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Windows 8: A

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Posted

BTW there's an interesting video here -> http://channel9.msdn...etherlands/2373 where the designer of the Windows 8 touch UI talks specifically about how they tried to design select and rearrange so that they would be "self-teaching", including to avoid giving people the "superstitious beliefs" that they needed to press and hold. (you can skip to 33:00 for this, including footage of usability tests, though the whole video is interesting). Guess it didn't work in this particular case though ...

They failed. Could also be lag on the Surface because if you don't hold you end up not moving the individual tile. It's not a huge deal, but the very conversation supports the issues raised in the article. I don't know if I would have given these things the same weight as he did, but the points themselves have merit, if not the conclusion.

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Posted

It's hard to ignore his condescending attitude towards people, don't like Windows 8? Tough, it must be something you are doing wrong because he thinks Windows 8 is the second coming and he can't possibly be wrong because Microsoft is God.

As it relates to consumers, look at the commercials. Look at the cheap Android commercials, little girls actually using. Look at the iPad mini commercial, hands actually using. Surface commercials ... .... ... type cover click. Facepaint, which is a sham since you have to pay for the images to color, etc.

The point is, even MS knows Windows 8 RT isn't as consumer usable as iPad or the cheapo Androids (which simply based on price will do well). The Surface doesn't need to be a consumer hit to do well, it is the best tablet for business, but it would help. Good apps are trickling out, but the simplicity general consumers want, isn't there. You shouldn't have to "think" at all about much except using it.

I actually would have like to see the desktop environment removed from the Surface RT, but you have to have it for Office :/

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Posted

They failed. Could also be lag on the Surface because if you don't hold you end up not moving the individual tile. It's not a huge deal, but the very conversation supports the issues raised in the article. I don't know if I would have given these things the same weight as he did, but the points themselves have merit, if not the conclusion.

If you watched the video (or just the part I suggested) I'm curious what you thought in general about it.

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Posted

Well, yeah. It's kinda annoying, but not enough to stress over. Personally, I kinda like Windows 8, but the start screen gets up my nose a bit, and I almost never use any of the metro apps as they just use too much screen space (and I have 2 monitors).

Also, full screen apps on a 24" monitor look horrible.

But it's fine. I quite happily use the desktop, with Classic Start, and I don't generally have any problems until I start to game. Then the hotspots tend to get irritating as, to aid multi-screening, I play games windowed.

I love Windows 8 I really do, but I guess according to Dot I cannot say ONE bad thing about it. It is something that irritates me every day.

So with Start8 Windows 8 is far better than Windows 7. Please, I am not saying that because of the start menu, I like the Start Screen and I only use Start8 to hide the hot corners, boot to the desktop, and to shut down. So let's not start that argument. Although, I do love what Stardock has done with their version of the Start Menu. I just wish Microsoft would have been smart and added an option to disable the hot corners. Why do people need to jump down my throat when I make a criticism?

Also, the ONLY modern app I use is Netflix. I do not mind that being full screen.

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Posted

I'd rather get a lump of coal in my stocking, than a copy of Windows 8.

We'll certainly talk to Santa about that. :p

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Posted

I love Windows 8 I really do, but I guess according to Dot I cannot say ONE bad thing about it. It is something that irritates me every day.

So with Start8 Windows 8 is far better than Windows 7. Please, I am not saying that because of the start menu, I like the Start Screen and I only use Start8 to hide the hot corners, boot to the desktop, and to shut down. So let's not start that argument. Although, I do love what Stardock has done with their version of the Start Menu. I just wish Microsoft would have been smart and added an option to disable the hot corners. Why do people need to jump down my throat when I make a criticism?

Also, the ONLY modern app I use is Netflix. I do not mind that being full screen.

Forgot where I read it, but there is a way to hide the charms hint, that might help you

When you disable the hint you have to go into the corner and drag down to actually get the charms, otherwise it will ignore what you did.

I believe somebody gave this tip here on NeoWin

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Posted

Forgot where I read it, but there is a way to hide the charms hint, that might help you

When you disable the hint you have to go into the corner and drag down to actually get the charms, otherwise it will ignore what you did.

I believe somebody gave this tip here on NeoWin

Yeah I know about that registry change. I prefer to use a program vs changing the registry myself. Plus, Start8 completely disables them, not just the hints.

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Posted

Getting someone an OS upgrade for Christmas is pretty weird, no matter what OS it is.

Anyway, I've been using Windows 8 for a while and I don't understand what the drama is about. I do a lot of different things, from programming, to design, to games, and my workflow is exactly the same as it always was. You learn some things in the first few days, then get used to it.

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Posted

If you watched the video (or just the part I suggested) I'm curious what you thought in general about it.

I did not, because the updated Silverlight plugin won't work, a reboot might do it, but I'm not rebooting. I really don't need to reboot anymore, lol. Well rarely, +1 for Windows 8, but 7 was pretty stable too.

I'm downloading it so I can render an opinion.

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Posted

BTW there's an interesting video here -> http://channel9.msdn...etherlands/2373 where the designer of the Windows 8 touch UI talks specifically about how they tried to design select and rearrange so that they would be "self-teaching", including to avoid giving people the "superstitious beliefs" that they needed to press and hold. Guess it didn't work in this particular case though ...

Very interesting video. I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment though. It seemed that his whole point was that 'natural gestures', much like skeumorphs on the design side, are an arbitrary limitation and is not the path they chose. As such it is specifically not self-teaching. Learnability on tile rearrangement reinforces that it isn't an innate gesture and you do need to learn the 'voodoo' to manipulate it. (Since the assumed natural gesture is click and hold - a gesture itself that is used extensively on WP and in the mobile space but is mysteriously absent in Win8)

I find the copy/paste behavior erratic as well. Selecting the text with the new handles is much easier, but the lack of a paste button on the virtual keyboard limits its use.

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Posted

We'll certainly talk to Santa about that. :p

What, you're gonna put in your "good" word? : P

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Posted

If you watched the video (or just the part I suggested) I'm curious what you thought in general about it.

Wow. Smart guy, and that may be part of the problem. No manager directing them. The scientist have been allowed to get lost in their self absorption :D Seriously, overall feeling that explains a lot of what doesn't work well, is that the scientist were allowed to do whatever they deemed best, without practical direction.

I was troubled with the opening, basically it doesn't need to be easily discoverable (WTF?) just easily learnable. Wrong. Somewhere along the way a Manager of technical people should have stepped in and said make it easy to discover and easily learnable. It is interesting that after he made this statement he qualified it by saying "as far as 'I'm' concerned."

Take the second lady where they show the demonstration of her selecting tiles. I agree, tile selection works well. But she said "now that I know how to do it ..." OK, so why waste everyone's time trying to discover how Microsoft's software engineers decided this should work? Especially considering they designed it under the mantra that easy discovery is not important ... Just tell me or show me then, and don't waste my time. I really got the feeling a lot of intellectual masturbating occurs at Microsoft Research in the touch/gesture department.

I did think they were on the mark with a lot of their biomechanical assertions. Yet, he said the first lady chose to put the slate on a pillow because she felt that was the best way to interact with it. WTF? She did that because in that position, that's the only way to avoid a back and shoulder ache.

Then the speed bump thing, that's good stuff. But this is critical, it causes the tile to move slower than the finger. This in and of itself can make many gestures unnatural and difficult to learn especially if there are any hardware performance issues which I believe is why I naturally began to tap and hold the tile for a brief moment before repositioning.

I basically stopped halfway through. Clearly they are great engineers, but I think their perception is skewed by a disconnect with the real world. They are beginning to interpret human behavior the way they want to see it to fit their technical theories instead of shaping their technical theories to fit human behavior.

At the beginning of the video he states "teaching users of our apps gestures that work well with our systems." I think the Modern UI will evolve much better if that changes to "creating gestures, systems, and apps that work well with our users."

Lastly, he opened by stating these are ideas, "the start of something." I agree wholeheartedly, feels like unpolished ideas waaaaay too often.

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Posted

I disagree actually, as I've always been a fan of MS's more 'learnability' approach than a 'natural' one. As he notes, we all have to learn at some point. Apple and other 'natural' implementations simply cheat by making their software work like physical things that people have already learned how to use. While that can make it seem easier for more rigid types of individuals initially, I firmly agree they are limiting themselves long term (a la the current iOS stagnation).

For example, one quirk regarding the 'selection gesture' is that the axis can shift (in the Mail app for example, you swipe left/right to select a message, not up/down because of the default scroll direction). So while it is harder to an extent to learn to swipe 'against the grain' for selections, overall it gives a much faster and extensible action than click and hold once learned.

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Posted

I disagree actually, as I've always been a fan of MS's more 'learnability' approach than a 'natural' one. As he notes, we all have to learn at some point. Apple and other 'natural' implementations simply cheat by making their software work like physical things that people have already learned how to use. While that can make it seem easier for more rigid types of individuals initially, I firmly agree they are limiting themselves long term (a la the current iOS stagnation).

For example, one quirk regarding the 'selection gesture' is that the axis can shift (in the Mail app for example, you swipe left/right to select a message, not up/down because of the default scroll direction). So while it is harder to an extent to learn to swipe 'against the grain' for selections, overall it gives a much faster and extensible action than click and hold once learned.

I have no problem at all with the "learning" part. Learning is a lifelong process. My issue is the notion that it is not important to make it easily discoverable. I learned how to operate the app switch bar on the Surface, by accident. It wasn't discoverable because when you have multiple apps open and swipe from the left, you drag the previous application to the forefront. It was only happen stance that I changed my mind and dragged it back to the left quickly that I "learned" how to expose the app bar (a quick left then quick right swipe).

Such a necessary task should be easily discoverable, taught, or shown. Anything else is a fantastic waste of user time. It's actually not difficult at all to "learn."

Regarding your mail example, this goes against their principle of consistency making things easier to learn. The OS and the mail app both come from Microsoft and are not consistent in their selection gesture :). I actually like both selection gestures though in the mail app, the highlighted email is auto selected even though it is not checked until you select another email. This I feel is not good.

Edit: In my opinion, this is where MS misses Gates. He understood the technical theory and scientist but also understood humans and business. He could filter and bridge the two. That bridge is missing. The inmates are running the asylum. Everything that doesn't work well makes sense. The Software Engineers at Microsoft actually don't know the stuff isn't working well. They have convinced themselves their theories and interpretations are correct and the users aren't working well. They take clips out of their video subject out of context to support their theories. See, see how easily she selects. Just ignore I forgot to cut out the part where she says "Now, that I know how to do it ..." That statement suggests figuring out how was quite an ordeal. Which is completely understandable if their design mantra has been, being easily discoverable is not important. In that case, their UI design has succeeded wonderfully.

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Posted

I have no problem at all with the "learning" part. Learning is a lifelong process. My issue is the notion that it is not important to make it easily discoverable. I learned how to operate the app switch bar on the Surface, by accident. It wasn't discoverable because when you have multiple apps open and swipe from the left, you drag the previous application to the forefront. It was only happen stance that I changed my mind and dragged it back to the left quickly that I "learned" how to expose the app bar (a quick left then quick right swipe).

Such a necessary task should be easily discoverable, taught, or shown. Anything else is a fantastic waste of user time. It's actually not difficult at all to "learn."

Regarding your mail example, this goes against their principle of consistency making things easier to learn. The OS and the mail app both come from Microsoft and are not consistent in their selection gesture :). I actually like both selection gestures though in the mail app, the highlighted email is auto selected even though it is not checked until you select another email. This I feel is not good.

Just to draw a parallel with iOS which is for some reason regarded as the pinnacle of user friendliness, has some hidden gestures too and I am pretty sure most of the "normal people" have no idea about them until they are told.

For example, iOS has

- 5 finger horizontal swipe to switch apps

- 5 finger pinch to go back to home

- 5 finger swipe up to bring up the app bar

That is just too difficult to discover by accident - most people I have seen struggle with copy/paste or even why their icons suddenly start wiggling and then how to make them stop. :rofl:

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Posted

What, you're gonna put in your "good" word? : P

Absolutely. Me and the Big Guy have lunch a couple of times a month. :D

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Posted

Am I the only one who thinks this should be the windows 8 theme song?

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