New Challenger Appears! Another WP8 Concept
Alright, so first off, I'd like to point out that this is my first post (not comment, post) on The Verge! So be gentle :P
Now that that's out of the way, I've been looking over a few concepts such as the new metro notifications from "A Game of Privacy" as well as another notification/history concept from WPCentral. While I believe the ideas are well thought out, the concept images aren't very well implemented, and make it harder to imagine how these features would look/work. That's where I decided to give it a shot and come up with these concepts. Now, not all the ideas are mine, as can obviously be seen from the Notification History page which uses some of the exact items from A Game of Privacy's post. I just decided to add a few things and clean it up. Clicking the images will open them with more detail in a new page. So without further adieu, here are some of my ideas:
The main screen would use the same Metro language as most apps/hubs in Windows Phone with a continuous flow of pages as opposed to moving and stopping at each end. When I showed my friend this idea, he was against the continuity, merely for personal preference. I'd love to hear opinions on whether or not it's a good idea.
Tiles will have default colours (as seen above), but will be changeable (individually, or all together. We'll get to that in a sec). As for background, I agree with Microsoft in the sense that adding your own images could ruin the Metro feel as well as cause text visibility issues. I think if you use custom images, there should be a black, transparent overlay to darken it enough for text and tiles to be visible over it, but not enough to ruin the image (like the artist image in the music player).
Also, since the colours will be changeable as a group, I think it should match Windows 8 in the sense that the background (should you choose to use it), menu, and some tiles should match the theme. So as you can see, there is a blue background, blue letters for the Alphabetical Search, and the History shows different shades of blue (more on that later).
A New Beginning! The Start Page
While familiar, a lot has changed with the Start Page from WP7. There has been a lot of Windows 8 integration (obviously). A lot of the features and ideas have been transferred over, such as the semantic zoom, icons/tiles/colours, etc.
Tile colours (or lack thereof) have been one of the major complaints among WP users and haters. This is another area in which I'd have to partially agree with Microsoft's decision. It wouldn't be the best idea to make your tiles a bright, light yellow so you couldn't see your apps... I do believe that they could give more colour choice however. A larger choosing with limitations on brightness/darkness. I haven't thought up the interface for the tile colour chooser, but it wouldn't be too complicated. Something with basic colour options, and maybe an "advanced" button to allow more detailed choices.
As this is a basic concept, there isn't every imaginable feature shown, but I'd love to hear some of the ideas you'd like to see (or see removed) in the Start Page.
No Grids Here! The App List
First and foremost, don't mind the missing apps, or apps that don't exist for WP yet - I'm STILL WAITING VERGE! - I was too lazy to make apps for the Phone or Games or whatnot. I used the exact apps from the W8 Consumer Preview I'm using now so there was only so much I could do. Speaking of using the CP apps, I don't know how they would look/work. My concept was mainly for the home pages, not so much the internals. With enough positive feedback, I'd be willing to make a few app concepts. Anyway, the basic look and functionality would probably be somewhat like the "Snapped" view of most CP apps.
As can be seen in the image above, the inclusion of folders in the App List have been implemented. Pressing the folder would show a simple drop down that would push lower apps down a bit. This way, it wouldn't get in the way of any other apps. Folders will be able to hold up to, let's say, 9 apps? This way, when it is pinned to the Start Page, you always have a view of the apps in the folder.
Make History with WP8! The Notification History
If you haven't already read A Game of Privacy's post, read it now. It's a good read, and as I said, it's where most of the ideas for my concept came from, so he deserves credit for it. The link is at the head of this post.
First thing I'll go over is the colour scheme. His method was this:
A ‘hot' color is used to convey the most urgent, critical piece of information. A ‘warm' color is used to convey the less important piece of information while a ‘cold' color is used to convey the least important piece of information.
A few commenters, however, didn't like the way it was implemented. In a way I agree, so I decided to keep the concept, but use saturation instead. The brightest colour, that matches the theme, will be used for new/critical information, a less saturated colour, still in the same colour family though, will be used for information older than 10 minutes (or whatever you set it to in the settings), and the least saturated colour will be used for notifications older than 24 hours (which is, once again, adjustable to your preferences).
As most if his post explains some of the other features, excuse the lack of images in the shot above. Just take his concept and apply my style to it. I tried to keep the layout pretty much the same for all the images... Let's just say there were a lot of Photoshop layers. Anyway, I'd like to hear some of the ideas that could be implemented with this feature (different prioritization methods, removal of auto-history page feature, etc).
A Few Closing Words...
Yea, after that novel you just read, I feel like it's time to wrap this up. It's late, and I have to be up early...
Back on topic, this is clearly just a concept, and I realize that most (hell, even any) of these ideas likely won't make it into WP8. It would probably be too big of a jump for Microsoft to make (although it's not like they haven't been down that road before). I just figured I'd put my opinion out there, and see whether people agree with it or not. Keep in mind, I'm no programmer or developer, and I don't work for Microsoft (although that would be awesome). I'm just your average joe with some decent Photoshop skills.
Feedback is very important here, so put out ideas, discuss, keep it clean, and as I said earlier, if enough people ask, I might make some more concepts, apps, designs, etc.