One of the biggest discussions I started getting into when Windows Phone development was announced to the world was sparked with this single question I posed to our internal Windows Phone developer teams:
What is the use case for when you would want to use a Pano versus Pivot application layout?
I asked this in the context of an application for Yelp that I was writing. Information was similar but not identical. It was only similar in the sense that the data was all about user reviews and venues. In my eyes I saw this like the fact that games are similar in that they are games, but their individual information (the play) is different.
I guess I was expecting a definitive or clear view on when to use either given my use case I presented. I laughed as I collected numerous various viewpoints from all areas of the dev platform folks. It was clear there was no clarity for me. I actually have saved the most concise definition the discussion generated and had been wanting to blog about it for a while.
Today, Jaime released a bunch of videos from a ‘design days’ event that was held in Redmond for Windows Phone developers. They are all great, but there was one that caught my eye: Windows Phone Design Days – Pivot and Pano. In this video a few UX researchers walk through some of the key tenets of each control. Here’s some of my mental notes:
- Application view manager
- Filter same data on different views (the “inbox” is a great example of this)
- Optimized for current screen size
- Filter of data doesn’t have to be same view (agenda/day)
- Related content is ok to pivot on as long as related content is truly related
- Horizontal broad canvas, not confined to current screen size
- A ‘top layer’ view into underlying experiences/tasks
- Exploratory in nature
- Don’t use if you need an application bar
- Don’t have a pano that takes the user to a pivot control constantly
- Leverage things inherently interesting (use ‘about me’ type information)
- Never place a pano *in* a pivot
There was some good information in this video (like don’t use pivot/pano for wizard-based UI) and one of the better descriptions/examples of answering my root question. The other videos are great and I encourage you to take a look at them.
I’d encourage you to take a look at all of these videos to get a good sense on some of the user experience research done for Windows Phone developers and how you can learn to target a great experience in your app/game.