Windows Phone 7: Fun With Interaction Design

If you haven't heard, Microsoft recently released their latest smartphone OS, Windows Phone 7. The blogs are already saying it's a great OS but is obviously late to the party. Google has a big head start, but Android mostly copies the iPhone as far as interaction design is concerned.

The biggest departure from the iPhone is what Microsoft is calling panoramic navigation. The idea is expanded from the UI of their Zune media players. The affordance, which I thought was ugly at first, is to display cropped text on the page that appears to spill over off the screen. Seeing it in action though, I'm pretty impressed with what some app developers have come up with already.

(Edited 2016: Unfortunately, the screenshots of these apps have been lost to time. Here's a list of the apps I referenced.)

  • Netflix
  • AP News
  • CTA Bus Tracker
  • Zune Music Player

I have to say that after seeing these demos, I'm kind of excited to see what design patterns we interaction designers can come up with for this new platform. Essentially, the UI is designed to get out of the way so you can use it quickly and get on with your life. And Microsoft's ad for this illustrates that point quite aptly (pun totally intentional):