Paul McAleer

The Windows Phone 7 Series UI: Snap Judgment

Paul McAleer

Disclaimers: I’m not an Apple pundit, hardcore fanboy (only partially a fanboy), and I don’t think everything Microsoft does is crap. And I haven’t actually used this thing.

That said I spent a chunk of time perusing the WP7S reports this morning, along with the official site, and here are my thoughts. Some of these are compiled from the Twitter. A lot of these are snarky and based on Engadget’s screenshots.

  • Really curious about how Windows Phone 7 Series (gah)’s “phone is just a small viewport onto a wide screen” UI will work. This feels like an old school web convention to me - remember when we really had to care about viewport size? Yeah, here it is again.
  • Here’s the demo video from MS. The flipping tiles/squares aesthetic is nice but feels like it’s a little more in the way than the iPhone/iPad’s animations. It seems like they’re less grounded in functionality here.
  • I’m totally not sold on the GIANT CUT OFF TEXT aesthetic. This is particularly problematic in lists. I mean, this is embarrassing shit. “Anonymous Ca?” And the icons look… Windows Mobile 6-ish.
  • Interesting prioritization in the Inbox: name is GIANT, subject is tiny. The iPhone’s inbox also emphasizes the name of the sender but the proportions are far, far different.
  • I guess one plus of the “too big UI” is that it lends itself to scrolling around a lot of things and sets a precedent. It looks like a lot of the UI is built around the zoom and pan actions.
  • The trouble of not having captions. What are those games? “Look! It’s shield force! And NEW WORD GROO!”
  • Nice line height. Sheesh.
  • The main Zune app “play” UI is pretty good.
  • “Hey, what appointments do I have on February 5th?” “Looks like I need to see the eye doctor!”

All in all, it feels like this is a big update from Windows Mobile 6 but when you have such a ridiculously low bar, nearly anything is an improvement. And again: I haven’t used this, so my impressions will likely change once I try one out.