Lack of visual UI navigation clues in Win 8 and possibly WP8?
Part of the reason why I find WP7 so easy to use or should I say so easy to figure out is there are visual cues as to how the user is supposed to navigate the UI. For example, look screen jumping upwards upon tapping the screen gives the user a hint on how to unlock the screen. Similarly, there is the arrow on start screen tapping on which slides the screen to app list. also serves a cue that user can swipe the screen. Likewise, when you press the power button to switch the phone off you get a message telling you to slide down the screen to switch the device off. Also the three dots on bottom of app UI are very helpful. Pressing them reveals what the icons do and often also reveals any additional options there are. When I first got my WP, this is what I used the most to figure out what the icons on bottom meant in most apps as they have text underlining them telling the user of their actions.
Power users don't need most of these cues. But they are handy for someone who doesn't have the necessary knowledge or didn't go through the tutorial. What I don't understand is why there are none in Win 8 and WP8 ( what little of it has been revealed)? The WP7 lock screen jumping thing could very easily have been implemented in Win 8 too. Also something along the lines of IE9 on WP7 could've been done with metro IE in WP8. Even if some users find Win 8n appalling to use with mouse, at least they should have implemented the cues telling them how to proceed. Gestures intended for Win8 RT are so not appropriate for navigation with a mouse.
They have removed the arrow key on start screen in WP8 as well (which i personally don't have problems with). But it would've been better for an average user if they kept that and other visual cues.This is leads and another point I want to make. What if microsoft had kept the possible tile sizes in WP8 to square and rectangle same as in WP7 but let the user customize which tiles they want as squares and which ones in rectangular shape? That would've led to a WP7-esque start screen which I personally find much better looking and more organized than the WP8 one. Now I know users can customize the look the way they want and all in WP8 but so can you in android and most of the times that results in a very cluttered and ugly look. When I see android phones of people around me, the home screens I find are generally much worse looking than the tech nerds'. I wonder if that's going to happen with WP8 too. I hope the default start screen look is at least somewhat like WP7's.