I present to you the new start screen that will soon grace your Windows Phone devices:
|Cluttered. Generic. Ugly|
The move towards a symmetrical design and introduction of tiny live tiles has resulted in Windows Phone 8 now looking like a cluttered mess resembling the typical grid layout employed by many bog standard mobile OSes, just with live tiles instead of icons. Where is the neutral space? It actually looks like a poor imitation, a third party launcher made by a third party developer who was attempting to mimic the original Windows Phone 7 homescreen, but has somehow forgotten the core Metro principal that made Windows Phone 7 so aesthetically pleasing, elegant and classy to see and use.
I appreciate the ability to resize tiles (it's an option after all, one that I would choose not to use). But to those who weren't planning on resizing tiles (like me), well the new symmetrical home screen will actually shows less medium size tiles compared to Windows Phone 7 (six versus eight). Think about that. The whole point about the original Windows Phone homescreen and live tiles was about information at a glance. Now tell me how you can glance at that cluttered mess up there with all those stupid tiny tiles? It is amazing how, with one fell swoop, Microsoft has managed to turn Windows Phone from a beautiful OS to an ugly one. I know small tiles will be optional, but it won't be for us who wanted eight medium tiles to show at any one time.
|Information at a glance|
You know, I can deal with old devices being left behind. It is the violation of Metro UI that I can't stand. Microsoft has made a big deal about core aesthetic values of Metro UI, and and how important the whole 'less is more' concept is. It seems that with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft developers and designers are stamping on that very belief and philosophy. In fact, the one thing that scares me more about the future of Windows Phone, is that if something as sacred as the Windows Phone 7 start screen is considered expendable by their creators, so are the rest of Metro! I can already see the reintroduction of scroll bars and even Apple'esque skins (oh, the horrors!) in future iterations.
I hope the people who has whinged about the start screen on Windows Phone 7 are happy. You have just made Windows Phone 8 look like yet another generic, ugly and cluttered mobile OS. Urgh. I live in hope that the final version of Windows Phone 8 will have options to revert to the old style asymmetrical off-center start screen - I really want that negative space back dammit!
When will you stop breaking my heart, Microsoft?