Home > Computers and Internet > Bounce past the lock screen

Bounce past the lock screen

A few months back a coworker of mine got a Windows Phone 7 and excitedly shared with us some of its intuitiveness that its user experience had (I assume part of his excitedness came from the fact he had an iPhone before that and was pleasantly surprised that there was an even easier device to use). He talked about the lock screen and how the first time you look at it, you notice that it looks nice but there are no instructions or hints on it about how to unlock the screen. This leaves the user with really only one option, tap the screen and see what happens. When you tap the lock screen it bounces up a little bit and then settles back down. This is a major visual indication to swipe the screen up, which is how one unlocks the screen. The device is showing you what to do, and letting you know that it’s now your turn to try. So now, every other time you use a Windows Phone you know how to unlock it and the screen can remain beautiful without any chrome/instructions interfering with the experience.

Windows Phone 7 wasn’t the first device with this behavior. My wife has a Zune HD and it behaves in the same way too. This isn’t surprising given that most of the Zune team got pulled over to work on Windows Phone. So I know she was familiar with this concept when I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview a few nights ago.

The day after I installed Windows 8 on our laptop (which might not live long enough to Windows 8 RTM) I got a call from my wife at work; “Umm, how do I get to my account?” What she was really trying to say was “How do I unlock the lock screen?” I told her to click anywhere on the screen with the mouse and swipe up. It worked and we ended the phone conversation.

Later I asked her if the lock screen on the laptop had bounced when she first tried to unlock it. She said yes, but thought that it was trying to show some bar, had trouble showing the bar, and so it gave up and slid back down again. But once she called and I told her to swipe up she felt really dumb because she thought “Oh, just like my Zune.”

Now when I look at the different experiences closer I do notice that the Windows 8 lock screen doesn’t behave exactly the same; when it’s coming back down it settles gently but quicker. On a Windows Phone there’s a little bit of a bounce at the end right before it settles. I don’t know if that makes a difference in discovering what to do, but it might. Either way it was interesting to see how the same visual clues can be difficult for some to pick up on, just because the device demonstrating it is different than the one they’re used to. So, to sign into your Windows 8 user account swipe the lock screen up and you’ll see the list of the computers users and pick the one you want to sign in to.

[Update] I learned that it is also possible to unlock the lock screen by pressing the esc key.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: