Alleged Windows Phone 8 sketches in color shows a cluttered mess

Windows Phone 8?

Oh dear...

A few days ago we were tipped on a story by blog Insideris who received alleged diagrams of what Windows Phone 8 was suppose to look like in terms of UI layout.

We didn't run the story because we personally thought they were crap, pardon our French. With no source named or vouched for by the originating site, there was no compelling reason to believe they're real. So into the trash the story went.

Now WinSource has done us the favor of taking those sketches and making them "real" by adding color and filling it in with actual material to better visualize what it'd be like The result can be seen above.


We still doubt the authenticity of the original mockups and now that we see what it would like like "in real life" boy are we hoping, nay praying that they are fake. To us this looks way, way too cluttered. Sure, it's the power users dream but for those of us who enjoy simplicity and minimalism, it's nothing but a UI nightmare akin to something we'd get on Android. (At least some of it is terrible, other aspects could be useful...)

So here's hoping to these being fake and at the very least, these can illustrate what a UI should not look like. (If these are real, we'll do our best to eat crow.)

Source: WinSource; Insideris


Reader comments

Alleged Windows Phone 8 sketches in color shows a cluttered mess


My take is if it IS from MS, then it was an early stage prototype as they took suggestions that have made by users and began to experiment ways to work those ideas into the OS.

I dont see why its complicated , they just added app Icons to the task switcher ...
every thing else is basicly the SAME.
aside fromt he FOLDER thing ,

I like it!
 specially the task switcher.. AWSOME!  if they add does options..i just hope FOLDERS is FAKE! cause WP = HUBS not folders .. this int Android or WM... and fodlers are being replaced in W8 .. hoenstly its probably a fake picture just cause of the folders.

Looks like an Apps folder -- a way to group apps in any way you want.  This is something that many people have requested.

Those same people are redundant and deserve to be completely ignored. I have seen so many ridiculous criticisms and "features" that these same people are clamoring for that I always hope that there's a crow that I could feed to THEM! Such miserable apes, why can't they just evolve.??

hope to god!!!!! this this fake render form a very unOriginal person that cant see how windows phone can grow with windows 8 feel . this looks like someone is adding ios and android stuff in to windowsphone but it looks bad beacause its not  ios and android

Did you really look at it carefully. It looks very functional. I think some people are taking an out of hand approach to this. I'd its real, it giving us a faster way on getting things managed

Ok so is the battery icon on the top of the multitasking view the battery life or a toggle for battery saver mode? Reason I ask is because why would they add the redundancy of a battery icon on main system tray, (accessible by touching the top) the one above the app view AND the one represented with the % value at the bottom... Three of the same pieces of info on the same screen? Not metro at all. I say it's a fan rendering. MIGHT be an early prototype, but that is questionable.

The "battery icon" is actually a battery BUTTON. So it does toggle something.
You can tell icons and buttons apart by the circle around them. Buttons have borders, icons don't. The only exception I know of are the buttons next to album art in Zune, that don't have borders but are still buttons.
Read this http://ux.artu.tv/?p=235
And the battery icon at the top of the screen does not show a percentage. So adding the percentage for quick access to a more accurate battery state is totally legit.
I actually like what I see a lot, except of the folders. That really looks kind of cluttered. It may be better to just open the folder in full screen and use back to get out of it.
Anyways you need to look closer. The first screen is not too much different than the current one. There's not really any more clutter to it than right now. I don't really care for history, so as long as I can hide that section all is ok.
The second screen is awesome. Quick toggles for Wifi/Cellular/etc are just ultra useful. Going into Settings each time I want to toggle Cellular Data is just a pain right now. And since I have a little bit of a limited Data allowance each month I really like that it shows how much I've consumed already at the bottom. Right now there's just too much wasted display real estate wasted on nothing but background color.
The third screen is about the different volumes that can be set independently, which is something I'm dearly missing right now. I don't want apps to make weird noise when I open them. But I still want my phone to ring when someone's calling. For now I normally have to go to settings on every app and mute it when I launch it the first time. Being able to instantly change the media volume for all apps is splendid.

The concept of having more stuff and utility within the multitask screen could be really nice. Not a huge fan of the start screen though, I love the way it is right now.

It doesn't look all that bad if you look at each screen separately.  When putting these different screens together it ends up looking messy.
Though I will say that the last screen, with the Folder in it looks messy all by itself.

Hopefully, we'll get a real look at the end of June.  Rumors suck.  I don't even like to test out Beta software since it will most likely change before final release (unless you're Apple or Google in perpetual Beta).  What's the point?  Just wait for the official word or at least someone with some credibility.  I think WPcentral did the right thing originally by ignoring it.

Wow it looks way too messy, especially the multitasking. Folders are on their way out as pointed by Se1fcr3action. Volume bar is uggly and dumb. Who needs acces to all these settings from the volume bar? Just a general volume (and just go to settings to chose the volume of each). And multitasking is way too messy, don't need favorite apps, nor the x button to close (WIn8 gesture to close please) and switches must be hidden (tap the up like for network, battery,... exept that in multitasking view you get the switches also).

The separate volume options would be incredible. 
Also, since this is really just color filled in drawings, it doesn't really represent what might be there to distinguish a folder from everything else. For example, when the folder opens, it may dim or mask the background so the folder pops out more.  Or in the task switcher, it might only fully light up what you are touching and darken everything else.  As someone else said, rumors suck.  we'll find out later this year :(

It kind of reminds me of the Zune HD UI in the first photo. The others look like pieces of other OSs slapped together

oh thank god! I was getting worried there. this looks like total shit. mr. rubino, here's the source, you should update the article to reflect this..

It looks like a shit. Too much complicated, Metro guidelines were violated, it looks like WinMo, even worse.
I don't like any concept from unnamed "designers" but this is a real crap, it shouldn't be on the main page.

The options in the multitasker, as well the possibility to close an app are good ideas, however, in this image, the "3G",... buttons look out of place. Microsoft might give us quick access to them through an app drawer in the multitasker (like a quick access to commonly used settings). The small tiles at the bottom of the multitasker look terrible. I really don't think anybody would want this. I don't think they will differentiate "history" and "pin" but I hope that we will be able to create the same kind of small titles in order to organize our apps. It makes the screen look more balanced and doesn't take up too much space, so the pinned apps list wouldn't necessarily become too long. As for the different volume levels, that is great, but I don't see it being where they are on this picture. I think the ringer volume (why is it called "bell" here???)  will be in the settings and the call volume will be available in the phone app or during calls. The notifications at the top are ridiculous. I don't think they're going to happen, that would defeat the point of having live tiles. I actually like the folder navigation view. I think that if it is made to look like that, it will be slightly smaller, as it takes up too much screen real estate on this image, but otherwise, I think it looks great. I think that's what Microsoft is going to do (at least I hope so). But all of that being said, this is very clearly fan-made.

I'm pretty sure it's fake. It probably was done by the developer of one of these very un-metro apps that use layers too - like the "folders" thing. I agree with the above said anyway, folders are dead. Let them rest in peace with command.com. That's not what you want on your end-user-smartphone. I'm pretty sure though that there are people out there who dream of a taskbar and a start button on WP8. Fortunately, MS has broken new ground with the Metro-UI concept. Layers and oh so many stuff on one screen just doesn't fit.
Knock on wood.

This looks like a mess.....just give me windows 8 on my phone with adjustable tile sizes and everything will be cool .....I SO Wanna scroll right not down

I like the fact u could close an app in the multitask screen thing, i like the favorites, but you need to choose for your self if you would use it, like enable and disable. I don't like the folder, but what do you guys mean with hubs??

Coming back to it: What is "pin" even supposed to mean? "Pinned"? Why use a "quick-app"-bar, if you have a start screen? Why have folders for apps? Oh no, what a load of Droid. If that were to be the successor of style and simplicity, we'd probably need dual-cores to browse the web as well. And I'd be pre-ordering an iPhone.

history and Pin reminds me of my zune hd.  could have been a prototype of WP7.  Not wp8.  i'm sure it wont evolve to cluster fuck like that.

Actually I think it's very probable. It doesn't look cluttered to me. One looks like the folder option which would be heaven sent. The one with the volume profiles looks sort of like a swipe down notification center. The other looks like the multitasking screen with other options. Yeah it could probably be tweaked a bit more but I actually like it. As long as WP doesn't lose what makes it special (simplicity and beauty), I'm all for it.

As long as we have freedom to swipe either direction on the home screen, I'm happy. Make it like the freaking Xbox dashboard. I can't imagine it being that difficult to figure out.

There is a lot of useful functionality in here. 
1. Folders
2. Recent app history
3. Quick access connectivity controls
4. Quick access to battery perctange & Cellular data usage (makes me think it could be real)
5. App categories and headings
6. Closing and locking open apps
Important to remember that most of the time the UI displayed would not look like this and would look like it does now. These are all temporary state screens -- like when you open a folder or jump into the task switcher. The volume controls seems a bit excessive though and I don't understand how you would choose which of the volumes to control.

Fake, they wanted to keep the home screen personal not show you a history of your opened apps!!
And metros supposed to be simple and clean for one thing on the multi task window they don't need to show the battery level in 2 places (plus the normal spot when your out of that window.
Why would you need to sort apps into categories when your have folders??

Some have attributed the slow/low adoption of Windows Phone to the OS being 'complicated' and/or confusing, which I totally disagree with.  However, if this 'render' turns out to be WP8...if some think WP7/7.5 is complicated, then WP8 will be completely over their heads!
From the renders, it is a hot mess!  I want a Nokia Apollo device, but I would definitely 'consider' another OS if this is what Apollo is going look like.    Hopefully, the Apollo reveal will maintain the integrity of the original Metro UI, with added functionality that doesn't detract from the beauty that is Metro.

Some ways i like, some i don't
i like some aspects of it like the different volume settings which are very useful and the icons on the multitasking view, i do like the app ones  icons in that view but they do make it look cluttered, hmm, would be good to find a way to implement most of them though.

I think most of you are crazy this looks awesome and very usable. Most of my current complaints with WP7 are fixed with ideas.
An easy way to kill apps, a bunch of info and shortcuts in the Task Manager. Plus actual proper control over volume.
History tiles would be great, I love the Recent section in the Xbox hub. So this would be very useful on my main screen. Especially for apps that I have recently been using, but those that I dont have pinned.
The folders is well thought out and the same design style. Imagine having a Social folder and there are quick links to your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, etc.
We'll still have hubs, but folders will be great for any subject that doesn't have a hub.

I'd say remove the categories, take out the icons in the fast app switching screen (shortcuts, apps) make the volumes from 3 lengths to one and swipe to go to the different volumes, and significantly shorten the app icons in the folders.

Hi… I drew this draft.(comic sans pic)

I used balsamiq mockups.

I posted it at

1) korea windowsphone internet cafe ‘moasis’
2) windows phone korea facebook page
3) the verge
i live in korea,
That's why i use gmaps in lock screen.(bing map doesn't support korea map. Maybe you can check it right away)

It’s just a fan’s wishlist, and just enjoy it!

anyway as you see, i love Nightwish!

Honestly, I don't find this too horrible. But I understand why would you guys find it horrible too. WP is known for its simplicity, so if this happens, it just defeats one of its more oppressing aspects as am OS.

anyone else notice that the about screen says its an omnia 7 yet it has nokia drive in the misc folder??
I call fan art, and not one who is much of a fan of metro and all its beauty :)

Mr. Rubino, did an android phone owner do something terrible to you in the past?  Did an android phone screw up something in your life?  You like Windows Phone.  Cool.  So do I.  I have owned 3 WP7 phones, with a Titan being my current.  I also own an iPod touch and an android phone (mobile developer, so I carry all three OS's around and develop on them).  I follow all three respective mobile nations websites.  
Only on this site, in your articles and your comments in the podcast, do I see any loathing of a smartphone platform with you and your constant hate of android.  You don't like it.  Cool.  There are adult ways to go about it.  Instead, you sound like a small child complaining about the big boy on campus (which android is, like it or not, with nearly 30x the marketshare of WP7) at every opportunity.  Phil, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Rene represent their platforms a lot better, at least in this regard.  Little man syndrome doesn't look good on anyone.  It looks much worse when it's attached to a phone OS.  I am not trying to troll.  Just offering a little advice.

I used have a Nexus S and an iPhone 3GS before that.
No offense but Mr Rubino is right..
Android is messy. It lacks the "finesse" of WP7.
even iOS looks dated and boring in comparison.

I don't get this. The story is based on a black and white scheme and you think it's too weak to publish it. Then someone throws in some color and you like the story enough in order to publish it. The story didn't change, only the colors.