mouse controls
- 01-27-2013, 05:11 PM #44
Yes I misunderstood you. This new UI is great for phones and tablets. It's a clear productivity gain for the user. Aside from the minor (very minor) complaint I had about wasting space, I like the latest iteration of WP OS. The thread has gone off on a tangent. Sorry, I'm partially to blame. Since this is a WP forum, I'll drop that discussion. Hopefully Microsoft will just see the distinction between power user, developer, accountant, etc. type users versus someone holding a tablet reading the news or interacting with customers in an open space. One size does not fit all.
Back to the "negative space". Not against it at all, just want more control over it. In fact, I'd like to see MS add a "spacer" concept so we can make clear distinctions and visually better group tiles. Taking it a step further, I'd like them to create a "master" tile concept like they have with the Xbox or Office tile. All the games can be accessed by first pressing the Games tile and then get a sub presentation of available games. Wouldn't it be great if the user could create their own "Games" type tile and title it whatever they want and place whatever they want inside. So much they could do to make this a killer UI. But they are moving so damn slow. Took them forever to realize the gutter idea was a loser and remove it. World moves too fast to react like that.
- 01-27-2013, 05:24 PM #46
Ok, now this is where it becomes constructive. Why there is not a simple OPTION to include the space or not is beyond me. I've seen people create those "title": tiles where it is solely there to label the tiles grouped beneath(not within it, but just underneath) it, but that just makes the homescreen super long and personally I'd like it as simple as possible... I minimize my scrolling as well.
I like the "master tile" idea. If I'm not mistaken, it's basically a "Hub" as they call it on Windows Phone right? People is a Hub and Office and Games are similar so I guess that's the way it should work. We should have the ability to create local Hubs on our device and call it whatever we want and associate whatever app to that Hub maybe.
- 01-28-2013, 08:25 AM #47
Funny, I am using those "title" tiles now myself to help me organize and group things. Using that app called MyTiles. But it's clunky and awkward to use and this sort of thing should already be baked into the UI. Microsoft should take it further and give us that ability to create hubs as you mentioned. Doesn't have to be elaborate, but at least the ability to group things in a attractive presentation. Sort of like iPhones folders but hopefully something must better conceived and implemented.
This is not Version 1.0 for this WP OS. It's maturing way too slow. But that's typical of a large corp run by a bean counter like Balmer. With Jobs gone now I'm sure Apple will return back to it's unexciting self again from the 90's when it almost lost complete relevancy. Microsoft should only hope so for its survival. They sat on their hands for the last 10 years and let the enemy forces advance right up to the city gates (to use a military analogy). So instead of crushing them out in the open, years ago, they are now forced into hand to hand combat to fight for their homeland (core customers)
- 01-28-2013, 03:35 PM #48
Wow... talk about productivity & efficiency!
- 01-28-2013, 05:17 PM #49
I agree. The global search feature that allows you to zero in on apps, settings, and files by typing text is very nice. A welcome feature. But it doesn't REPLACE a visual hierarchy menu system for many people, like was offered prior to Win 8. This is especially true if you have HUNDREDS of programs to access. Type searching is only going to work if you remember the name of what you want. Seems simple for a 20 year old, but it's not user friendly for the masses. Being able to group and list items as YOU want is very desirable. Again, the big colorful tiles that you can point at is great for a touchscreen tablet or phone. That is perfect for the average American. Just doesn't transfer well into all situations. I'm guessing they will need to do something with SP1 that adds back in a menu system on the desktop side.
07-26-2013, 10:56 PM #50
- 4 Posts
I didn't read through all of this so apologies if someone has pointed it out already, but the wasted black space at the top of the screen is simply a through back to the windows phone 7 days, if you recall there was an arrow pointing to the right of the screen at the top of the live tile home screen indicating that the installed app list was off to the right. i seem to recall that it was located slightly above the first row of tiles so some black space needed to be left for it. it seems like when they added the extra column of tiles and got rid of the arrow they didn't remove the space reserved for it.
or maybe its there so that when a toast notification is displayed, it has a space to be shown in, rather then covering up the top live tile.
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