Windows 8 shocker

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
lemon_juice
Contributing MemberPosts: 755
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Re: problems just like Vista ?
In reply to Sean Nelson, May 12, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

I don't think that's the big cause of Windows 8's problems right now.  I think the big cause is that people who try it on desktop machines can't figure it out because they're not used to the new interface style and because there's no obvious way for them to get to the traditional interface.   Sure, it's possible to set up a desktop system to avoid that problem - but that doesn't happen in retail stores.

You are absolutey right but there's also more to it - the implementation of the new UI is very far from being intuitive on PC's, so even if we assume the new UI has to be learned and that people want to learn it, its implementation doesn't encourage it. Some most glaring examples:

  • hiding essential OS features behind invisible "hot corners" and giving no cues whatsoever to the user where to find them and how to use them
  • hiding commonly used tasks like turning off the computer deep in a place that has nothing to do with power management (turning off a computer is not a "Setting" however you look at it). I've seen people not being able to figure out within 10-15 minutes how to shut down the system - wtf?
  • splitting control power settings between the traditional and new interfaces leaving the user to search for stuff in two different places
  • limiting UI configuration like forcing booting into the tile screen
  • not providing useful apps for the new UI and severely crippling those that are available (as compared to their desktop counterparts)

In my opinion a good UI is an intuitive UI. This means that someone who has used previous versions of the system - when they sit down in front of the new one they can easily figure out how to use it in a fairly short time without having to look up tutorials or calling for help. Even if the new UI is a good idea, MS implemented it as if they wanted it to be as counter-intuitive as possible.

I got used to the new UI after a few months and yes, I could use it without problems. But it never stopped feeling awkward, crooked, disjoint and out of place.

Then they see Windows 8 ads with those blocky colourful tiles, recall their frustrating experience, and grumble to their friends about how stupid it is.  That's entirely Microsoft's fault for not making the classic interface the default on systems without a touch screen.

You may be making a good point here. The bad experience with Win 8 on desktops may spill over to the other side where tablets and phones are used - just by word of mouth. If bad news starts spreading then it may not matter much that on tablets Win 8 will work great - people will already have been prejudiced against it. I'm not a marketing expert but to me MS have made all the worst possible mistakes in this department.

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Michal.

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