Most of us have known the user interface (UI) that is used in current mainstream tablets and smartphones. iOS with its springboard, Android with its home screen and widgets, Blackberry QNX OS (now only featured in Blackberry Playbook) with its card-metaphor interface (which shared a similar concept with TouchPad WebOS), and soon Windows 8 with its Metro-tiles interface. Some designers out there also have their own opinion, concept and visualization of their tablet OS UI. Some of them are posted online and I would like to share some of these interesting ideas and designs in this post. These designs probably will never materialize in actual consumer product but these might be a source of inspiration for you who are interested in building tablet apps.
1.MeeGo for tablet concept (Source link here)
Jozef Kocur ideas of MeeGo OS running in a tablet is featured in My Nokia Blog (Jozef is a high school student due to graduate in 2012 from Slovakia, but temporarily living in the US. Here is his blog link). He combined elements from MeeGo Harmattan, Symbian (Anna) and Metro UI concept in his mock up. He described that the home screen is made of the Dock that shows all opened/pined applications and the SmartView (Smart Cards). There’s also the App menu’s button in the left corner and Home Screen Settings’ button in the right corner. He added that Smart View is not just about switching between apps but Smart Cards will let you interact with a part of application. For instance, we can switch to a particular window in a web browser, change song, see notifications, etc. Here are how the home screens look like:
Jozef also show the application launcher. He claimed that most of the users use regularly only about 6-10 applications. So, the user only need to pin their favorite apps to the Home Screen and those pinned apps would be always showed in the first positions, even if they are not running.
2. Conceptual MeeGo Tablet UI Pictures (Source link here)
More concepts from Josef Kocur are featured again. This time, he imagines another UI for MeeGo tablet. In this design, he still combine Metro-tiles concept but he use less component from Symbian Anna (and Belle). I think this is more straight-forward and simpler lay out than previous design. Here are his mock ups:
3. Windows Phone Tablet (Source link here)
Another UI mock ups from Jozef. This time is about Windows Phone in tablet. He takes inspiration from current panoramic interface in Windows Phone that he thought already suitable to be implemented in larger screen. This designs are not similar with what Microsoft had showed us in tablet running upcoming Windows 8 but these mock ups don’t look so bad either.
4. Nokia Windows Phone 7 concept designs with Symbian Anna grid Icons (Source link here)
Tommi Incrosnatu of sciant.net from Finland ideas about how Windows Phone 7 look in Nokia smartphone. Off course we know exactly these are not what we see from Nokia Lumia but I think his ideas are beautiful and interesting. I’m pretty sure Microsoft won’t let any Windows Phone manufacturers to customize the UI very much (unlike Android OS) but it’s still interesting how this designer visualize the implementation of Windows Phone UI combined with some components from Symbian. So yeah, it’s totally not pure Metro UI as we see in the actual Windows Phone smartphone but as I said earlier that this concepts really worth to get some attention. Maybe you can dress up Android to look like one of this, perhaps.
5. Ubuntu Tablet Design (Source link here)
A deviantart user, spiceofdesign, showed his visualization of tablet running Ubuntu OS. In my opinion, these designs are not as attractive as other previous designs but some will appreciate the simplicity of these clean-looking, minimalistic and futuristic UI designs.
The designer also gives some explanation about his design:
“The first screen is just an unlock screen, nothing too fancy there, with a numeric password unlock.
The second screen is the home hub. The hub has many different views, the icons to switch between them shown at the bottom (home, applications, search, running applications (which disappears if no applications are open), documents, photos, music, videos, preferences). There could be more views added, such as downloads or social views. At the top is the title and indicators bar, and in the middle running applications (I know I have repeated the same application three times, but I was being lazy here).
The third view is a standard application view.”
Those are some of the interesting smartphone and tablets UI concepts that I’ve found in the internet. If you are interested to build these kinds of mock ups or you want to build mock ups for mobile application, you can check out some PSD files for wire framing in this site. You can also use online wire framing tools, such as MockFlow. Other tools for designer are discussed in this link. As usual, if you have comments, more info or other ideas, you are invited to leave comments in the comments section.