Aha! There was the pattern I was looking for.
There's probably still more to it, but I think through a couple thought exercises I've figured out what makes iOS 10's lockscreen my favorite new feature of the OS - It's continued to add new things to the lockscreen, all while making common actions easier and quicker through the use of new tech & UI.
Checking notifications is as easy as picking up your phone from the desk or pulling it from your pocket. See something there that you'd like to interact with? Just 3D-Touch into a rich interaction and deal with it there, or lay your thumb onto the home button and head to the homescreen instead. Looking for some hand-picked widget information, to change some settings, or to snap a quick picture? Those are all just a swipe away too.
This is the kind of simplification that I love to notice from Apple. They took the lockscreen they'd been working with since iOS 7 - which was sorely in need of a refresh - and re-thought it in a way that combined the previous implementation with the new raise-to-wake & 3D-Touch technologies.
I'm no expert, but I think it's a pretty cool bundle of UI that comes with iOS 10. A lot of people will probably struggle to re-map their muscle memory like I did in the first few weeks, but once you're used to the change it's a nice improvement.
Simpler, quicker, and all utilizing the iPhone's newest features. Wait till fall or jump on a beta release to try it out.
I'll be here waiting.