A smarter phone
Microsoft’s revamping of their mobile platform interface is a significant stomp into the land of usable interface that Apple has ruled since the launch of the iPhone.
Zune is an excellent platform that was hindered by Apple’s dominance. For us Apple obsessed fools that felt fantastic but the truth of the matter is that the design and interface of Zune was insightful and effective and screamed to be transformed into a mobile platform.
But what I find most engaging about the interface is the brand. Apple has defined “smart phone” and Google and Palm have supported that style by creating similar interfaces (actually it was Nokia who created the icon grid that the iPhone uses).
Microsoft has done something incredibly smart here. They’ve branded the interface experience. What I find insightful about this is they’ve ignored the “lowest-common-denominator” method of user interface design and looked, instead, at what was functionally important to the user.
It’s not icons we want, it’s information, social information.
The interface focuses on how we use our mobile phones while branding the experience as a Microsoft of the future could look.