* Posts by brother451

4 posts • joined 31 May 2013

Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

brother451

Sea Sickness Lair

AKA the Sea Sickness Lair. Don't they know that this design will result in a maximum of sway at the top deck? Talk about a barfmachine.

Former Microsoft Windows chief: I was right to kill the Start button

brother451

I get what you're saying here. Similar to Android you don't have to close an app. That seems fair at first blush, however...

The thing is, on Android this is true for ALL apps. On Windows 8 there is a very confusing dichotomy that is put forth. In one area, you are supposed to close apps via a close button, and in the other you aren't supposed to close them, however there is a way to close them, it's just not made obvious.

So users search the web for "how to close apps on windows 8" and find out they can. This sends the mixed message that you are supposed to close apps, since they have allowed you to do so. You just don't do it using a little X icon the way you do everywhere else, and it's not explained anywhere that you don't need to.

If they intended for Metro to co-exist with the desktop experience, they need to create a solid set of common controls that work across the environments. Not doing this creates a functional mess that doesn't rely on muscle memory the way it should.

Like I said earlier. It's a complete and total UI disaster designed by amateurs. I'm not being mean here, just being honest. The first time I saw it I thought to myself "looks like they outsourced the UI to an agency."

The whole thing smacks of a team lead that just had no experience in this area. To the layman you might say it's subjective and hem and haw. But after doing this work for as long as I have, I look at it the same way that an architect would look at a building where the 1st floor is made of styrofoam and the 2nd is made of lead. You simply don't do things like that.

brother451

Re: brother451

That's unfortunate that you've had that experience. There are a lot of would be "experts" who aren't these days.

"Don't see why you need an on screen start button when there is one on your keyboard."

A good reason you would need it is that most users would not know to press the windows button to open the start menu. Very few users of Windows 7 know that you can press that button to make the start menu appear. I have witnessed this myself during user testing of apps in Windows environments. They tend to opt for using the on-screen menu as that is what they are looking at.

A great UI will give users visual cues that help them understand what to do or that functionality exists in a certain area. In Windows 7 for example, there is a windows icon on the task bar that opens the start menu. That icon matches the icon on my keyboard. That visual cue let's users know that the two items are related. Even so, many users still don't discover that nuance.

Now fast forward to Windows 8. There is no visual cue at all. No cue that there is a charms bar, no cue that there is a start menu, no cue that you swipe downwards on metro apps to close them. In short, if you don't have a manual for this OS, or you are a geek that likes to read blogs, you're not going to be doing much of anything on Windows 8 with any level of ease.

This is why the OS flopped. This is why they are putting back the start button. I don't think they'd do that, and make such an embarrassing admission, if it wasn't important.

brother451
Thumb Down

Speaking as a user interface designer who has worked over the last 20 years on software and web interfaces; I can safely say this guy was right to be let go.

He may have been correct in removing the Start button; however, he was completely wrong not to replace it with a visual, on screen method for reaching the start screen. Likewise he was insanely misguided and showed incredible levels of incompetence in his field to release an interface where simple things like closing apps also have no visual indicators.

Knowing full well that users may not always be on a Windows tablet that has a Start button, he should have planned to have one shown on the UI when the user was not operating a keyboardless environment. He did not remove the start button from the tablet. It is there when you use a Windows RT device and in close visual proximity to the screen.

The Window key on a keyboard is not anywhere near the screen. It's a cop out to say that users should know to press it to reach the start screen.

Windows 8 is a complete and total UI and best practices disaster.

(clipped slightly by moderator)

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