Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 20th Jan 2013 23:42 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Ever since I bought my HTC HD7 way back in October 2010, I have been hooked on Windows Phone. Without even being able to test-drive the new operating system (The Netherlands didn't get Windows Phone 7 until a year later), I imported the HD7 from the US - the minimalist, stark, clean, flat, and textual interface spoke to me, and I just knew I would like it. And like it, I did.
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False Dichotomy
by andrewclunn on Mon 21st Jan 2013 14:28 UTC
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Interfaces don't follow some line along a continuum form digital to analogue. They are a bunch of individual interface decisions. How do you make a user identify which window they have selected? Giving it a shadow to show that it's "in front" is just a particular design approach. Sliders, vs up and down arrows, vs a nob you turn, just different approaches to the same task. And guess what, I'm sure the 'best' approach from a marketing perspective might not be the best approach from a usability perspective. Also different hardware interfaces (such as a small touch screen or a mouse and pointer) might lend themselves to different software interfaces.

That this article assumes there's any form of "design philosophy" is sort of laughable. Consistent user interface elements are wonderful because then you don't have to learn how to do ever single task over again for each application. No such consistency exists for iOS or Android. And the relative consistency on WIndows phones is perhaps just the result of their being so few apps. This isn't like desktop environments where there's a uniform established approach to handling applications under the OS, where each one exists in a window (from a UI perspective) that are all controlled the same way. This is dirty, do it your own way, mobile app land. And there they haven't bothered to reserve any space for things like a uniform close button for applications, largely because they don't have the space, even though every single application needs to be able to close. So they hide shit in the menus, or they put it on the screen, or they just don't close apps when you leave them and for you to manually stop them to free up memory in a separate application manager.

There's no 'design philosophy.' The only one coming even close to this is Microsoft, who's at least trying to force some standardized UI elements, but we'll see if that lasts when they actually (if they actually) get some applications on their platform.

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