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Windows 8 - Unintuitivity at its best

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#1 andrewbares

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:14

So I've been using Win8 RTM for about two weeks now, same with my parents. Both they and I agree that Windows 8 is unintuitive and a step backwards. My parents are your "average" user, what Windows 8 is aimed at. I'm a power user. Let me say that I wanted to like Windows 8. I'm a MS fan. But if I'm being honest, Windows 8 feels unpolished and unintuitive and a pain to use.

Printing Files
Open a PDF in Reader and try to print it, I dare you. So you first think "Hmm that might be under that random right click menu bottom bar thing... under 'More'?" Nope, it's not under more. Try moving your mouse to the top right and then slide down, is it under "Share"? Nope. It's under "Devices". You would naturally think Devices means things like your Phone, iPod, etc. A printer certainly doesn't pop up into my head. But there it is, click on your printer and you can print.

In Windows 7, you would simply click the print button. One single click. In Windows 8, you slide to the upper right and then down (1 action), click on devices, and then click print... 3 actions.


No Clock
Seriously, even WP7 has a clock and the screen is only 4.8" inches... With Windows 8, you have to bring up the charms bar just to see what time it is. My mom hates that.


Searching in email is a pain
You have to bring up the charms bar and then click the search button... why not simply have a search text box??


Can't flip between photos, must open them one by one
Normally in your file explorer, you can open a picture from a folder and then quicky hit the next button to see the following photos. In Windows 8, you're required to open one picture, view it, hit alt+tab, double click another picture, view it, hit alt+tab, double click another... fail.


Can't flip between attached photos in email
Once again, the photo viewer doesn't let you view things as a whole set. Your friend emails you 5 cool pictures? Have fun alt+tabbing and clicking twice to view each individual one.


Switching tabs in IE Metro
It's absolutely painful. You have to right click to bring up the tabs... but you have to right click on something that isn't a link or an image.


Bringing up the bottom and top options bar in apps
Just like in IE Metro, you have to right click somewhere. That means you have to find an empty spot on the screen to right click.. seriously? It just becomes annoying after a while.


No "Save As" option in IE Metro
Everything is stuck in your Downloads folder no matter what. Forces you to switch to normal IE just to save things in a folder!


Reader crashes and doesn't save
I've had Reader crash on me 5 times already while I was writing down some notes on the PDF slides and navigated away from it, to return and find it crashed. Sure these apps can be updated later on, but seriously this gives a terrible impression of Windows 8 Modern apps. The email app and others have also crashed on me. I can't trust Modern apps to be stable.


Two browsers, too much to handle
I feel like I have to think way too much about what things I have open in the "Modern" side of windows and what I have in the desktop... It's like having two separate computers and trying to use both of them at the same time but they don't interact with each other. Confusing.


My printer doesn't work :/
I had no problem with Vista and drivers, but apparently I got unlucky with Windows 8, and the Win7 drivers don't work for some reason. Not too much MS can do about that one, but it does suck.


Overall, if Windows 8 didn't make the touch response on my tablet TM2 so much better, I would go straight back to Windows 7. My parents have decided to live in the desktop mode, because of how unintuitive they feel the Modern interface is.


#2 BigCheese

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:23

I didn't even realise there was a pritn option in the PDF reader. I tried to do this the other day and ended up downloading slimPDF. At least my printer drivers were automatically installed without me needing to do anything.

I completely agree about there 2 separate systems bit. It's like they made a desktop OS and a tablet OS and then just stuck them together with just a few shortcuts to link them. As soon as I installed Start8 I felt so much more comfortable using the system.

#3 grayscale

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:28

Built in Metro Apps - Unintuitivity at its finest

-This should be the title, then.

#4 Wyn6

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:35

First of all, don't take this as an attack because it's not. But, you can't be a power user as almost everything you stated above is incorrect. Allow me to debunk what you've stated or at least help you understand how to do some things.

1. You do realize that for awhile now printers have been in the device list? Either Devices and Printers or under Device Manager. So, it has been considered a device for a long time. Maybe it's something that just didn't occur to you. Also, ctrl+p still works. If you're a power user, you'd know this.

2. WP7 does have a clock, you're correct. But, it is most often displayed on the lock screen and Start Screen. However, it is not displayed in many apps with no user ability to make it appear, though developers can choose to implement this.

Windows 8 displays the clock on the lock screen as well as the lower left of the desktop as it always has. It does not display within apps or on the Start Screen. But, unlike WP you can pull up the clock at any point and time. So, this is a personal preference more so than anything.

3. By searching email I assume you mean the default Modern email app. How hard is it to actually mouse to the Charms, click and type? You'd have to do the same thing in a browser client. Mouse to the search box, click and type. It's the same actions for either, but it's in a different location so may seem odd at first.

4. You can most certainly flip through photos. Not sure what you're doing. There are two readily visible arrows on either side of the photo. Click the right one to go to the next photo, click the left one to go back to the previous photo. Click the back arrow at the top left to go back to the entire album.

Here's another tip: Semantic Zoom can be invoked by using the plus/minus signs at the lower right of the screen or by using ctrl + mouse wheel. This allows you to see all of your photos in an album at once.

5. Same thing.

6. Reader and all the other Modern apps work fine for me. But, you can always use Adobe Reader. Maybe a driver issue for you?

7. Use one browser or the other. If you use the IE desktop, stay there. If you use IE Modern then stay there unless you encounter some Flash or Silverlight video that won't play. Then jump to the desktop just for that. There's a wrench in the bottom right of the url bar on IE Modern that when clicked will give you an option to view on desktop.

8. Again sounds like drivers.

Overall, it sounds like your complaints are a mix of personal preference, and either not knowing, not understanding, or not making an effort to do either, including things that are still the same as 7. Again, I'm not trying to be an arse or anything, but you made the statement that you are a power user, but do not know some basic functionality. And, I do understand there are different types of power users and levels of knowledge and I really am not trying to pan you on either. But, some of these things you should know how to do or figure out fairly quickly. Just trying to help.

#5 OP andrewbares

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:47

First of all, don't take this as an attack because it's not. But, you can't be a power user as almost everything you stated above is incorrect. Allow me to debunk what you've stated or at least help you understand how to do some things.


Nope, what I said is NOT incorrect...

1. Who actually looks into the Devices and Printers settings? Your common user doesn't. It's a fact that my mom had no clue how to print the PDF document, and that's because of how unintuitive Windows 8 was. And your average user doesn't use keyboard shortcuts. My mom didn't even know that the backspace button functions as a back button while in the browser.

2. Actually the clock does appear in most apps, and is also visible from the start screen which it isn't in Windows 8. But in People, Mail, Messaging, Maps, etc it is visible. And I would disagree and say that many third-party apps display it, especially since Mango allows us developers to overlay the system tray without losing the vertical space. You're crazy if you think bringing up the charms bar is faster than quickly glancing at the time.

3. It's harder than it was before. Updates are supposed to make things faster, easier, and better. How is adding extra steps better? You know nothing about development. Software developers don't go around thinking "Let's add an extra step here just for the heck of it!" No, they think "How can we make this faster, how can we minimize the steps it takes to do something"

4. No, you can't flip through photos. Go back and read the post and try what I actually said.

5. No, you can't. You didn't read what I said.

6. No, it's not a driver issue. Do you actually use Reader with a stylus and write on PDFs frequently every single day? I do. And the Reader app isn't very stable.

7. You just gave an example of how you need to use both because sites don't always work in IE Modern... so that doesn't fix anything.

8. I said that was a driver issue.

Overall, I know a lot more about all of this than you do.

#6 Depicus

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:56

Overall, it sounds like your complaints are a mix of personal preference, and either not knowing, not understanding, or not making an effort to do either, including things that are still the same as 7. Again, I'm not trying to be an arse or anything, but you made the statement that you are a power user, but do not know some basic functionality. And, I do understand there are different types of power users and levels of knowledge and I really am not trying to pan you on either. But, some of these things you should know how to do or figure out fairly quickly. Just trying to help.


This paragraph sums up the problems of Windows 8. I would say I am a power user but some of these things got me. It should not be this unintuitive.

#7 Nashy

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:00

Arguments both sides are fine. I can see how people like Windows 8, I can see why people hate it.

I'm one the ones that hate it. I've used it now. It doesn't work for me. All I have found is just how often I click the start button. For me, I rarely use my Windows button on my keyboard. Sure, it's still there to click. It's in a stupid spot. I use two monitors, my task bar i on the right hand screen, but the left screen is mouse left. So I actually have to stop doing what I'm doing, focus on the task bar to make sure I click on a tiny bit of screen space that seems to be about 1x1 pixel.

The charms menu is a pain the the ass. I just don't like it. I don't care how functional others think it is, I hate it.

Metro apps annoy me. Again, I use my mouse to click on the task bar a lot.

Bottom line is, I use my mouse a lot, and this OS just doesn't seem friendly or easy to use for me. I think the Modern UI is horrible. I think it looks terrible. Left and Right scrolling is just un-natural to me.

Credit to Microsoft though. IMO they have created one hell of a tablet OS.

#8 Wyn6

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:03

Look. I'm not going to argue about who is or isn't the biggest computer geek. You stated some things that were either personal preferences (which is fine) or just factually incorrect.

Fact is, in your initial post you said that YOU didn't know how to print from a pdf. Not your mom. You mentioned your parents used it, but your post was about you. If you're a power user then YOU should look in the Devices and Printers and/or know how to use ctrl+p.

As I said, Mango does allow developers to that. However, not all devs have chosen to do so. I have many apps in which the clock and/or tray is not visible nor can it be made so by tapping the top of the screen. Again... this is a personal preference. If wanna see the clock I just win+C and done. It doesn't bother me that it isn't always visible. Also, nowhere did I say bringing up Charms was faster because it's not. I said you can pull it up whenever you like in comparison to WP on which you can't.

I wouldn't say it's harder as it takes about the same amount of time which is approximately one second. Now, this is a matter of perception. YOU perceive it to be harder, thus it is to you. Time them both and see how long it takes. And, if you want to make it even faster you can just win+Q.

And, you most certainly can. I flip through photos all the time. And, I'm flipping through them now. I sincerely hope MS hasn't taken this functionality out of the RTM as I'm still on the RP. But, I go from one photo to the next, and the next, and the next, etc. by clicking the arrows on the screen. Maybe I'm not completely understanding you and you can clarify a bit.

But, I open Photos, select and Album, select a Photo then click the right arrow and go to the next Photo and so on. Do you mean something different? If so, my bad.

No, I do not use reader with a stylus everyday but I do use it everyday and I have yet to have it crash on me.

Then just use the desktop browser. Problem solved.

Again, maybe you do know a lot more about all this than I do, as you claim. But, I'm not trying to win a nerd contest either. So, who knows more of what is irrelevant. My discussion was on your OP.





#9 Vice

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:13

I agree with the OP. I'm intending to stick with Windows 7 myself. I tried Windows 8 several times and it just makes me less productive. But worse than that it angers and frustrates me. The inconsistencies are just too widespread and it feels disjointed and confused, having the two interfaces could have worked well but they didn't integrate them together properly the only real integration between them is the switching between them.

I still don't understand why they didn't give us the ability to drag a file from Explorer in to a Metro application. What if I want to drag an image in to an email or something? -- Confusing and poorly executed is what Windows 8 is to me and not something I could use day to day, at least not without throwing my computer out of a window in frustration.

#10 OP andrewbares

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:20

...or just factually incorrect.


Once again, you're wrong.

I never stated what perspective I was taking when trying to print the PDF. In that scenario I was taking the perspective of a common user, because I was showing my parents how to do it, and I wanted to experience how most typical user would be doing it. You made an assumption.

It's a fact that having a search box on the page is faster than moving your mouse to the charms and then clicking search. Sorry but if you can't see that, there's not really much else that can be talked about. And yes, 0.7 seconds vs 1.1 seconds makes a difference, things like that become annoying. And no, common users aren't going to be using those shortcuts (though they are helpful for people like us!)

For the pictures, you are probably looking at pictures that you opened from the picture viewer. I said open a picture from a folder in your *File Explorer*. That's when it becomes crappy.

It's probably the stylus writing features that make it crash, since simply viewing a PDF is a very easy task.

One of the main points of Windows 8 is the new Modern interface, why even have it if the best solution is to "just use the desktop browser"?

I'm not trying to argue or win anything, but when you say that I am "factually incorrect" when I am actually correct, I've got a problem with that.

#11 fobban

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:32

Oh come on Wyn6.

Sure, printers have shown up under devices for a long time, but when did you go there to print anything but a test page?

The clock appears on the WP7 start screen and in lots of apps. Do you even have a WP7?

Feature wise the Modern UI apps included out-of-the-box in W8 are an embarrassment compared to desktop equivalents.

I've used Windows 8 since the consumer preview. It's good, not perfect, but I've learnt to live with it - luckily there are quite a few keyboard shortcuts one can use. What I don't understand is why some people have to defend every design decision that went into the OS...

#12 Steven P.

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:53

Added to main, thanks :) http://www.neowin.ne...ive-at-its-best

#13 KevinN206

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:56

I think most people are accustomed to how things operate before. Typically, most applications have a print button to print stuff. And probably a search box to search stuff. Both of these are located depending on the developer. Now, Microsoft took a stance that Search and Print should be at the same location regardless of the app that user is using. That's why they have Search and Print are in the Charm Bar - same location and same method for ALL apps. Now this is confusing at first, but I have adapted to this new thinking, and it actually works well for me. Likewise, I think a lot of what we think is "intuitive" is merely learned experiences.

Since using Windows 8 RP for the last few months, it's pretty simple for me.

I need to search for something in an app = Search charm
I need to print an email in the Mail app, a webpage in Metro IE, a map within the Map app, etc = Device charm > Print
I want to share a link to Facebook = Share charm > People

Again, all of these functions are ALWAYS in the same location and are invoked with the same method. It's different. It needs to be learned, but I think once learned, it works well, at least for me. Frankly though, I stay about 90% in desktop mode because there's no good apps yet.

Here's the biggest thing: The developer for each app must enable the contracts (i.e. Search, Share, Device, Settings). So don't knock on the OS because the developer fails to do something that you think should be there. Likewise, there's nothing strictly prohibiting the app from showing a button for print and a search box.

#14 Steven P.

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:00

I agree that some apps seem to require more steps to achieve a result, and this can never be good. Some of the most basic options like printing is something you have to search for as well :s

#15 red.

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:15

My friend was talking about a scenario the other day and i was just wondering if he's stuck doing it the old way or if it's the only way to do it.

Basically he wanted to change the power settings for windows to stop his laptop from going to sleep. He couldn't find it in the normal Settings so he went to Windows Explorer > My computer > Up one level > Control Panel and used old method from there.

Is there a quicker way?



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