WP8 charms/notification centre [concept]


So I was thinking about how Microsoft has been saying they want to unify WP8 and W8 and give a more consistent user experience across the two platforms, and it got me thinking: "well what if WP8 also had Charms?" they'd have to be different since you still can't do the same things on each platform, so I thought about what might be useful to have instead.

For a while I've had the idea that you could activate the charms bar by performing [Windows button + edge swipe], so that any accidental invocation will be minimised. I also think it'd be a neat tie-in to the fact that the Windows key is the middle of the Charms bar in Win8 and it'd be very similar if you brought up the charms bar in landscape on WP8. I made a GIF to demonstrate how the charms bar would work just in standard portrait, but I'm having trouble embedding it into the post. I'll throw it in the comments section maybe?

I figured I'd try to incorporate the idea that future devices won't need to have dedicated capacitive buttons for Back and Search, as per some rumours, so I included in my WP8 Charms bar:

  • Back button - it's still important so it has to be somewhere. I made a mistake in the GIF. The back button is supposed to work exactly as it does in the official WP OS so pressing the button would switch you to the previously opened app. The charms are supposed to remain open until you press the windows button+edge gesture again.
  • Multitasking button - since the back button isn't capacitive, I think it'd make more sense to have a dedicated on screen button for multitasking. The charm shows how many apps are open, but otherwise works exactly the same as currently. They should add that swiping out to end task gesture though, (like Apple has in iOS6).
  • Notification Centre - everybody seems to want one, and we're pretty sure Microsoft will incorporate one. This is the only specific charm I really made a concept for. It's got a counter on the bar and it'd have notifications for everything you get in toasts, except you can still read it if you missed the toast. Notifications are sorted by date and category, and pressing on the sender's name will open up the app.

    For the messaging app I added a "quick reply" button, which makes sense because texts are usually very short, so you can read the whole message and write a whole one really fast. Pressing the button should bring up a keyboard and chat dialogue within the notification centre until the reply is sent. For Facebook and Mail, I added "mark as read" buttons, so you can reset the counter without entering the app if you know it's not important. Icons are illustrative of the purpose only, btw. I don't do design very often.

    I forgot to add the time/date for each notification. I'm probably missing other stuff too; I don't really know what else notification centres need, having never used one before.
  • Cortana - do you like the halo x search icon? ;) Ideally this should cover the digital assistant aspect as well as Bing and universal search. You could still keep the voice control shortcut of press+hold the Windows capacitive button though. It would have been cool to make concept pics of this, but I don't have the time or very well fleshed out ideas.
  • Quick settings - WiFi, Mobile data, Bluetooth GPS, Flight mode, vibrate/ring/silent, brightness, Ring/Music volume, battery saver, rotation lock, (maybe contextual settings?). You know, all the common stuff.

Fun fact, the phone and screenshots in the images actually is my exact phone (plus a bit of photoshopping). I couldn't find any templates so I had to take the picture myself. And that also explains why the phone is an HTC 8X instead of the much more common/popular Lumia 920, 1020 etc.