View Poll Results: Don't you think the WP UI overuses/underuses space too often?

Voters
103. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, WP needs to be tightened up and refined.

    29 28.16%
  • No, the UI is exactly how it should look.

    74 71.84%
11-15-2012 06:45 PM
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  1. Reflexx's Avatar
    You don't have to be a design expert to see that WP needs to be refined. You really don't.
    What is your definition of refinement? I happen to look at it and find the design the most refined in the industry right now.

    WP still has some gaps in functionality, but that's not related to the UI design.

    I like the tiles. I like WP's potential. However, the lack of refinement in the UI is what WP needs work on. It is too minimalistic at times and oversized where it shouldn't be. Once those things go away, you'll see a lot of people adopting Windows Phone.
    The minimalism isn't going to change. It's a core tenet of the design language. And the parts that you see as "oversized" serve a function. Live Tiles need to carry information. And if the tiles were too small, that information would not be as easily readable on smaller screens.

    The main principles are as follows:

    Typography.
    Type is beautiful. Not only is it attractive to the eye, but it can also be functional. The right balance of weight and positioning can create a visual hierarchy. Additionally, well placed type can help lead you to more content.

    Motion
    Motion is what brings the interface to life. Transitions are just as important as graphical design. By developing a consistent set of motions or animations, a system is created that provides context for usability, extra dimension and depth and improves the perceived performance of the whole interface.

    Content not Chrome
    Content not Chrome is one of the more unique principles of Metro. By removing all notions of extra chrome in the UI, the content becomes the main focus. This is especially relevant due to the smaller screen size and gesture-based interactions.

    Honesty.
    Design explicitly for the form factor of a hand held device using touch, a high resolution screen and simplified and expedited forms of interaction. In other words, be “authentically digital”.

    I'm not saying I don't like Metro. I do like it. I just think Metro on Windows Phone hasn't been optimized for the screen size. Once the UI has been made more focused, you'll forget that it ever used to look like this.

    I know it wasn't, but I know the UI isn't even close to perfect yet. It still needs to be tweaked.
    Nothing is perfect. And we'll continue to see an evolution. But it sounds like you have a completely different design philosophy.

    And that's not necessarily wrong. It's just different. But they are differences that won't be incorporated into this design language because they go against the basic principles that it's built upon.
    marbla, HeyCori, firebrewd and 2 others like this.
    01-24-2012 07:25 PM
  2. scottcraft's Avatar
    I don't have the vision to see how the UI could be improved, but I'm sure Microsoft has plenty of smart people working on it. I think they are very aware of their standing in the smartphone world right now and want to improve their product. I can live with the UI as it is, but I hope some of weaknesses of the os are addressed in future updates.

    Sent from my Windows7 Phone using Board Express
    01-24-2012 07:36 PM
  3. Winterfang's Avatar
    The metro idea is great in theory, but I think the entire UI needs a complete overhaul..
    from notifications, menu information, app list, etc.. to the whole look and wasted real estate of the home screen.
    I wouldn't like Metro changed. I'll like it improved.

    I was trying a friend of mine Sensantion and there's a lot of things awesome about it. The scrolling is silky smooth and I really like the pictures app. But then I tried to do some web browsing and couldn't find it... I try and try and try, Chrome,Moxilla,Safari, Internet explorer, Browser, any icon with a globe on it. Nothing, I gave up in frustrating and handed the device back.
    01-24-2012 07:51 PM
  4. N8ter's Avatar
    If you couldn't did the web browser on a sensation the device or is isn't the issue. All sense devices use the same icon and name for that app. It is plainly obvious. As obvious as IE on any windows phone.

    Sent from my HD7 using Board Express
    01-24-2012 10:32 PM
  5. Calidude's Avatar
    If you couldn't did the web browser on a sensation the device or is isn't the issue. All sense devices use the same icon and name for that app. It is plainly obvious. As obvious as IE on any windows phone.

    Sent from my HD7 using Board Express
    IE should be open-sourced. It's so behind Webkit and even Gecko that it's comical.

    Plus the look of IE on Windows Phone definitely needs some tweaking.
    01-25-2012 12:56 AM
  6. firebrewd's Avatar
    I'd love to see an implementation of Metro with the ideas some of these guys have, or at least an app in another platform which makes use of them. Personally, I wouldn't like Metro changed at all, as the principles and language are almost perfect, not just by design, but also by function, and the implementation works amazingly well.

    I agree some posters might have landed in the wrong OS, wanting to change everything to look like Android or iOS. Personally, I wouldn't use an iPhone at all, because I dislike the UI and desktop paradigms it employs. N8ter, may I ask why are you using a Windows Phone if you seem to basically dislike Metro? I'd like to know.
    aubreyq and steve_w_7 like this.
    01-25-2012 02:21 AM
  7. firebrewd's Avatar
    IE should be open-sourced. It's so behind Webkit and even Gecko that it's comical.

    Plus the look of IE on Windows Phone definitely needs some tweaking.
    Behind on...?

    And the look of IE needs some tweaking? Wow, it's almost chrome-less, consisting of just an address bar and an icon. Complain much?
    aubreyq likes this.
    01-25-2012 02:23 AM
  8. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    Good design when it comes to gadgets is always nice looking and functional.
    Heh. Why, because you said so?

    Not if the product actually benefits everybody, as Microsoft's design is intended to do.
    So because it doesn't actually benefit everybody then not putting the keyboard in full landscape is a major oversight? I mean I can see that, and certainly then you're entitled to your opinion. In which case then, if you're trying to tear down WP, shouldn't you at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that Android has certain design choices that are major oversights?
    01-25-2012 03:10 AM
  9. Calidude's Avatar
    Heh. Why, because you said so?
    No. Because it's common sense.


    So because it doesn't actually benefit everybody then not putting the keyboard in full landscape is a major oversight? I mean I can see that, and certainly then you're entitled to your opinion. In which case then, if you're trying to tear down WP, shouldn't you at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that Android has certain design choices that are major oversights?
    I'm not trying to tear down WP. I'm trying to show people that WP still needs work and isn't perfect. I want WP to look and feel great in everybody's hands. Not just people who are impressed by WP just because it is DIFFERENT from iOS and Android but because it is different AND reaches the true potential of how a smartphone OS should look and feel.

    Android is garbage. Google has no idea what they are doing when it comes to a phone OS and are merely cobbling something out of the Linux kernel haphazardly in order for millions of people to enter their personal data into it so it can become cloudfood. I've been nothing but disappointed by every Android handset I pick up. Anybody who really cares about open-source would never pick up an Android handset and instead would wait for something like Meego or its predecessor Tizen in order to try something that is actually stable, functional and simple to use.
    01-25-2012 03:21 AM
  10. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    N8ter, may I ask why are you using a Windows Phone if you seem to basically dislike Metro? I'd like to know.
    It's because he likes to complain and have attention given to him.
    01-25-2012 03:23 AM
  11. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    No. Because it's common sense.
    But only as it pertains to gadgets? Everything else that doesn't follow that rule just is automatically bad design? What about gadgets that came before? Did they all have bad design when they came out or are they still good?

    I'm not trying to tear down WP. I'm trying to show people that WP still needs work and isn't perfect. I want WP to look and feel great in everybody's hands. Not just people who are impressed by WP just because it is DIFFERENT from iOS and Android but because it is different AND reaches the true potential of how a smartphone OS should look and feel.
    Oh I see, so you're just on here because you think everybody is some big WP7 fanboy and you feel the need to "correct" them. Is that it?

    Otherwise if you're here to strictly debate design would you at least provide references to these design principles you speak of or provide mock ups to demonstrate more elegant approaches or statistics indicating how the UI design hinders work flow or could be increase if done X way?
    01-25-2012 03:39 AM
  12. Calidude's Avatar
    But only as it pertains to gadgets? Everything else that doesn't follow that rule just is automatically bad design?
    Yes.

    Otherwise if you're here to strictly debate design would you at least provide references to these design principles you speak of or provide mock ups to demonstrate more elegant approaches or statistics indicating how the UI design hinders work flow or could be increase if done X way?
    I've already described the flaws I've seen off the top of my head. They don't need mockups to make them clear to people. It's as simple as moving things up, stretching them out, resizing buttons, streamlining toolbars, changing the fontsizes, etc.

    Metro isn't fundamentally flawed. It is only cosmetically flawed.
    01-25-2012 03:55 AM
  13. Big Supes's Avatar
    N8ter, may I ask why are you using a Windows Phone if you seem to basically dislike Metro? I'd like to know.
    Being honest, since I joined, I haven't been able to workout why N8ter or jdd77 continue to use WP7. Don't get me wrong, we're all free to use whatever OS we like, but it makes zero sense to use a platform you clearly don't like, especially when you lack the ability to judge an OS on it's own merits. Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that these guys breathe Android, and for some bizarre motivation, they feel the need to tell themselves that WP isn't for them.
    aubreyq, HeyCori, wolf1891 and 3 others like this.
    01-25-2012 03:57 AM
  14. S1NKING SH1PS's Avatar
    Agreed. I could nitpick a few centimeters here and there but the amount of additional information I'd see on the screen would be minimal. Right now everything looks bold and beautiful. The UI is easy to see and understand. I'd hate it if the UI became a cluttered mess because of information overload.
    for sure. a reason i was bummed with android. it got so overwhelming with all the icons/text packed into such a small space. one of many reasons i prefer wp7 over android :P
    aubreyq likes this.
    01-25-2012 03:58 AM
  15. Big Supes's Avatar
    Metro isn't fundamentally flawed. It is only cosmetically flawed.
    I hate to be the barer of bad news, but you're way out with a miniscule minority on this one. The general consensus among critics is that Metro UI is quite beautiful to look at cosmetically.
    aubreyq, gtg465x, wolf1891 and 3 others like this.
    01-25-2012 04:01 AM
  16. Calidude's Avatar
    I hate to be the barer of bad news, but you're way out with a miniscule minority on this one. The general consensus among critics is that Metro UI is quite beautiful to look at cosmetically.
    Compared to other OS's, yes. However, there is still room for improvement.
    01-25-2012 04:18 AM
  17. Big Supes's Avatar
    Compared to other OS's, yes. However, there is still room for improvement.
    But, to say it's the most beautiful OS, yet it's "cosmetically flawed" makes no sense. I'm struggling to understand your assessment.
    01-25-2012 04:39 AM
  18. Calidude's Avatar
    But, to say it's the most beautiful OS, yet it's "cosmetically flawed" makes no sense. I'm struggling to understand your assessment.
    It is the most beautiful OS since it works in a way that a small screen should display information, rather than the way Android and iOS try to emulate desktop environments.

    However, WP still needs to work on how it presents that information, since there is still a considerable amount of underused and overused space that needs to be balanced out.

    In other words: great concept, but the execution still needs to be tweaked to perfection.
    01-25-2012 04:45 AM
  19. Big Supes's Avatar
    It is the most beautiful OS since it works in a way that a small screen should display information, rather than the way Android and iOS try to emulate desktop environments.

    However, WP still needs to work on how it presents that information, since there is still a considerable amount of underused and overused space that needs to be balanced out.

    In other words: great concept, but the execution still needs to be tweaked to perfection.
    Okay, I think "cosmetic" threw me off as I didn't realise you were referring to the concept.

    There's no doubt we'll see more tweaks come Apollo, but personally, I hope things don't go down the Android route. I honestly can't stand clutter.
    01-25-2012 05:10 AM
  20. Calidude's Avatar
    Okay, I think "cosmetic" threw me off as I didn't realise you were referring to the concept.

    There's no doubt we'll see more tweaks come Apollo, but personally, I hope things don't go down the Android route. I honestly can't stand clutter.
    I'm not saying I want clutter. Allow me to illustrate.



    ^ What's up with that space I marked with a red box? Why is the text forced down while the timestamp sits there in the corner? Why don't Notifications use that space to present information more usefully, such as moving the senders name up there and then letting the body of the message scroll under it like a stock ticker?

    There's really no design reason for that space not to be used in some way.
    01-25-2012 05:55 AM
  21. Big Supes's Avatar
    I have to disagree. I wouldn't want 'the message' to share the same line as the clock. At a quick glance, by pushing the message down, you can clearly separate the two.

    The only other option, IMO, would be to loose the time all together, but that could present problems for people who want to reference the time when they read the message.
    01-25-2012 06:02 AM
  22. aubreyq's Avatar
    Being honest, since I joined, I haven't been able to workout why N8ter or jdd77 continue to use WP7. Don't get me wrong, we're all free to use whatever OS we like, but it makes zero sense to use a platform you clearly don't like, especially when you lack the ability to judge an OS on it's own merits. Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that these guys breathe Android, and for some bizarre motivation, they feel the need to tell themselves that WP isn't for them.
    I'm as puzzled as you are.
    01-25-2012 06:48 AM
  23. HeyCori's Avatar
    I have to disagree. I wouldn't want 'the message' to share the same line as the clock. At a quick glance, by pushing the message down, you can clearly separate the two.

    The only other option, IMO, would be to loose the time all together, but that could present problems for people who want to reference the time when they read the message.
    Agreed, the extra space serves a purpose. It makes it easier to actually touch the notification. They could make the font bigger but not only would it look silly we'd also lose information because we'd see less of the sentence.

    Being honest, since I joined, I haven't been able to workout why N8ter or jdd77 continue to use WP7. Don't get me wrong, we're all free to use whatever OS we like, but it makes zero sense to use a platform you clearly don't like, especially when you lack the ability to judge an OS on it's own merits. Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that these guys breathe Android, and for some bizarre motivation, they feel the need to tell themselves that WP isn't for them.
    Maybe they think constant complaining on an internet forum will actually make a difference. It's like being stuck in a traffic jam. Traffic isn't going to move faster no matter how hard you honk. A better solution would be to contact/work with city engineers to find a better solution, but the better solution takes time and effort.
    01-25-2012 08:07 AM
  24. Calidude's Avatar
    Agreed, the extra space serves a purpose. It makes it easier to actually touch the notification. They could make the font bigger but not only would it look silly we'd also lose information because we'd see less of the sentence,
    That's not the point. Of course it needs to be big enough for a finger. However, why isn't that space used more?
    01-25-2012 08:18 AM
  25. gtg465x's Avatar
    If the top line was used people wouldn't know if that's the message time stamp or the current time. And no, they aren't always the same.
    01-25-2012 08:22 AM
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