Charms for Win9 [Concept]

Hello, here is something that I've been working on to combine some different features that people want (namely notifications) with the charms that Windows 8.1 already offers.

The charms already offer a quick way for people to get to information that they want to access in every app. For instance, the settings button is always available in the same exact space regardless of the app. This is a brilliant idea because it is very unified. Another example is the search charm. Here are a couple changes in the concept images that I have made that unify and improve a couple existing features while also adding new ones.

The New Charms bar:

I've kept the charms the exact same as before hand except I have changed the search charm to a Cortana icon (which will grow and shrink to indicate that she is listening) and I have also added the time and a new notifications charm.


This new notifications are organized according to app type. Upon clicking on one of the apps (the mail for instance) you can tap an email and do different things with it without even opening an app.

Cortana: the command charm (search):

Probably the biggest addition to charms, Cortana will help you get through your day. All you need to do to get her attention is simply open the charms bar and speak her name.

As far a searching goes the new search results should yield the results from the app that you are currently in (not the search hero that yield anything and everything) and then yield search results from different sources (as below). I found that the search charm in the original Windows 8 was much more useful because I always knew where the search button was located.

Other opportunities for Cortana:


Skype integration (for translation)

(By the way, what do you think of this Skype interface and logo?? I think it's much more metro than the current.)


The settings charm will be upgraded only a little bit. Perhaps it could include this scrollable menu idea below which would make it easier for you to click around the different settings options. It's probably not as useful in the start screen, but it may be more useful in an app.

Time and Date:

The last new charm I think should be added is a simple time and date charm. Upon clicking it you get an enlarged display of the time as well as a calendar and connection/battery reading. I think that this would be much more useful and interactive compared to the floating time island in Win 8.1.

Share and Devices:

I love the idea of share and devices, but I cannot think of any upgrades to be made to them. Perhaps for the devices there could be a way to quickly save a document that you're working on to a flash drive that's currently plugged in. Any other ideas?

Charms for WP:

This is just a quick mock up that I made for charms on WP. The buttons appear to be a bit small in this design, but their use would still be there. Would there still be a need for the devices charm? Should it be changed to a "phone" charm or something like that?

Ultimately, I find the charms to be incredibly useful and a nice touch in Windows and I think that it should be extended across the whole Windows family. How useful do you guys find the charms? Are there any complaints that you have for them or any uses that people may not know about? What other ideas or complements do you have? Lastly, should legacy software be able to integrate into the charms? Please comment below.