In Windows 8, MoSh was a new shell built for immersive experiences. Partnering with 2 other designers, we set out to design a new Windows 8 Settings system surface to include system and user information that is crucial to the user and provides useful at-a-glance information.
Although this created two places that users can access settings in Windows 8 (Modern PC Settings and the legacy Desktop Control Panel), the long term vision was to design a modern settings surface and eventually merge the legacy Control Panel settings and have one place for all settings.
Windows 7 view of the Desktop Control Panel
Before the release of Windows 8, this was the primary Settings related management surface in the operating system. Our goal for the System Settings application was to create a new full screen touch-based immersive settings experience where the user can manage their settings without having to leave the Modern Shell.
System Settings Application brainstorming
Important to the framing of a feature is the capturing of ideas and concepts using brainstorms, then evolving into affinity diagraming and the prioritization of results.
Win 8 – emerging system and app patterns
Early planning and vision for Windows 8 included a Modern app and system framework discovery phase, where a set of patterns began to emerge.
PC Settings – early iteration
Early Settings app design included left hand navigation, a horizontal panning experience and settings pages that were designed to be a modular tile like elements.
PC Settings – later iteration (grid view)
As the design began to evolve, vertical scrolling became a more intuitive touch input mode along with a two column layout that aligned with the direction of our partner apps.
Windows 8 PC Settings
Current view of the Windows 8 PC Settings app