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. canesfan625's Avatar
    It's not clutter. It's just making efficient use of space. Does everything on Windows Phone have to have unused space? Does that make it different enough from Android and iOS for you?
    yes! Adding stuff in that isn't essential defeats the purpose of a minimalist UI which is what metro is.. Do you have a desktop full of crap on your PC? Ever use the chrome? And what exactly is efficient about android? The multiple homescreens you need? The static icons? The screen murdering widgets? The redundancy?
    kevm14 likes this.
    01-25-2012 01:27 PM
  2. selfcreation's Avatar
    Usability .. Functionality.....



    i like the pretty colors
    01-25-2012 01:28 PM
  3. mmaman's Avatar
    From when I used it at launch on the focus, it was fine, I dunno what else people want from it. And what exactly is this wasted space? The arrow on the home screen? What do you want to put on there so badly? And what else besides that is wasted space in the UI?
    aubreyq likes this.
    01-25-2012 01:37 PM
  4. mmaman's Avatar
    From when I used it at launch on the focus, it was fine, I dunno what else people want from it. And what exactly is this wasted space? The arrow on the home screen? What do you want to put on there so badly? And what else besides that is wasted space in the UI?
    Maybe I should read the thread before responding lol.

    But in the end I cant say for sure as I haven't had a WP7 since launch and cant look at it to give my thoughts, with that being said I found it fine when I used it.
    01-25-2012 01:39 PM
  5. jfa1's Avatar
    Good questions mmaman!!
    01-25-2012 01:40 PM
  6. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    Yes.
    Yes to what? Gadgets only or that anything else that doesn't follow the rule is automatically bad design?

    And you didn't answer my other questions, because I'd like to really know what you think. If I understand your position correctly, the moment a gadget comes out it's more or less automatically bad design because down the line a newer revamped model of the same gadget will be released no?

    Please tell me if I'm wrong.

    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.
    Not good enough. I can't accurately visualize what you're trying to convey because you haven't given detailed descriptions. I might be imagining something totally different from what you are.

    Cosmetically flawed because you said so?

    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.
    But the space is being used for something. Maybe not in the purpose that you want it to be used for but in the manner that firebrewd points out below; that's the design reason.

    If it's poor feel free to disagree, but again I ask you provide examples of what you think is better. The onus is on you to convince us that the current cosmetics of Metro can be improved. If you can't even do that, then what's the point of arguing opinions? Is it merely because you just think you're "right" and we're "wrong"?

    That's why I cannot wait til next month.
    If it means you're leaving the platform and these boards for good; I can't wait either.

    "Efficient use of space" doesn't equal to filling every corner with information. Which one do you think uses the space more efficiently? This: http://cache2.artprintimages.com/p/L...-gun-fired.jpg or this: http://abagond.files.wordpress.com/2...yt20020911.jpg. Sure, the first one has much more information, but I bet anything it's way easier to read the second one.

    What about book margins? A waste of space, right? Only problem is it makes the book easier to read, even if you don't realize it. And what about line height? http://devfiles.myopera.com/articles...ine-height.gif One fits less characters on screen, but guess which one is easier to read, again?

    I can go on and on about the subject, but the point is that the UI which can fit 40 icons at once isn't more efficient just because it can. You need to take other considerations, like readability and information density.
    Excellent comment firebrewd.
    firebrewd likes this.
    01-25-2012 01:40 PM
  7. mmaman's Avatar
    Remember too, its also a matter of resolution, when they come out with higher res screens like 720p and what not, everything will get smaller and things will look much better, look at a Galaxy S2 and then look at a Galaxy Nexus, big difference in terms of the size of icons, fonts etc.
    01-25-2012 01:42 PM
  8. scottcraft's Avatar
    You wouldn't be referring to chrome, would you?
    I'm primarily referring to notifications and settings, not the UI. I've seen chrome talked about on here before, but I don't really know what that is. I'm confident some of the things I don't like about the operating system will be improved upon in newer versions, so I'm not sweating them that much.
    01-25-2012 04:16 PM
  9. snowmutt's Avatar
    I hope everyone understands that refining doesn't mean changing. I love the UI, but sure it could be refined. I am looking ahead with excitement to Apollo, and have faith it will still be our WP, only better.
    01-25-2012 11:44 PM
  10. Calidude's Avatar
    yes! Adding stuff in that isn't essential defeats the purpose of a minimalist UI which is what metro is.. Do you have a desktop full of crap on your PC? Ever use the chrome? And what exactly is efficient about android? The multiple homescreens you need? The static icons? The screen murdering widgets? The redundancy?
    I never said that stuff should be added. I said the existing elements should be moved around, resized, stretched, etc.
    01-26-2012 12:46 AM
  11. jdd77's Avatar
    Nothing would need to be changed space-wise, if there was a third home screen:

    1st home screen (main screen)- wall paper, toast notifications, alerts, calendar events, missed calls, dialer, contacts, etc..

    2nd home screen (swipe to right from main)- metro UI as is.

    3rd home screen (swipe to left from main)- app menu.

    This would be a more practical, clutter-less, and minimalistic way of presenting information, rather than trying to figure out ways to cram it all onto 1 screen.
    1jaxstate1 likes this.
    01-26-2012 08:38 AM
  12. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    Nothing would need to be changed space-wise, if there was a third home screen:

    1st home screen (main screen)- wall paper, toast notifications, alerts, calendar events, missed calls, dialer, contacts, etc..

    2nd home screen (swipe to right from main)- metro UI as is.

    3rd home screen (swipe to left from main)- app menu.

    This would be a more practical, clutter-less, and minimalistic way of presenting information, rather than trying to figure out ways to cram it all onto 1 screen.
    I agree - one of things that I don't like about WP7's notification system is the lack of information. Yes, you get a toast, but if you're away from your phone, when you come back you just see a "1" on the Live Tile for the phone call or text you missed. I'd like to be able to see more information. Now, if that means being able to "expand" the phone or messaging tiles to double sized like the Calendar tile is, or having a separate screen like you describe - either way would make sense. That's why I don't see some "live tiles" as necessary - like the phone tile. It just shows how many missed calls you have - that's the bare minimum of information.

    In fact, the way you describe, you could lose the arrow and put 3 small dots or something above the Tiles to show which screen you're on. Yes, this does make it slightly more "Android-like" but it makes sense if you're going to have 3 screens.
    1jaxstate1 likes this.
    01-26-2012 08:59 AM
  13. Rodolfo#WP's Avatar
    ... Does everything on Windows Phone have to have unused space?
    ...Does that make it different enough from Android and iOS for you?
    Yes
    No
    ;)
    01-26-2012 10:37 AM
  14. MrBurrrns's Avatar
    The major issues I have with Windows Phone besides the obvious detriments that come with being a "new kid on the block" is that Windows Phone's UI tends to use the space on the screen in a yet-to-be-optimized manner.

    For example:

    -The long, unused space under the arrow on the home screen seems like a waste of potential design choices.
    -The titles of every screen seem too large, too overzoomed to make sense if you were emulating a Metro station's signs.
    -Messaging notifications have a lot of space above the message and next to the time that is ALWAYS empty. Why not put the person's name up there next to the time and have the message scroll by under like a stock ticker (or not if you need privacy.)
    -Transition screens such as the "Send from" screen have very small text compared to the rest of the vast screen space, again not doing justice to the idea of a Metro station sign.
    -Live Tiles, considering how BIG they ALL are, could definitely be more informative. Perhaps less informative ones could be made smaller? Custom sized like widgets?
    -The media playback buttons when you play a video are HUGE. WHY?
    -Context buttons at the bottom of every screen are too closely spaced together and you get the feeling more buttons should be added.
    -Artist/Album/Track lists in the Zune section have WAY too big a font.
    -The IE9 toolbar is kinda wide for the little information it shows. I like that its at the bottom, but does it have to be so big?

    There's probably more I missed, but does anybody get the same feeling I do? I know this is something that can be tightened up over time, but these are my thoughts so far.
    This is the most terrible idea ever. Everything you described is wrong. What you want is Android.
    aubreyq likes this.
    01-26-2012 06:04 PM
  15. Calidude's Avatar
    This is the most terrible idea ever. Everything you described is wrong. What you want is Android.
    Instead of giving a blanket statement like a fanboy would, how about you debunk each of those points one by one?
    01-26-2012 10:34 PM
  16. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    Instead of giving a blanket statement like a fanboy would, how about you debunk each of those points one by one?
    And how about you strengthen your points like I asked you to.
    01-26-2012 11:10 PM
  17. canesfan625's Avatar
    The major issues I have with Windows Phone besides the obvious detriments that come with being a "new kid on the block" is that Windows Phone's UI tends to use the space on the screen in a yet-to-be-optimized manner.

    For example:

    -The long, unused space under the arrow on the home screen seems like a waste of potential design choices.
    So, what would you put there that is essential? The space is there to keep it from looking like trash. What would you do? move the live tiles under the arrow and have a mess?

    -The titles of every screen seem too large, too overzoomed to make sense if you were emulating a Metro station's signs.
    easier to touch/read. try using it with tiny stuff if you have fat fingers. Text size is one of the biggest complaints I hear about most smart phones from people with glasses. Also, know anyone that needs glasses to drive because of signs? >.>

    -Messaging notifications have a lot of space above the message and next to the time that is ALWAYS empty. Why not put the person's name up there next to the time and have the message scroll by under like a stock ticker (or not if you need privacy.)
    Again, Not a UI issue. App issue. From a UI point its probably there so you can actually touch it without having to precision aim your finger. Why do we need to put the persons name up there when it appears next to the text? Having the clock on that line makes it not empty...

    -Transition screens such as the "Send from" screen have very small text compared to the rest of the vast screen space, again not doing justice to the idea of a Metro station sign.
    What is the "send from" screen? Not sure what you mean here.

    -Live Tiles, considering how BIG they ALL are, could definitely be more informative. Perhaps less informative ones could be made smaller? Custom sized like widgets?
    Live tiles arent 'big' they are 173x173px. more informative? compared to what? Not all widgets can be customized and they still usually eat more space than a live tile..

    -The media playback buttons when you play a video are HUGE. WHY?
    They are kinda large on iOS and Android too. Might have something to do with people touching them. They hide though so this is nit-piking.

    -Context buttons at the bottom of every screen are too closely spaced together and you get the feeling more buttons should be added.
    I do?

    -The IE9 toolbar is kinda wide for the little information it shows. I like that its at the bottom, but does it have to be so big?
    I don't get it. Compared to what toolbar?
    Last edited by Canesfan625; 01-27-2012 at 08:27 AM.
    01-27-2012 08:14 AM
  18. Vulak'Aerr'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.
    I just have to add to this. I totally agree with Big Supes here, but not only from an aesthetic point of view. This bar needs to be as wide as it is (with the text on a lower level than the time) so it is clear to the user that they can do something with it. If it were half the height it looks like it's JUST a notification. This way, it is more immediately obvious that it can be tapped (to open) or swiped (to dismiss). This has obviously been thought about in more depth than a few people here are giving credit for.
    01-27-2012 09:25 AM
  19. canesfan625's Avatar
    This has obviously been thought about in more depth than a few people here are giving credit for.
    Lies! everyone one the internets is a nuclear engineer and therefore smarter than Microsoft.
    01-27-2012 09:47 AM
  20. N8ter's Avatar
    I just have to add to this. I totally agree with Big Supes here, but not only from an aesthetic point of view. This bar needs to be as wide as it is (with the text on a lower level than the time) so it is clear to the user that they can do something with it. If it were half the height it looks like it's JUST a notification. This way, it is more immediately obvious that it can be tapped (to open) or swiped (to dismiss). This has obviously been thought about in more depth than a few people here are giving credit for.
    Why did you name yourself after an EverQuest Dragon? XD

    If they had a Global Notification Cache, that would not be an issue. THe problem is that it makes you scroll more, which may not seem like a lot but it adds up. It's not just about how the phone plays in a 10 minute carrier store session. It's about using it day in and day out for potentially years. After a while you realize that the wasted space makes you do more work to accomplish the same tasks. A lot of things suffer from this, from the start screen, to the app list, to core interface elements (huge text banners in HUBs, e.g.) to third party applications who are adhering to the UI guidelines.

    After a while, it starts looking less snazzy and more lazy. The UI looks like a rush job that they put together to ensure it would never require much work or effort. I don't know why people keep trying to say you want it to be this or that. Intimidated? If Metro was so hot than WP would have more than 2% marketshare. It's been a year. By this time Android was starting to surge. There's nothing going on with this platform, ATM and I don't expect yet another phone that looks like another running on an LTE network that barely has any coverage is going to change that soon...

    As for the person above I cannot even fathom trying to respond to that hot mess. I've figured out that avoiding the people who cut posts into pieces and respond to almost every item with nonsense is the best way to avoid arguments on internet forums.
    Vulak'Aerr likes this.
    01-27-2012 10:50 AM
  21. Vulak'Aerr's Avatar
    Why did you name yourself after an EverQuest Dragon? XD
    I kind of loved EverQuest when it came out. I've used this name on the internet for nigh on a decade now. :)


    If they had a Global Notification Cache, that would not be an issue.
    I quite agree. It's one of the few things on WP7 that I think could really use improvement. Text messages/emails/FB/Twitter I'm quite happy with currently, but for other apps I think a notification area (and prompts) "above" the homescreen could be quite helpful.


    As for the person above I cannot even fathom trying to respond to that hot mess. I've figured out that avoiding the people who cut posts into pieces and respond to almost every item with nonsense is the best way to avoid arguments on internet forums.
    Oh totally. ;)
    01-27-2012 10:58 AM
  22. canesfan625's Avatar
    I kind of loved EverQuest when it came out. I've used this name on the internet for nigh on a decade now. :)



    I quite agree. It's one of the few things on WP7 that I think could really use improvement. Text messages/emails/FB/Twitter I'm quite happy with currently, but for other apps I think a notification area (and prompts) "above" the homescreen could be quite helpful.



    Oh totally. ;)
    Its okay. Went above his head, as for a blanket statement that android was "surging" is a matter of perspective. The sales numbers are usually based on comparing and OS to hardware so its a nonsense comparison. Its like comparing One model of company a to one model to company b and then saying b is losing.
    Last edited by Canesfan625; 01-27-2012 at 11:42 AM.
    01-27-2012 11:36 AM
  23. N8ter's Avatar
    Its okay. Went above his head, as for a blanket statement that android was "surging" is a matter of perspective. The sales numbers are usually based on comparing and OS to hardware so its a nonsense comparison. Its like comparing One model of company a to one model to company b and then saying b is losing.
    Actually I had a huge probably 2 page response to your useless post but I decided it wasn't worth my time. If you look at my posting history here and elsewhere I think you can find all the relevant responses within. I've pretty much covered that stuff ad infinitum already.

    Nothing in these threads is new info. It's only shocking that after almost a year and a half most of the original complaints about these things still exist in the platform given the level of competition they are facing (or rather, trying to be percieved as).

    And don't quote someone else in an attempt to troll me. It's disingenuous.

    Android started surging in 09, that's not a matter of perspective. It's fact. By Mid 2010 it had already Eclipsed RIM and pretty much demolished Windows Mobile and WebOS. Early 2010 is when we started seeing the start of the rush of Android superphones flooding the market.

    Oh, and AT&T didn't even have an Android device (and certainly not any high end ones) until their iPhone exclusivity was about to end, so Android did this mostly with 3 carriers in the beginning. T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint + the Nexus One.

    Obviously that is probably not even possible these days because Android only really had to contend with Apple back then (BB and WinMo users were clamoring for an alternative, or to save money to buy an iPhone). It's much harder now. Which means Microsoft needs to go even further than Apple and Google to please current and potential users. Because, those users have excellent alternatives available. So, while you may be absolutely cool with dealing with a bad notification system, another users may see no use to "settle" when they can buy Android or iOS and never have to deal with it.

    Nevermind the whole "wait for Apollo" business which is kind of laughable.

    Your analogies make my chuckle.
    Last edited by N8ter; 01-27-2012 at 01:01 PM.
    01-27-2012 12:53 PM
  24. kevm14's Avatar
    In many ways, I think that buying iOS or Android is actually settling.
    01-27-2012 02:02 PM
  25. Roadkillin's Avatar
    In many ways, I think that buying iOS or Android is actually settling.
    While I really like the fluidity of WP7, and think it is probably the ideal phone OS for the average user, after using an HTC Surround for 1.5 months as a primary phone I'd be settling to use a newer one over my high-end Androids.
    I know that most of you do not care about this, and will just tell me to F off and go back to my androids, but I do truly love the WP7 concept, and think that with very little tweaking it will be the optimal OS for the majority of people.

    BUT, if you constantly antagonize everyone who suggests room for improvement within the OS then there will NEVER be a great number of people coming to the ecosystem, and it will stagnate and die before it offers enough for everyone to switch over.

    My reasons I'd personally be "Settling" for WP7
    1- Alternate keyboards (Swype is my favored)
    2- Dolphin HD Browser
    3- Seeing my full week calendar at a glance on my homescreen
    4- Great notification system
    5- Easy power toggles for wifi, bluetooth, brightness, GPS, flashlight
    6- Easy access to detailed battery status
    7- Knowing what apps/systems have drained my battery
    8- Persistent status bar that does not require constant tapping to see any battery levels, and wifi/network/bluetooth status, also the number of apps that completely disable the status bar is staggering in WP7
    9- Widget to monitor my data usage
    10- Free turn by turn navigation (I know Nokia has this but that's all)
    11- I think Google Maps is smoother and easier to use than Bing maps personally
    12- Swipepad keeps between 12-24 of my desired apps literally just a swipe away from ANYWHERE in the OS
    13- Persistent calculator on my homescreen, NEVER more than a button tap and swipe away
    14- Emulators
    15- Good free apps (Not free, but I can't live without Worms from EA either)

    My favoured aspects of WP7
    1. Great access to music from lockscreen and persistent music controls in volume settings
    2. Zune media player is awesome (NEEDS an audio equallizer, and I was pissed that HTC pulled their Sound Enhancer before I got the phone)
    3. The image, audio, and local search options are extremely amazing integration, but I wish the hardwired search button would search the marketplace or zune while in the app.
    4. The only times I've actually kept up with Facebook is the time that I was using my WP7 because of the great integration
    5. The podcasts are better integrated than even iPhone in my opinion. (Android has zero good free podcast managers)

    What I don't like about WP7 (Not what is missing)
    1. Web browsing, I truly think IE9 is the worst mobile browser I've used (Granted I hate using all stock browsers, and only Android gives me the option of changing the default browser).
    The tab/bookmark access are hidden in the tiny dots at the bottom of the screen, and all the text looks crazy wierd with no consistency within browser windows.
    01-27-2012 02:28 PM
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