Windows 8 shocker

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett
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If true it's a good step, but Microsoft has other UI problems
In reply to malch, May 8, 2013

As malch says, it was entirely predictable and was predicted.  As Tim Cook of Apple said (before the W8 launch) in the FT article malch cited:

"Windows 8 would be like combining a toaster and a fridge – something that, while technically possible, was probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Win 8 has some good stuff, and if users can banish Metro entirely from a desktop or laptop if they choose then I'd definitely go for it over W7.

But MS has taken a number of poor steps in UI recently.  The ribbon interface, though visually pretty-pretty, is not well thought out.  The UI changes completely as you change the size of the window.  Icons change or disappear.  A function that was on a ribbon suddenly disappears if the window is made a weeny bit smaller.  Placing functions on different tabs is often illogical.  What I hear is that users find it harder to locate functions than with menus, which don't seemingly randomly change in appearance.

In several applications (Office 2013, Visual Studio...), Microsoft has idiotically gone over to USING ALL CAPS IN THE UI.  NOW WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT WHEN EVERY UI EXPERT ON THE PLANET WOULD TELL THEM THAT IT'S A VERY BAD IDEA AND REDUCES READABILITY?

Metro uses large, blobby icons in primary colours.  Hey, we used to do that in the 1980s because we had low-res 16 colour displays and couldn't do any better, not because anyone thought it was a good idea.  Not all retro is good.

MS used to have a large team of world-respected UI experts - have they fired them all, or do we have opinionated people in the design teams that think they know better?

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Simon

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