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  1. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #1  
    i believe that eventually microsoft will implement a notification centre for wp. i have been looking through forums on the issue and there seems to be overwhelming support for a notification pane to the left of the homescreen. other popular suggestions have been to have it as a pane on the "me" tile or even as a separate tile on the home screen. the focus, it seems, is on wp users' desire to have a solution that is unique from ios and android. this also leads to the argument that a notification centre is not needed because of how the live tiles update ("glance and go"). i believe this is the wrong approach and we should instead be focusing on what is the best solution for wp and expect it to be implemented consistently with the unique "modern design philosophy" from microsoft.

    i am in favour of a downward swiping notification centre and here are my reasons.

    1) issue - no notification centre.
    i do not want to be restricted in how i organize my tiles. "glance and go" only works if i group all of my updating tiles together. i also have many tiles that are not live (nokia drive, photobeamer, sopping list, one note, skydrive, etc) but that i use all of the time. these tiles take space and necessarily make my home screen long. as it currently stands i have to unlock my phone, view, swipe down, view, swipe down, etc just to see all of my live tiles. in order to minimize swipes i have minimized my tiles which then only show a count of new updates. to check all of my updates i have to open a tile, then go back "home" to access the next tile. this is not user friendly. ideally some of this organization could be solved with multiple homescreens by swiping to the left, (which microsoft should implement as a landscape layout similar to w8 with titles above the groupings) but i would still like to access all notifications, especially if i have not used my phone in a while. i do not believe that this would take away from the concept of live tiles. in fact wp has a sort of notification pane accessed through a contact's history. "history" is simple and well designed, but obviously limited and not designed as a universal notification centre. additionally i love seeing updates, from wpcentral for example, on my live tiles which would be unaffected by the addition of a notification centre. if anything a notification centre would allow live tiles to be more flexible.
    * note: for those that do not want a notification centre, a simple solution would be a toggle switch in settings to "disable notification centre".

    2) issue - swipe left on the home screen.
    this solution has several problems. first, it restricts the notification centre to a single pane. second, it is only accessible from the home screen. third, it limits the ability to have several homescreens. finally, it is inconsistent with microsoft's approach with the pull down status bar.

    3) issue - notifications on "me" tile or on separate tile.
    this only adds more complexity to the problems highlighted in 2)

    4) solution - swipe down notification centre.
    there is a need to have a notification centre that is accessible from anywhere in the phone (including lock screen). it should be implemented just like the lock screen but from the top down. just as the lock screen "slides up" to open the phone, a notification centre "slide down" should reveal a notification pane which could be very powerful if implemented using modern design language. the action could be broken down into two gestures, a short swipe and a long swipe.

    "short" swipe: could reveal the status bar (as it already does) but these should be actionable. tap to get directly into wifi, data, ringer, and airplane mode (in a list organized by icons closest to where the tap was made on the status bar). i would also like to see a second row appear with a notification count (similar to icon notification on the lock screen). the short swipe has the potential to offer many shortcuts beyond wifi, data, airplane mode, et. there should be a "screen rotation lock" indicator as well as a "skype" indicator. both of which should be actionable. swipe up to hide the status bar or swipe down to bring up the full notification pane.
    *note: having a tile for these shortcuts on the homescreen is a waste of space.

    "long" swipe: could reveal a panorama layout which would allow endless design possibilities to properly deal with notifications. i imagine at a minimum one pane for "live" notifications, one pane for "history", one pane for "type", and maybe one for search? the notifications themselves also need to be actionable. on "live notifications" tap to open, swipe right to mark as read, swipe down to close, and double tap for preview? (these actions are simply suggestions but should be consistent across wp and w8). hit "home button" to go to homescreen and "back button" to resume.

    the modern design language is brilliant and allows endless possibilities to aggregate information - well done microsoft- i think we need to avoid getting suck in the mindset that everything needs to be accessed through tiles alone. windows phone has the possibility to achieve a balance between productivity and usability.
    Last edited by wp_cb; 02-12-2013 at 02:47 AM. Reason: Fixed terminology
  2. #2  
    Go to iOS/Android my friend. No one from MS can hear you. If they made all that you write - whats next? Next after NC? Tiles replace on icons? Add wallpaper on main screen? Pfff... There is no hope even.
  3. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #3  
    @vasiliy

    I think you misunderstand where I am coming from. I like wp a lot. If I did not care about this platform I would go to iOS, android, or BBM and would not invest any effort into wp. I think Microsoft is on the right path, however I believe there is room for improvement. I also do not think we should close off ideas from other platforms simply to be unique. Suggesting a notification centre does not imply that I want wp to become iOS or android. I also think Microsoft has done a good job "catching" up. In the last couple of years they have completely changed approaches. First windows mobile > windows phone 7. Then bringing wp to a new platform, wp7 > wp8. I am not defending Microsoft here but wp8 is a completely new operating system. Not only that but they are also unifying their entire ecosystem and legacy software (from hotmail to sky drive to office). While the amount of work done by Microsoft in the last couple of years is not visible to the average consumer, at this rate I imagine Microsoft has the potential to be a dominant player in the mobile market. Whether the market buys into this or not is another story.
  4. Byzantium's Avatar
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    #4  
    I think WP will steal the Meego way of doing notifications. A left swipe on the homescreen will reveal an "Events" list or some buzzword Microsoft has cooked up.
  5. AngryNil's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by wp_cb View Post
    1) issue - swipe left on the home screen.
    this solution has several problems. first, it restricts the notification centre to a single pane. second, it is only accessible from the home screen. third, it limits the ability to have several homescreens. finally, it is inconsistent with microsoft's approach with the pull down task bar.
    1. Why does the notification centre need to have multiple panes? Honest question. The swipe to the right is primarily modelled after Nokia's Harmattan, which you can read about here. It makes sense to me for simple aggregation of toast notifications, plus social notifications similar to the ones you get through the Me tile. Here's Nokia's description of the "Events" home screen, it fits the bill to me:
      Everyone and everything is in one live feed. Wall posts, Tweets, notifications and much more – it's an instant glimpse of what's new and important to you.
    2. And the home screen is accessible from any app. Can someone please tell me what the difference between pulling down a full screen notification centre and going to the home screen is? Your notification shade isn't "in-app" any more than the home screen is.
    3. I'm not too sure what you're talking about here, but Microsoft has no pull down task bar approach. If you're talking about the status bar, it is in fact activated by a touch (tap), not a swipe.

    Here are two implementations of the notification shade and the downsides I see to them:

    1. Swipe from the top edge. Edge gestures aren't a part of Windows Phone and adding a new system-wide gesture might mean that many developers will have to redesign their apps. It's disruptive to the ecosystem, and I'd personally prefer for the edges to be reserved for navigational purposes, if anything. For example, the top edge is used to show application menus in Windows 8, and I wouldn't mind for that to come over to WP8. If left and right are ever used, I'd want them for easy navigation, whether between apps or within the app (example: cycle through tabs in IE).
    2. Pull down on the status bar. Not all apps have status bars, so this is inconsistent behaviour.

    I really haven't seen a convincing argument so far as to why the notification shade is better than 1) a long press of home / search key or 2) swiping to the right on the home screen. It seems that most notification shade defenders just believe that it's the best because Apple and Google do it. Yet neither of those companies have the luxury of standardised hardware buttons that can be long pressed and neither have a vacant home screen spot to the left.
    Last edited by AngryNil; 02-11-2013 at 10:01 PM. Reason: clarification
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  6. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #6  
    @angry

    i am not suggesting a notification "shade". I am here to have a conversation and to say that the only reason I like a downward gesture is because iOS and android have them is disrespectful. I wrote a long entry on why it works for me and never mentioned that it should be done to mimic other operating systems.

    I like the pull down because it mimics the pull up of the lockscreen. Pull up to reveal home. Pull down to reveal the notification centre ( or hub if you like). The reason for this is to be able to design a landscape notification area that would allow for several panes. As mentioned I would like to see a pane for "new", a pane for "history", a pane for "type" and maybe one for "search". These could all be accessed easily by swiping left and right. I included this because I see value in more than one pane.

    While you may be correct that the status bar is activated by a tap, I find that I have always swiped and even the animation drops down when activated. A swipe down also reduces gestures required to get into the notification centre ( swipe down - vs - home & swipe left). It is definitely more direct when accessing the notification centre from the lockscreen. I agree with you that wp is not based around edge gestures however the gesture would be exactly like the homescreen unlock, except swiping down.

    In terms of developers, they would be unaffected because of what you mentioned, notifications are not in app. The fact that the status bar is not consistent is in my opinion a fault and should be fixed.

    As for long press, home is used for "tell me" and I would like to see universal search implemented on the long press of the search button. I also think a swipe down has the added benefit of bringing up the status bar (which should be actionable).

    Finally i like the idea of a separate notification area (not a shade but a hub) because I would love to have a scrolling home screen like windows 8 (while still allowing vertical scrolling). This is only possible if the homescreen is allowed to scroll to the left.
    Last edited by wp_cb; 02-12-2013 at 02:27 AM.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by wp_cb View Post
    @vasiliy

    I think you misunderstand where I am coming from. I like wp a lot. If I did not care about this platform I would go to iOS, android, or BBM and would not invest any effort into wp. I think Microsoft is on the right path, however I believe there is room for improvement. I also do not think we should close off ideas from other platforms simply to be unique. Suggesting a notification centre does not imply that I want wp to become iOS or android. I also think Microsoft has done a good job "catching" up. In the last couple of years they have completely changed approaches. First windows mobile > windows phone 7. Then bringing wp to a new platform, wp7 > wp8. I am not defending Microsoft here but wp8 is a completely new operating system. Not only that but they are also unifying their entire ecosystem and legacy software (from hotmail to sky drive to office). While the amount of work done by Microsoft in the last couple of years is not visible to the average consumer, at this rate I imagine Microsoft has the potential to be a dominant player in the mobile market. Whether the market buys into this or not is another story.
    Sorry, but i not see any changes. I already write about my position. I loved too the wp8, but disappointed. Where is developers, apps, phone sales, updates and more more more. I dont see any ecosystem here. So, that's why i offer you return to ios/android now. Maybe within a year wp8 will be userfriendly, but it will be not wp8 - maybe wp9? In short, imagine - you are now have a phone with android v.1 and you want to v.4.1.4 right now.
  8. Jason Wagener's Avatar
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    #8  
    Would a light notification or icon not be enough? My Phone is in mail so I have never used the OS but while not perfect, if you had a notification that is lit as long as you haven't seen the live tile responsible. Example being if tile is at top of home screen the light would turn off simply by going to home. But if lower down notification would continue until you have scrolled down and visually seen the app responsible.
    Im used to androids pull down and the benefit there is you are only getting notifications rather than sifting past apps that are not related. So closing that gap seems like a logical move. The other benefit in android is it takes you to the app by clicking notification but tiles do that anyway.
    It wouldnt help for multiple notifications at same time but a click that automatically scrolls down to closest tile with notification wouldn't hurt either.
  9. Gaichuke's Avatar
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    #9  
    I am going to have to add another voice of disagreement here.

    I don't think a pull-down notification center is a feasible solution for Windows Phone. Just the fact that swipe from the top edge is pretty much the most cumbersome gesture you can have when using a device with a big screen (Lumia 920, ATIV S) is enough in my opinion to dismiss it. One of the key aspirations of WP UI is the effortless one-hand use.

    I do agree with some of your points, especially the point number 2 if for somewhat different reasons. I don't think the notifications screen should span for multiple screens or that there should be multiple Start screens (the fierce reduction principle of Windows Phone UX), I think it would conflict with purpose of the Live Tiles too much instead. I mean, why bother looking at your Tiles when you can just swipe to the notifications screen to read what's new? I don't think that MS likes that idea too much but this possibility can't be dismissed, it's very possible that they end up going this way after all.

    I don't like the third screen for notifications also for the fact that it would not be accessible straight from the applications.

    And the home screen is accessible from any app. Can someone please tell me what the difference between pulling down a full screen notification centre and going to the home screen is? Your notification shade isn't "in-app" any more than the home screen is.
    Going to Start screen and further left for your notifications will introduce a black screen between you and the notifications (that animation of flipping page when you press the Start button). Those are seen as interruptions in the user experience flow and should be avoided if at all possible. Pull-down solution would not have a similar break in between the app where you were and the notifications screen.

    I still hope for some outside-of-the-box solution that I can't think of right now.
  10. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #10  
    @gaichuke

    i agree with the cumbersome gesture on larger devices. I am still unsure of the best method of accessing a notification centre. The reason I think it may be the best approach is that the status bar is accessed from the top and a gesture to reveal the notification centre would simply be an extension of that.

    The reason I like a landscape design, or hub, is because I think a properly designed notification centre would enhance the live tiles. They would still be able to update and convey information that is not necessary needed in a notification centre. For example I do not need a notification every time a new article appears in wpcentral but it is great to be able to see the update from the homescreen and open the app if i so choose. For me the biggest issue is choice. Currently there is no way to prioritize notifications aside from tile size. I am sometimes frustrated that I have to choose between seeing information on large tiles and having a more compact home screen.

    I have to disagree that the design principle is only about reduction. I think it is much more nuanced than that and the focus is on bringing simplicity and ease of use to complexity. Hubs are much more involved than simple apps and aggregate many functions into a unified package. Live tiles are the snapshot / gateway into the hub. As such they are more than a widget and certainly more than a symbol. Perhaps Microsoft could implement a "groups" in the notification hub which would allow aggregation and prioritization of multiple types of notifications. I suggest a hub instead of a single pane because it allows for more options than a simple list, as seen in both iOS and android. If Microsoft is going to add a notification centre I hope that it is an improvement on other platforms.
  11. BeaverJuicer's Avatar
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    #11  
    I really hate to point this out but...

    What is the point of this thread? *IF* MS decides to do a notification center (which rumor has they just ran out of time to do), it is likely well under development. I highly doubt they are at the designing board stage of figuring out how to implement it. They also likely won't be reading this thread, as your title even admits it is yet another in a multitude.

    Why didn't you just post it as a reply to one of the other "Notification" threads you know are already out there? It keeps down on forum clutter.
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  12. Gaichuke's Avatar
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    #12  
    Notifications Hub with it's own Live Tile would be the easy solution for handling notifications. In a Hub there could be more advanced features (although I don't agree at all of things like notifications history, can you get any more redundant info than that???) that would be easy to implement.

    Only thing missing in that solution is the access to notifications from everywhere, which happens to be the challenge I'm the most interested of. How to do it in a quick in-and-out way while keeping the Windows UI intact?
  13. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #13  
    ...
    Last edited by wp_cb; 02-12-2013 at 01:34 PM.
  14. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #14  
    @gaichuke

    The idea of "history" is simply a desire to have a notification hub that is more than a simple list. The "new" pane would only show new unopened notifications whereas "history" would show all notifications. I think the "history" pane through contacts is quite elegant. I think we are on the same page though. The key being how to access notifications efficiently in a fluid manner consistent with wp design and philosophy. I worry that a pinned hub not only takes a tile space with limited ability to convey information but it is also only accessible from the home screen.
    Last edited by wp_cb; 02-12-2013 at 05:38 PM.
  15. wp_cb's Avatar
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       #15  
    @beaver

    Point taken about reply to another thread... Still new here.

    As for posting why bother posting anything ever. None of us are realistically going to make any difference and apparently discussion is overrated. We should all just keep our thoughts to ourselves.

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