Currently the notifications page on Windows Phone 7 is a little disjointed. To simply get to it, you need to click on your “Me” tile from either your start screen or “People” hub and then swipe to the side to view it. It must then update itself as it doesn’t automatically do so. Doesn’t sound so “in and out” does it?
The problem with this current system is not only does it not update itself but it isn’t exactly a breeze to access either. The fact that it is also only limited to your social networks is also kind of a let down.
Because of this I decided to look around at what other competitors were doing to answer this problem and I settled upon Nokia’s Meego solution as the most appropriate for WP7. In the latest WP7.5 (Mango) build, you can swipe to the right from the start screen to access a vertical menu of all your installed applications but swiping to the left does nothing. With my solution, this would change. First of all, let me show you Nokia’s Meego notification page (credit for this video goes to MichaelxHell)
If you bothered to watch the above link, you would have seen that swiping to either the left or the right (depending on where you were before hand) brings you to the notification page. This page includes “feeds” from your social networking sites. There’s no reason why a similar solution could not also be included in WP7 (especially considering Nokia’s and Microsoft’s new found love).
Beginning on the “Start screen”, you can still swipe to the right to access your application menu but now swiping to the left brings up the new notification page. This page not only shows your Facebook, Twitter, Live and LinkedIn notifications but also all of your most recent Messenger (SMS, Facebook Chat and Live Messenger) notifications as well as emails and missed calls. The user can filter what notifications they wish to receive on this page by clicking on “all notifications” and ticking all the desired sources (similar to the “what’s new” news feed in the “People” hub).
The user may also choose to display a notification count on the Start Page. I’m not sure how this would fit in with the existing design but either way I came up with two ideas. One idea is to include a large icon above the top left tile or a smaller, digit only counter underneath the arrow on the right. This mini-counter would fade away for the search button to take its place on the app menu page. The second idea would be completely new to the WP7 OS. A counter could be included in the battery and reception status bar at the top of the phone which would only be viewable when pressing this region (same as pressing it to bring up the battery life icon) and/or a counter on the multitasking page.
To help visualise these ideas I have included some quick mock-ups (sorry for the crudeness in their appearance) and a simple video walk through.
Given some time, I may work on some far more attractive versions to better convey the idea.
Edit: Many commenters on the WMPoweruser website suggested that quick access to settings such as WiFi and brightness would also be useful. I’ll try and include this idea in my further mockups.