Huge Phone Menus

The Windows Phone menus seem to be wasting precious screen real estate.  The Foursquare app has pushed me over the edge, and now it’s time to look for solid proof.

We’ll be comparing the Yelp, Foursquare, and Netflix mobile apps on Android and Windows Phone.

Disclaimer: the pictures are painfully fuzzed and the fault is mine.  Next time I’ll bring the safari cam.


Android (L) Windows Phone (R)

The title area is certainly smaller on the Android, but this looks like a design issue specific to the Yelp app and not a platform standard.  So, not great support for my claim that Windows Phone menus are unnecessarily large.  Maybe in the restaurants screen.

Android (L) Windows Phone (R)

This is closer.  Android has incorporated an input box, buttons, and a label into the same top area.  We see the standard application menu at the bottom on the right.  Even so, the Windows Phone version looks nicer.  Hmm.


Android (L) Windows Phone (R)

Look how much space is wasted on the Windows Phone menu!  However, it’s still prettier and has more information because of the grid layout versus the list used on the left.  Hmm #2.


Android (L) Windows Phone (L)

Ack!  The menus in the Netflix queue screen look the same size.  Unrelated, but I’m not sure whether I like the titles wrapping or not.  Final showdown: Netflix home screen.

Android (L) Windows Phone (R)

I don’t know what to tell you, dear readers.  The menu navigation is different, but they are taking up nearly the same amount of space.

I’m going to keep an eye out for better comparisons, but for now I’ll concede that Windows Phone is not wasting more of my precious mobile screen real estate than Android.

Is perceived wasted space equivalent to actual wasted space?  When it comes to user experience, different designs can feel roomy or cramped while taking up the same physical space.  Pretty cool.

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One Response to Huge Phone Menus

  1. D says:

    Design of the user interface is always a tradeoff between new users and experienced users.
    New users can be easily overwhelmed by the information, choices, etc. They need rewarded with success right away, else they get frustrated. Usually limit everything to five or less – five options, five tasks, etc.
    Users with experience know what they want, and want everything on the first display.
    Some of the best designs let you switch from basic to advanced. Some let you customize. Good ideas for experienced users.

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