How do you use the Startscreen on WP?

I use the startscreen on windows phone foremost as the notification center, and then as a quick app launcher. Apps I don't really care for, barely use, or couldn't care less if I missed a toast from will be a right flick away or in the game hub.

I don't mind if my startscreen gets long; it would be actually be shorter now that they have smaller icon sizes for apps that are important but aren't dynamic. Also it takes less than a second to speed swipe all the way to the bottom.

If I could change the startscreen. I would add tiles I can interact with such as with widgets(but more uniform, less chaotic designs) and tiles with more facets. I want solid color backgrounds. I would also like an option in the settings where I can choose if opening an app from the ss will resume from last place left off or start from scratch.

Also, on the bottom where the arrow is, some indication of "you missed a toast from that app you didn't post on the startscreen for some reason" would be nice. Personally I wouldn't need it but others seem to.