HTC Explains the Design Philosophy Behind Sense 5

Drew Bamford, of HTC:

During our research, a few consistent patterns emerged:

  • Most people don’t differentiate between apps and widgets.

  • Widgets aren’t widely used – weather, clock and music are the most used and after that, fewer than 10% of customers use any other widgets.

  • Most of you don’t modify your home screens much. In fact, after the first month of use, approximately 80% of you don’t change your home screens any more.

There are those who insist upon the porting of widgets to iOS, but I’ve never understood their need on the product. It isn’t any more efficient to view email subject lines in a widget, only to have to open the email app to read the whole message.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think HTC’s approach to the home screen is very logical, much like Windows Phone’s live tiles. When you unlock your phone, you’ll be able to see your friend’s recent Facebook posts, and hot news being shared on Twitter. That makes sense (sorry) to me.

On the other hand, Apple doesn’t necessarily need to offer any of these things to be successful. Just because Apple doesn’t redesign its operating system every eighteen months, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t innovating. Maybe — just maybe — many of the metaphors that Apple began using in the very first iterations of iOS are still valid.