A vision of Windows Phone 8 and how Microsoft could enhance the platform

You may remember an article a few weeks ago, in which we created a design for a hypothetical Nokia Windows RT tablet, and asked whether or not you would buy it. There was a lot of interesting discussion surrounding that article, and some great points raised by many of our members.

This time around, we’re doing something similar, but rather than focusing on the hardware side of things, we’ve had a go at visualising what Windows Phone 8 might look like when it arrives later this year. As with the Nokia tablet, we’ve tried to keep our vision of the new OS realistic, rather than simply assembling a wishlist of implausible, fanciful features for the sake of feeding fanboy hunger.

There are twelve slides in total, though this is by no means a complete guide to the entire OS. We’ve highlighted a few areas in which changes would perhaps be most keenly noticed, but you won’t see every single menu or screen detailed here. If you find the images in the article too small, check out the larger versions in the gallery at the bottom. In addition to the info in each slide, there are a few explanatory notes below each slide too.

Remember, the theme here is evolution, not revolution, as Windows Phone moves closer to Windows 8/RT. So, don’t expect reinvention of the wheel here – but what we hope you’ll find is a plausible vision of how the new mobile OS might be refreshed and improved upon. Please also remember that the designs here are based largely on guesswork and extrapolation, except where some details about WP8 have already been publicly confirmed. So if you think these designs are great, try not to be too disappointed if the real thing falls short; and if you think these designs suck, well, maybe the real Windows Phone 8 can still meet or exceed your expectations.

One last thing: it’s not essential that you read the footnotes – there’s a lot of info in this article, and you’ll be forgiven for skimming through some of the text. If nothing else, be sure to read the info on each slide, to put the ideas into some context. The footnotes just extend that context and add a bit more detail, but they’re not essential to understanding the concepts.  

ANYWAY, enough rambling. Presenting… a vision of what Windows Phone 8 might look like:

 

The Start Screen remains the central hub of the Windows Phone experience. The new Start Screen moves closer to its Windows 8 sibling, with a more colourful range of tiles, and the ability to add, name and edit groups of apps and tiles. The Windows 8 macro view of the Start Screen is also carried over here, with a pinch-to-zoom-out feature, or Jump Lists to quickly jump to a section without having to scroll repeatedly, and without having to zoom out to the macro view. Jump Lists are a feature on all Metro-style apps, menus and screens that include multiple pivots, making this a universal OS feature.

 

There’s now much more flexibility in how Live Tiles can be displayed, including half-sized, single, dual, stacked and larger sizes available. This flexibility, and the ability to enable apps to resize tiles automatically as needed (for example to display a breaking news alert), is why these are now known as ‘Organic Live Tiles’. Different-sized tiles can display different amounts of information; for example, a half-tile might simply be a link, while a full tile includes a counter, a double tile includes a latest update, and a quad tile includes weather and stock information. The flexibility allows the user to put as much or as little information as they want or need front and centre on their Start Screen.

Because users can easily control the level of information they want to see on their Organic Live Tiles, grouping these tiles together creates Mini Hubs of the exact glance-and-go information that the user needs, dramatically reducing the amount of time spent digging around in apps.  

Organic Live Tiles can also be found in Hubs – for example, a media app scrolling through TV shows that you’ve paused but haven’t yet finished watching, in the Music + video Hub.

Another universal OS feature is that the horizontal bar of menu items from Windows Phone 7.5 is now stacked vertically at the bottom-right of the screen in Metro-style apps. To bring up more details including labels for these options, simply swipe up from the bottom-right of the screen to bring up the options overlay (see separate slide). These buttons change depending on the content of the app, menu or screen being displayed.

 

A major criticism of Windows Phone 7.5 was its limited capacity for user customisation. Windows Phone 8 brings many more options to personalise each device, including tile transparency, custom colour options across the OS, background wallpaper, and a more comprehensive range of user-definable settings. Themes can also be downloaded via windowsphone.com, such as promotional themes for blockbuster movies (including the obligatory dedicated app), or branded UIs from major international brands. Manufacturers and carriers can also add their customisations to the interface in the same way before sale.

The multitasking view is similar to that of Mango but with added features. The carousel of open apps remains, but apps can now be forcibly closed. Where enabled, the tiles showing screen previews are interactive – for example, media controls for an open music player, or buttons for a running stopwatch app. The OS also gets its first advanced task manager – complete with nannying “are you sure you want to do this?” warnings – for power users.

Also in the multitasking view are the option to close all open apps, go to the phone settings screens, or view most recently opened apps, and a summary of voice and messaging notification totals, along with a short cut to the Start Apps List.

 

The Wireless Hub gives direct, unified access to managing all aspects of the device’s wireless communications, via a button on the Start Screen. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, phone radios and FM radio settings can all be managed from here, with historical performance data, saved networks and the ability to set up the device as a wireless hotspot, among the many features of the Hub.

Windows Phone 8 gets one step closer to Apple’s Siri with Tellme voice search. In addition to the operating system’s extensive voice interaction features – activated by tapping and holding the Windows hardware button at any time – preceding any voice command with ‘Tellme’ will enable a voice search, using conversational language, rather than a clumsy set of predefined commands.

‘Tellme, what will the weather be like this week in London?’ first brings up an answers page, that uses Bing search data to try to provide an immediate and direct answer to the question. Additionally (and in case the ‘answer’ provided is in some way insufficient), Tellme provides web results to help you continue your search (also accessible using voice commands, up to a point). If there is an app on your device that may provide more information for your search, Tellme will highlight any such apps in the results, and will suggest apps to download from the Windows Store if you have no such apps installed on your handset.

 

Bing’s search features on Windows Phone 7.5 are often criticised as being too limited, but the new Bing for Windows Phone 8 offers far more options to customise searches and find what you need more quickly.

As in Mango, tapping the Search hardware key opens the native Bing Search app. The Search screen is much like on WP7.5, with a search box, image of the day, and buttons to alternative search options, such as Music or Visual searches, with the addition of a Search Settings button. Bing Search now encompasses far more categories than before, including the option to search through the device and its apps for search terms, and to perform advanced searches too.

The new categories are available by pivoting left and right through the results, or by simply tapping on the current category name, and using the Jump List to quickly access those results. Sub-categories help to focus searches even faster, offering more relevant results with less time wasted on trawling through pages of results.

Searches can be saved and accessed on other devices via the cloud, shared via social media, or shared between devices via NFC. 

 

Windows Phone has had the “I’m a WP7!” app for some time, but with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft hopes to instil a sense of community and the ‘premium’ impression that the user is a member of a club (arguably a significant factor in Apple’s success) in introducing the My Windows Phone Hub.

The functions of this Hub are two-fold: on the one hand, it acts as the main centre for device and app settings on the device; and on the other, it provides Windows Phone OS information, carrier notifications, platform-exclusive content and promotions, free ringtones and wallpapers, and the kind of tips and tricks that the company is fond of sharing via its regular emails to customers. In the slide above, there is news of the Windows Phone 8.1 update being available to update over the air, 3 messages waiting from the network operator, and a how-to guide for getting started with Xbox games on the device for n00bs. By positioning this content alongside device settings, the aim is for the Hub to be a very visible part of the Windows Phone experience for customers.

The Hub is also the point from where the user can log out of the phone (for example, if swapping a work/business handset), or switch to the guest user log-in (for example, if lending the phone to someone for a short time). The My Windows Phone Hub is accessible via the dedicated button on the Start Screen, so the ability to log out is easy to locate, rather than being buried in layers of menus.

The log-in screen features a slowly animating background, along with tiles featuring saved users and the guest log-in option, along with an emergency call button. Tap on a user name, and enter the Microsoft Account password to log in, or choose to log in with a thumbprint or facial recognition scan (if the hardware supports those options). If you’ve forgotten your password, a mini-app will open on the log-in screen, allowing you to follow the steps towards password recovery.

The picture password feature from Windows 8 is coming in a later update (there’s always something…).

 

Toast notifications display much as in Windows Phone 7.5, albeit in a larger area, to accommodate both the clock and network coverage indicator. Swipe the notification away to the right to dismiss it with no further action; tap the notification to go to the relevant app or screen; push and hold the notification to bring up a quick-access list of predefined tasks that you’re likely to want to complete.

In the example above, an invitation to join a game offers the option to join the game immediately, send a ‘decline’ notice to the other player, send a message to the other player, review the other player’s gamer stats to inform the decision of whether or not to accept, and to go to the Notifications Hub to review all other device notifications. Notifications options may either immediately complete a task, or quickly direct the user to the correct screen in the appropriate app (rather than having to find and open an app and then find the right screen manually).

The Notifications Hub is accessible by swiping downwards from the clock and dragging the Hub onto the screen. It features a default view of all notifications sent across the entire device, including voice and video calls (cellular, Skype, Tango etc), social activity (Facebook and Twitter alerts), game invitations, network operator messages, emails and device events such as app crashes. These can be viewed by category by pivoting left and right between screens, or by using the Jump List to jump directly to the desired notifications.

 

The Me Hub becomes a true social centre in Windows Phone 8, featuring Organic Live Tiles that themselves feature quick access to the most common tasks for each social network, in addition to notifications of the most recent updates.

As in its predecessor, the Hub pulls in an image from the user’s connected albums – this can either be a user-defined selection or a random image every time the Hub is opened. The user’s most recent social updates cycle at the top of the screen. The ‘What’s New’ pivot in this Hub features a timeline of the most recent activities on your connected networks. ‘Stats’ offers a summary of the user’s activity on connected networks, including graphs and breakdowns of data for the last year.

With multiple networks supported – including Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, LinkedIn, so.cl, myspace and more – users can connect their entire social world here, being able to easily and quickly digest the latest updates without having to go in and out of multiple apps. These tiles can all be customised or removed entirely, or added to the Start Screen. Some users may prefer to simply pin the ‘Me’ tile to the Start Screen, and use the Me Hub for a complete social overview, rather than having so many social tiles on the Start Screen.

 

In a move that will surprise no-one, Windows Phone 8 officially waves goodbye to Zune and says hello to Xbox Music and Xbox Video, offering download, streaming and purchase options for millions of songs, podcasts, audiobooks, TV shows, movies and music videos.

In addition to providing access to these native services, the Music + video Hub connects the user to all media apps and content on the device. On the default ‘Launch’ view, featured content dominates the screen, with links below to the sub-Hubs for Music, Video, Podcasts and Radio. Below that, there are quick-links to enable instant play of all music on the device, on shuffle, and a link to radio stations that have been saved as favourites. Finally, the most recent content accessed is included here – in this case, the user has paused Star Trek (possibly on another device), and it’s ready to resume playback. Users can pause media on one device and resume playback on another, and can also purchase media or line up a playlist on one device and play it on another.

Users can pivot to the Store landing page, Music Apps, and Music + video History screens. Content from native services such as Xbox Music and Xbox Video is showcased alongside that of third party services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and BBC iPlayer.

Universal media controls continue to be available during playback, by pushing on the hardware volume buttons. The drop-down now features quick-access links to edit the handset’s alert tones and ringtones, and to apply predefined tone profiles. During playback, a Live Tile is included in the drop-down, featuring details of what the user is listening to, basic media controls, and a ‘kill’ button to end media playback and terminate the app.

 

Windows Store is the replacement for Windows Phone Marketplace, but it will still be familiar to those who have used earlier Windows Phone handsets. A storefront ‘Spotlight’ includes a new carousel of featured content, while highlights of top apps, music, games, movies, TV shows, music videos, podcasts and audiobooks also feature. Pivots to more detailed overviews for each of these categories are available by swiping left and right, or using the Jump Lists.

Tags highlighting special features or information are applied to content, such as the ‘EXCLUSIVE TO LUMIA’, ‘EXCLUSIVE TO XBOX LIVE’ and ‘WITH KINECT’ tags in the examples above for Angry Birds In Mexico and Angry Birds Lego. Man, folks sure do love Angry Birds.

Categories also have sub-Hubs, in which top content is more comprehensively showcased. Content is featured in sub-categories such as ‘new’, ‘free’, ‘top-rated’ and ‘most downloaded’. When searching in the store, results can be sorted by factors such as cost, rating, date added, date last updated and name.

Content purchased can be downloaded and installed on up to three devices concurrently, including Windows Phone 8 handsets, Windows RT devices, Windows 8 PCs and, where available, Xbox 360 consoles.

 

The Xbox Games Hub gets an overhaul bringing it in line with the Windows Store layout. In addition to a carousel of featured content, there are links to the main Xbox Games Store, promotions, and links to other content, such as a new Need For Speed title or mobile games with Xbox Kinect features enabled, in the example above.

All games – not just Xbox LIVE titles – are purchased through the Xbox Games Store. The Hub also includes the list of expected features, such as avatar editing, access to historic gamer data, and the user’s collection of games and related apps.

The options overlay, seen above in use in the Xbox Games Hub, is a universal OS feature, available in all Metro-style apps, as well as menus and screens in the OS. Wherever there are buttons present at the bottom right of the screen, swipe up from that corner to bring up the options overlay, to get more information about the available options.

 

Scrapbook is a place for your stuff to gather while you get it all in order. It builds on some of the groundwork established by OneNote, and allows you to pull in content from across your device and across the web, and either file it somewhere relevant with other related content, or just keep it handy, knowing that you’ll need it soon.

Scrapbook is baked into the OS with support extending across all Metro-style apps, menus and screens. Any content – such as images, videos and files – can be plucked and deposited into a Scrapbook via an OS menu option. Notes and tags can be composed to act as reminders.

Scrapbooks can also be shared across devices via SkyDrive, and shared with friends via the Scrapbook app. Messages can be sent to other users that are sharing a Scrapbook, including handwritten notes, called ‘Scribbles’.

The ability to apply Scrapbook’s ‘Pin Mode’ across the OS, to be able to gather content with even greater ease, is a further example of how deeply engrained in the OS these features are. When in Pin Mode, items can be dragged and pinned to the yellow bar on the right edge of the screen; content can be cut out of web pages, images, e-books or e-magazines by tracing a cut-out with your finger, while audio clips can be created and pinned with similar ease. Pinned items can then be dragged into a Scrapbook, resized, tagged, shared, edited or just saved for later.

Scrapbooks can be created, edited and deleted as needed, as can the content within them. They can act as temporary repositories for short-term projects, or a long-term chest in which to keep treasured memories or grow a collection of content with friends.

A student, for example, might have a couple of Scrapbooks dedicated to school projects, another Scrapbook sharing music links on Xbox Music with friends, another with details being collected from various sources about buying his first car, and a final one for stuff related to his girlfriend – a sweet IM that she sent him on Skype, a link to ‘their’ song, video of them dancing at a house party, a Scribble conversation between the two of them, and photos of her wearing nothing but whipped cream.

Scrapbooks are constantly evolving with stuff being deleted and added to on an ongoing basis. It doesn’t replace the ‘file explorer’ concept, but it does help people to digest the enormous volumes of content and noise that they are confronted with every day in a more meaningful way, retaining only the content that matters most, storing it in a way that feels familiar (like stacking groups of content on a desk, or grouping clusters of content into ring binders or folders, to organise real-world content), and in a way that is most logical to the user.

Scrapbook is built on the Windows Phone philosophy of Putting People First, helping users to glance and go for information, or to achieve tasks more quickly and efficiently, offering an authentically digital experience, but in ways that make the most sense to the user.

- - - - -

So, that’s what we’ve come up with. Now, it’s over to you – let’s hear your thoughts on these concepts, and on whether or not they get you enthused about what Windows Phone 8 might have to offer.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Dear Google: Please give Google+ a purpose

Next Story

Prototype Sony Ericsson Windows Phone video leaked

96 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The concepts are pretty great. Enhancing some of the current features (Wireless hub, for example) would be a welcome addition, and I love the concept of the Scrapbook as a place to grab stuff to read later or to share with friends. I think a lot of thought went into the ideas behind this.

However, as a UI, this strays too far from the current (and well received) Metro principles. Little things like how close together the tiles seem, and how little "white space" is left take away from what MS has done to simplify and declutter the device. THe different sized tiles, drop shadows, fades all add uneeded GUI elements that will reduce battery life, make things harder to read, and add clutter where before there wasn't any.

I think some of the concepts should indeed be added, to WP8, but I'd be disappointed if the graphical GUI changed this direction.

I hope the amount of posting here gets some attention from Microsoft Windows Phone Team. I would like to see my apps sync between devices. This thing was so long I only skim the surface.

Very sharp design as far as ersatz marketing materials go.Not really digging the screen mock-ups, though. It hardly looks Metro anymore. Transparency? I doubt that will happen.

This would be awesome to see. Hopefully Microsoft will have at least some of these things in WP8.

The only complaint I have is making the icons vertically stacked on the bottom-right, rather than having them stay in a little toolbar thingy at the bottom of the screen. In the hubs and such shown in the images, putting the buttons in the bottom-right isn't that much of a deal, but other apps that need as much horizontal space as possible might find this as a problem.

Always wonder why people bother with such concepts that have zero chance of becoming reality. Always leads to unrealistic expectations then deflated, angry feelings when the real thing is revealed and is nothing like the fanciful concept.

efjay said,
Always wonder why people bother with such concepts that have zero chance of becoming reality. Always leads to unrealistic expectations then deflated, angry feelings when the real thing is revealed and is nothing like the fanciful concept.

People with disabilities or large fingers...technical issues consumer feedback Microsoft tries to be everything to everyone...

You have some good concepts but you've lost the glance and go ideal behind metro not to mention you seem to have tossed the panorama UI out the window. Also all these different backgrounds just remind me of the cluttered mess that is android.

those are some great ideas! but I'm really not a fan of the half icons, or mega 4 square icons, or the way that the tray buttons are placed on the bottom right hand corner instead of on the bottom of the screen. the most interesting piece is where you pinch out to see all the different categories of tiles... reminiscent of windows 8

I like the idea of more size options on live tiles and the organic tiles, also the sections as per windows 8 start screen (titled sets of tiles). But agree with others that some areas of these mockups seem very busy and cluttered.

Some wonderful ideas and concepts on how Windows Phone OS should work, but you totally killed the design. Why the heck do we need such information density on our phones? This is totally against Metro and Glance & Go.

I love it! Just one thing I'd hate is the customization, I'm all for letting users do it, but don't let OEMs do it. Android just made a mess of it, such as stock 4.0 has a nice new UI, and then it gets ruined. Leave it stock like WP7.5 and iOS do.

Looks terrible. Way too much stuff on the screen at once and the small UI elements would be terrible to tap on, especially on smaller screens. Not everyone has, or wants, a 5" screen on their phone.

I liked the Notification and Marketplace (probably will be rebranded to Store) parts
1- There will be no background picture for the start screen as it distracts the users from active tile contents
2- there will be no Dynamic Tile like what you proposed as it's more like a widget rather than a live tile. Widgets need background process and that's not the way multitasking is handled in windows phone.
3- There's already OneNote there. What's the use of Scrapbook?
4- There wont be significant differentiation between Facebook and Twitter activities as Microsoft does not want to promote brands within the OS. There will be just feeds of any social network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, QZone, Weibo, LinkedIn, etc. )
5- As for the search, we'll see the new Bing Social Search there.

As much effort as has been put into these, everything looks very messy and a bit too frantic IMO and goes against the Metro principles of only showing the relevant data at one time.

Information overload, visual overload, and seems as if it would just gobble up battery power!

mdtaUK said,
As much effort as has been put into these, everything looks very messy and a bit too frantic IMO and goes against the Metro principles of only showing the relevant data at one time.

Information overload, visual overload, and seems as if it would just gobble up battery power!


+100

S3P€hR said,
IF these are true, finally they listened to all critics about current UI.

Can't you read? This was made by someone at Neowin. WP8 will be nothing like this.

The only problem that i can see from this concept & design, is that it'll not be suitable for any phone that have a screen size less than 3.8 inch (lumia 800); The font will be so small that u cant even read the text.

Btw, excellent concept & design but a little bit messy in some parts. Hope wp8 developer can take some of these ideas & make it happen for our next beloved wp8

Not that the visuals aren't well done or attractive ... it is soooooo busy. This is not the simplicity a phone should embody. If Apple pulled this, it would be a disaster.

seebaran said,
Not that the visuals aren't well done or attractive ... it is soooooo busy. This is not the simplicity a phone should embody. If Apple pulled this, it would be a disaster.

Absolutely. If anyone pulled this it would be a disaster.

seebaran said,
Not that the visuals aren't well done or attractive ... it is soooooo busy. This is not the simplicity a phone should embody. If Apple pulled this, it would be a disaster.

Keep in mind that you would not to have all the available tiles pinned to the Start screen, just the ones that are relevant to you. For example I hate the fact that WP7 shows you, both on the lock screen and the Start one, only your first appointment; I would rather prefer to have more as in WM 6.5; at the same time I do not care for Twitter therefore I would unpin its tile and replaced it with a same lenght Calendar one. Obviously one size does not fit all and that is the point of being able to customize a device to fit your specific needs.

Nice article. As always, design is a matter of taste. Some I agree with, some I don't, simply because they don't fall within the Metro Mantra. Remember, MS doesn't want to make it look like HTC's Sense UI.
What I missed however is Phone (hub) with Skype Integration, whereby one might make a call either via phone or Skype, without going into an app. I think a WP9 feature on this might by that based on who your Provider is and the number you're calling, the phone can give default to the cheapest way to call without you having to select it, and only if that option is not available, or the quality of the call sucks, enable you to make a standard POTS call.
Other than that, again, a great article. Neowin really spend some time on this.. very appreciated!!!!

Where's the start menu? Metro sucks!

/s

Joking aside, the concepts look amazing! However, I think WP8 will look more along the lines of Windows 8 to kinda keep the UX the same. Also, I wish this was what Windows 8 looked like.

Ewww, looks really bad, That thing it's not Metro and for me it's ugly and confusing. Even Windows 8 it's more atractive for me than this OS. I like Windows Phone 7 the way it is.

IvoFajardo said,
Ewww, looks really bad, That thing it's not Metro and for me it's ugly and confusing. Even Windows 8 it's more atractive for me than this OS. I like Windows Phone 7 the way it is.

+1 I second this.....

IvoFajardo said,
Ewww, looks really bad, That thing it's not Metro and for me it's ugly and confusing. Even Windows 8 it's more atractive for me than this OS. I like Windows Phone 7 the way it is.

Yeah, user friendly this would not be...

Wow! You've put a ton into this . I think you should make an app Andy. I wouldn't say no to that awesome looking Me Hub.

Wow that looks brilliant! The only thing is I'm pretty sure that WP8 won't look like this, but if it does I won't complain.

Although there are quite a few things in the list above I wasn't quite a fan of (certain ways the hubs worked). Apart from that.. magnificent!

this look nice it has a lot of good ideas but i feel it will make the OS heavy
Did you send this concept to Microsoft ?

subcld said,
this look nice it has a lot of good ideas but i feel it will make the OS heavy
Did you send this concept to Microsoft ?

and don't forget that there is mid range and low level devices so this concept won't work with that design

subcld said,
this look nice it has a lot of good ideas but i feel it will make the OS heavy
Did you send this concept to Microsoft ?

and don't forget that there is mid range and low level devices so this concept won't work with that design

subcld said,

and don't forget that there is mid range and low level devices so this concept won't work with that design

It always possible with optimization for low end devices. for instance some of the options such as background or special effects could be disabled by default. but highend devices should not be sacrificed for it.

Zain Adeel said,
This is not following the metro design principles. Looks more how google would've designed windows phone.

If they did maybe it would sell

Sonne said,

If they did maybe it would sell


I'm going to laugh when WP actually has had the time to grow market share. You fandroids seem to completely forget that Android didn't have 50% market share in a year...

Really don't see a point in these "articles". This one isn't a vision it's the ramblings of someone who clearly thinks they're aiming at a 30" monitor and not a phone screen. Not that MS would implement any of this in a million years but if they did you'd need the eyesight of a hawk and the fingers of a pixie.

glyfz said,
Really don't see a point in these "articles". This one isn't a vision it's the ramblings of someone who clearly thinks they're aiming at a 30" monitor and not a phone screen. Not that MS would implement any of this in a million years but if they did you'd need the eyesight of a hawk and the fingers of a pixie.

Agreed. This would be absolutely horrible on a phone and show a complete lack of UX understanding...

Enron said,
Yeah I was going to say, it looks a little busy.

That's the first thing that crossed my mind as well. I prefer the simplicity of current Metro.

Seems to be too much information to pack into a little screen. The font is absolutely tiny in some parts. They might as well write "hello from seattle" all over the screen like they did in the calendar app.

.Neo said,

That's the first thing that crossed my mind as well. I prefer the simplicity of current Metro.

Agreed. It's a bit of a mess. Thank god these aren't real... These mockups were designed with a focus on what is "cool" and a complete disregard for what would be "functional"...

FalseAgent said,
I don't mean to be a prick, but that looks terrible.

and i'm not a android/apple fanboy, I absolutely love my Lumia 710.


Agreed. It's pretty horrible and unfriendly.

FalseAgent said,
I don't mean to be a prick, but that looks terrible.

and i'm not a android/apple fanboy, I absolutely love my Lumia 710.

I have 3 WP7 and it looks way too cluttered

Some cool pictures here, but I think some of them have way too much content on them/not presented properly. For example: take a look at the Music + Videos mockups...
All the background images don't really put the content front and centers (which is key in Metro) It distracts the user IMO.

Otherwise, fantastic work! I'd be genuinely satisfied if some of these ideas make it to the final version of Windows 8.

Jarrichvdv said,
Some cool pictures here, but I think some of them have way too much content on them/not presented properly. For example: take a look at the Music + Videos mockups...
All the background images don't really put the content front and centers (which is key in Metro) It distracts the user IMO.

Otherwise, fantastic work! I'd be genuinely satisfied if some of these ideas make it to the final version of Windows 8.


Ofcourse I mean Windows Phone 8.

I like one or two of the ideas but quite a few of the screenshots goes against the whole idea of Metro. Most of them look like web pages where each individual bit of information has to have a border. Some of them even look very clustered and not suitable for touch. All I'm saying is the made up screenshots a few of them look to busy and there are to many boxes because most of WP7 is dynamic text over a nice background instead of a bunch of boxes. But certainly I think there is lots of room to advance the start screen and the core parts could use a bit of a touch up like the 'marketplace', music, xbox and people/me hub.

Those were my thoughts too. Additionally, I can't see how the vertical buttons are an improvement on the current toolbar that hides explanatory labels and other contextual menu items.
The mockups are very glossy but I don't see any actual UI improvements.

jakem1 said,
Those were my thoughts too. Additionally, I can't see how the vertical buttons are an improvement on the current toolbar that hides explanatory labels and other contextual menu items.
The mockups are very glossy but I don't see any actual UI improvements.

Exactly. It's cool, but far from usable. Honestly it shows a lack of UX understanding...

Gaffney said,
I like one or two of the ideas but quite a few of the screenshots goes against the whole idea of Metro. Most of them look like web pages where each individual bit of information has to have a border. Some of them even look very clustered and not suitable for touch. All I'm saying is the made up screenshots a few of them look to busy and there are to many boxes because most of WP7 is dynamic text over a nice background instead of a bunch of boxes. But certainly I think there is lots of room to advance the start screen and the core parts could use a bit of a touch up like the 'marketplace', music, xbox and people/me hub.

Those were my initial thoughts, too. WP7's simplicity is a breath of fresh air, and it works really well. I don't want it cluttered up.

Thanks you jerks! Windows Phone 8 won't look this good and now I'll probably be disappointed

Alternatively - Shut up and take my money!

The Teej said,
Thanks you jerks! Windows Phone 8 won't look this good and now I'll probably be disappointed

Alternatively - Shut up and take my money!

But seriously guys, absolutely amazing article. Very well done .

It won't look that good :-(

I just think Windows Phone 8 will have a lot more features but not many UI changes, approaching towards Windows 8 design

The only things that I would add is that MS should add in the feature, WiFi hotspot and also better multitasking especially in native apps that should be for e.g. Skype. More skype integration puuuhlleasssse!

Richio said,
The only things that I would add is that MS should add in the feature, WiFi hotspot and also better multitasking especially in native apps that should be for e.g. Skype. More skype integration puuuhlleasssse!

Skype seamless integration is already part of WP8. The reason it doesn't run in background has NOTHING to do with WP7 multitasking, but rather how the Skype network uses peer to peer nodes.

WiFi Hotspot functionality is already in WP7. It is up to the carrier.

I would love this, the only thing that really irks me about WP are some of the buttons... For example, in the "Me hub" screenshot where it'll let you update your status, or check into a location, it just looks really "blah" to me, and are two buttons at that size really needed?? I don't know. I like Metro, and I like the direction WP is going. I hope that I'm blown away so I can upgrade from my 4S this year.

Some of the best metro mockups I have seen for WP7. Looks very beautiful but in terms maturation this is more like WP9. This is even more advanced than Windows 8. But, details a very bright future and how much further Windows Phone and metro can go.