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Metro/Modern UI & shorter mouseways

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#1 derkim

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:26

Microsoft explained that the Mouseways (is this the correct english word? :$ ) should be shorter in the new startscreen than in the startmenu.

I don't get it.

Posted Image

Can samebody explain me the new shorter mouseways again? This should not be a pro/contra startmenu discussion.
But the argument from Microsoft is just... wrong. You could say a cheek.


#2 billyea

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:36

Perhaps not physically shorter, but since you have larger buttons (and also larger icons) in the start screen, they're easier to hit and faster to target.

#3 Dot Matrix

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:46

Larger targets make things easier to see, and click with the mouse, while not having to be as precise.

#4 Detection

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:48

Blind OAPs don't even have their desktop icons set as large

It's nothing to do with accuracy of mouse clicks, the new UI will be sold in as many ways as possible to make people accept it

#5 OP derkim

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:49

but is makes it less clear. Maybe not in my case because I just have a few icons there.

Larger targets make things easier to see, and click with the mouse, while not having to be as precise.


I have problems to find easier the big icons than the small. Because at the small icons I can read more rows to the same time. At the big I can just focus one and have to search.

#6 grayscale

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 13:57

Apart from larger hit area vs. actual mouse travel, I think one more reason is them wanting an interface both for touch and mouse|keyboard as well (I'm not saying 'designed exclusively for touch'). Whether reading or just 'seeing' the icons is better for the user, at least by the Start Screen, it will be usable to both touch and keyboardmouse users. Now whether users will get used to a full screen menu, it's almost split, the way I see it (based on reactions here on the forum). I personally don't mind the new one since I'm more used to launching my programs using the keyboard.

#7 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:03

I have problems to find easier the big icons than the small. Because at the small icons I can read more rows to the same time. At the big I can just focus one and have to search.


With the Start Screen it's designed to be highly customisable, so most users will group together apps as they wish (as the screenshot in fact shows) - it makes it much quicker to locate them once you're used to it. As with everything, it does take a while to adapt to the new system and it will seem more awkward at first, just as the Office ribbon UI did. The advantage of the Start Screen if you have have 80-90 apps on screen at a time, which simply wasn't possible/practical with the Start Menu. If you're only using a handful of apps - like the Start Menu in the picture - you're better off pinning them to your taskbar or adding shortcuts to the desktop.

That said, I wish the icons for non-Metro apps were larger. Sure they're much larger than the initial Developer Preview but there's still a lot of wasted space and the icons are one of the most easily identifiable features when locating a program. It would also be nice if there were addition options, like being able to colour code the backgrounds of groups and leaving gaps.

#8 billyea

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:05

but is makes it less clear. Maybe not in my case because I just have a few icons there.

I have problems to find easier the big icons than the small. Because at the small icons I can read more rows to the same time. At the big I can just focus one and have to search.

Once you've customized your start screen, you should be able to mentally adjust (in a day or so):
- do I have to click my mousewheel down once or twice to put the item into view?
- how much force should I put into the mouse to make it land on the tile of the program I want to start?
That is, you can make the Start Screen work off muscle memory.

This is arguably much faster than the old start menu, which requires you go to All Programs, then scan through a list (or open a program group), then target, EVERY TIME.

#9 UXGaurav

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:14

One tweak you can do is for the Close gesture using the "Close Threshold for Metro Apps" tool from Winaero: http://winaero.com/c...omment.news.101 Then you don't have to drag the mouse pointer all the way to the bottom to close an app, if you adjust it to somewhere along the middle of the screen.

There is of course Alt+F4.

#10 OP derkim

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:14

Once you've customized your start screen, you should be able to mentally adjust (in a day or so):
- do I have to click my mousewheel down once or twice to put the item into view?
- how much force should I put into the mouse to make it land on the tile of the program I want to start?
That is, you can make the Start Screen work off muscle memory.

This is arguably much faster than the old start menu, which requires you go to All Programs, then scan through a list (or open a program group), then target, EVERY TIME.


The most used apps I pined to the front so I actually never use the "all programs" and scroll.

#11 Crimson Rain

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:15

Fitts law is not just about "distance."
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Fitts's_law

#12 ~Johnny

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:18

Fitts law is not just about "distance."
http://en.wikipedia....i/Fitts%27s_law


Quite, Fitt's law is more about speed / ease - and things being small and close together can negatively effect that.


To the OP: the argument is is that it's quicker / easier to hit more larger hit targets on the start screen with a lower error rate (even if they're further away), then it is to hit specific smaller, closer together targets on the start menu. They had a picture on one of the building Windows 8 blogs that colour coded how the calculations worked out wih respect to how easy / quick accurate it is to get to a specific buttons.

#13 billyea

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:21

The most used apps I pined to the front so I actually never use the "all programs" and scroll.

Still applicable. Simply pin the larger format icons to the left side of the Start Screen.
Remember, the action in the old start menu is targeting. With the new start screen you just have to remember to "throw" your mouse in the general vicinity and click. Because the targets are larger, you can afford to move your cursor faster to make up for the distance.

#14 Crimson Rain

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 14:23

Here's a small test:
Install 50+ applications in W7 and W8.

Try to find random apps in W7 start menu and CLICK it.
Do the same in W8.

Assuming W8 start screen is organized, you will ALWAYS be able to find and click it faster than W7.

#15 OP derkim

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 16:39

Still applicable. Simply pin the larger format icons to the left side of the Start Screen.
Remember, the action in the old start menu is targeting. With the new start screen you just have to remember to "throw" your mouse in the general vicinity and click. Because the targets are larger, you can afford to move your cursor faster to make up for the distance.


I'm a lot faster to use the list from the menu instead of the screen. I have to move the mouse about the entire screen, I waste a lot of time (time is relative ^^)with it, In this time I would have the program started with the list in the menu.