A glimpse into what Metro UI could have looked like

Long Zheng over at istartedsomething.com has posted some early concept shots of the Metro UI which eventually transformed into what we now know as Windows Phone 7 Series. The images were taken from slides used at a MIX 2010 session and showcases the evolution that eventually became what Microsoft has been showing off for the past few days. These are better quality versions of the images from Neowin's coverage of the Windows Phone UI and Design Language session.

In general, the overall layout of the concept shots appear similar to the design Microsoft has settled on. The biggest difference seems to be the fonts, which from what we've been told, will probably not be customizable in the final release. However, this remains to be confirmed.

There are a lot of interesting things that can be seen in the gallery below. Some show incoming calls popping up mid-screen in a very obtrusive way, and some show notifications at the top (which is what Microsoft seems to have planned). It's always nice to see the underlying evolution of a product. Metro UI is shaping up to be a very well polished piece of eye candy.

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Which verison of Metro UI do you like better?

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I find the UI very relaxing and human. Is like a well layered magazine, it doesn't look like a computer at all. As familiar that it might be for most of us, the concept of a screen full of icons is very alien, is humans adapting to computers when it should be the opposite. A bunch of non descriptive icons spreaded all over with no order whatsoever is part of the legacy of old UI, they were introduced almost 30 years ago. The Winphone 7 UI is as natural as browsing the web or reading a magazine, instead of silent icons you get screens that already provide information, instead of a Facebook icon you get a screen with some of the updates and news, it entices you to click on it and use it more. I think is the most important advace in natural user interface made in many years.

lol they don't look all that much difference. Far too minimal with wasted space in most cases. Occasional application/framework design like ribbon, sure, maybe like a Windows live wave. Whole OS's using it... very bad idea and error in judgment. In winmo 7 they seem to think that smothering a design with 2d minimal flat interface is good then jam it all full of pointless horrible 3d animation...based on what's presented like they badly need a new project manager or lead designer with a bit of a clue for making metroUI. They should get some better buttons too.

I'm here just to say: i Love my iPhone UI (i hate AT&T), but i hope apple could get some fresh ideas, like multitasking and a easy way to manage the important info the phone, things that you only can do if you device it's jailbroken, could be nice if apple put in stock for iphone OS 4, at least maultitasking would be appreciaed!

Your opinion. I think it's got a huge wow factor compared to iPhone OS. All the effects and transitions are welcome and can always be surprising. The iPhone OS just doesn't have that and the UI it has used to look good but now it's just boring. The Metro UI is capable of any animation you wish, so it can never get as boring as the UI on the iPhone.

Electric Jolt said,
Your opinion. I think it's got a huge wow factor compared to iPhone OS. All the effects and transitions are welcome and can always be surprising. The iPhone OS just doesn't have that and the UI it has used to look good but now it's just boring. The Metro UI is capable of any animation you wish, so it can never get as boring as the UI on the iPhone.

Like you said, your opinion. I like a clean, simply interface better. This just looks scattered and confusing. All the animations are nice at first but get annoying really fast. They make simple processes much longer just so you can see their wizzy animations. Which if your in a rush will just **** you off. At first I think it's an improvement over WinMo6 but I still dislike it. Maybe it will grow on me.

Edited by Xero, Mar 18 2010, 6:04pm :

bguy_1986 said,
Metro UI SUCKS!

I for one like the new design. It shows a lot of work went into developing a new way to provide data from disparate sources in a consistant fashion.

If you're upset by this layout, consider that this is a microsoft product with all of their tendencies to allow for customization.

They did announce that SPB is partnered to bring their unique offerings to the new platform.

You may find that the default implemetation is not to your taste, but the UI itself is extensible enough to become something that 'doesn't suck'.

I think this open, extensible, Silverlight based NUI system is much better than the UI we had in previous version of windows mobile that lacked any consistancy.

Edited by deadonthefloor, Mar 18 2010, 6:14pm :

Xero said,

Like you said, your opinion. I like a clean, simply interface better.

The interface looks astoundingly clean and simple (white text on black background) and completely consistent. Large fonts, few colours, no gradients. The other Microsoft divisions could learn a thing or two.

billyea said,

The interface looks astoundingly clean and simple (white text on black background) and completely consistent. Large fonts, few colours, no gradients. The other Microsoft divisions could learn a thing or two.
Yea I guess you have that, its just got a lot of things going on, side scrolling,top scrolling, animations, buttons. It just feels hectic compared to iPhone.

RedFlow said,
I'm kind of confused as to what this is but nonetheless it looks interesting.

This is early concept design for the UI that is currently on the Windows Mobile 7 OS.

artfuldodga said,
did you read the article?..
my god

Sorry yes I did but I'm on my droid in school and sitting in study hall in some uncomfortable plastic chairs and pretty tired and hungry. My appologies.