The built-in Calendar app in Windows Phone 8.1 offers four views: day, week, month, and year.
If you want to see quickly what appointments are coming up over the next few days, the month
and year views offer too wide a perspective — you can see the days on which you have appointments, but
not what those appointments are.
There's just not enough space to show legible text for each appointment.
The day view suffers from the opposite problem — it zooms in so far that you can easily miss
things. Take this example.
Pop quiz: do I have any appointments on that day? As it happens, I do — I've got one at 4:30pm, but you can't
see it because it's off the screen.
The day view doesn't quite fit a whole working day onto the screen,
and it gets worse if you have early morning or evening appointments.
You just can't tell at a glance whether you've got any appointments on the day in question. You need
to scroll up and down through the whole day to make sure you've not missed anything. The Agenda view avoids this problem by putting
appointments right next to each other, no matter how much time elapses between them. That way, you
know there aren't any early or late appointments hiding out of sight.
The Agenda view also offers an 'infinite' scroll that lets you look further ahead — you can scan
your next few days or weeks of appointments just by scrolling. There's no need for fiddly
navigation between days.
The week view — the new Windows Phone 8.1 feature that has displaced the old Agenda view — is slightly
better than the day view, but in some cases, it is still less useful than the Agenda view.
This view's strength is also its weakness: it tries to show a bit too much. It's great to be able
to see your whole week at once, and the overlaid weather forecast is a neat touch. But the problem
is that this view does not cope well with busy days — I have a lot of appointments on the Wednesday
of that week, and it has only managed to show a fraction of them.
You can tap the day in question to expand it.
This helps, but only a little — it has only made space for one more appointment. You can scroll
through the appointments, but it's a bit fiddly, particularly on a small phone. It is also more
likely to truncate information than the old Agenda view — because the time appears side by side
with the details, there's less space for the appointment name, duration and location. (This view
also leaves out the Agenda view's indicator that shows whether you want to mark the time for
the appointment as Busy, Out Of Office, etc.)
Here's the same day shown in the Agenda View app for Windows Phone 8.1:
Since this app has the whole screen available, it can show more appointments, while leaving
space to show longer subjects and locations without truncation. And the larger space makes
this less fiddly to navigate — the whole screen is scrollable, and the individual appointments
are easier to aim for if you want to tap one to open it.
The new week view is a great addition to Windows Phone's built-in calendar app, but it
cannot fully replace the Agenda view. So that's why we've made the Agenda