Windows 8 - Unintuitivity at its best


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andrewbares
You can't let that minority stand in the way of progress.

Last time I checked, progress doesn't include adding MORE steps to do the same thing.

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Dot Matrix

Last time I checked, progress doesn't include adding MORE steps to do the same thing.

Huh? Where are there more steps?

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Calum

[. . .]

Fact is, my parents are confused as ever when it comes to printing something through Windows 8. They need things clearly spelled out for them. Windows 8 is supposed to be simpler and more user friendly, and targeted for the average user instead of the power user. Yet, they managed to make it worse for the average user in a few ways.

Maybe most of the "average users" will find it more user friendly than your parents? A sample consisting of two people isn't a good sample size. We won't know how intuitive most average users find it until it's been used by most of them and we've seen feedback :)

Once one understands the idea of the Charms bar, they should think to look there for functions that most applications have (search, settings, printing etc.). That's intuition, to me.

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Routerbad

Ok because they use a computer for work, and have no interest in what is does, that then makes them all morons ?

Do you know how to replace the cam shaft of your car ? Does that make you a moron ?

Why not have a little respect for people who just want to do their job.

I DO know how to remove/replace my cam shaft, gears, set timing, etc. I still think I'm a moron when it comes to that, though. I have to read guides with pictures to do it, and still worry that I'm going to f*** something up.

On the other hand, once I knew that all printing from modern apps was done through the charms bar, I knew it. It took me, a self professed cam shaft moron, about 5 ms to commit that to memory, I think your (highly exaggerated) 200 friends will adjust just fine.

Please stop throwing disengenuous figures out there to try and 'prove' that something is unintuitive because your sample audience doesn't know about it yet. Also, taking YEARS to adjust to one function within an OS, which, disregarding a select few third party applications, takes the same amount of steps to complete is a little bit over the top.

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Calum

Okay, let me break this down for you...

  1. In Windows 7, there's a thing called Adobe Reader which nearly every average user uses to view PDF's.
  2. In Adobe Reader, there's a friendly Print button right on the page. Not hidden in an invisible menu, not burried under File->Print, it's just right there. ONE CLICK.
  3. In Windows 8, you first have to go to charms-> devices, and then find which printer. Nothing in there says PRINT. That's not user friendly. They have an icon of a printer next to the name, but that's it.

For such a task, surely a couple of extra clicks isn't a problem, once one knows where the Print option is, especially as the new place of the Print option makes much more sense when it comes to app development and app use?

What's intuitive is having one central place for printing in every single app; the same place no matter which app you're using. What isn't intuitive is allowing developers to place print buttons wherever they'd like in their apps, so that each app you use has a different place for the print button and different functionality for printing :)

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Rickkins

There are far too many assumptions in this and all the other anti-Win8 threads

I think you'd find, that it's not so much anti-win8, as anti-metro...

Oh, and have you noticed, that whenever one has an issue with metro, it's always "their" fault....no matter how accurate the complaint. No fault on microsoft, ever.

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Depicus

Please stop throwing disengenuous figures out there to try and 'prove' that something is unintuitive because your sample audience doesn't know about it yet. Also, taking YEARS to adjust to one function within an OS, which, disregarding a select few third party applications, takes the same amount of steps to complete is a little bit over the top.

Well every app they currently use have a button to print so 1. click 2. print I think is a bit faster than it is in Metro apps, however that doesn't bother me, a few more clicks really isn't the issue. Obviously the years reference was an attempt at humour, which looks like it sadly failed.

However, I stand by my contention that these users have no interest, in the main, about learning new ways to do old things and will more often than not open a support ticket than look for a solution. You may not like it but that's how it is.

I have other clients who I am sure will cope just fine but not everybody wants to learn something new.

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Dot Matrix

Oh, and have you noticed, that whenever one has an issue with metro, it's always "their" fault....no matter how accurate the complaint. No fault on microsoft, ever.

Microsoft does extensive UX studies. If something wasn't working out, they'd know by now. It's how they came to the conclusion to kill the Start Menu.

However, I stand by my contention that these users have no interest, in the main, about learning new ways to do old things and will more often than not open a support ticket than look for a solution. You may not like it but that's how it is.

I have other clients who I am sure will cope just fine but not everybody wants to learn something new.

They're **** out of luck then. Like it or not, change happens. Companies can't let these types of users stand in their way of moving forward. If this was the case, computing would still be stuck at the Mainframe/terminal/CLI. But we all know now that type of computing was highly inefficient, despite people's claims to the contrary. The only reason they complained was because they didn't want the GUI to kill what they knew at the time.

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Wyn6

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.

This is quoted from your OP emphasis mine:

"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. (Note that in this lead up sentence you state that you feel this way not your parents.)

Printing Files

Open a PDF in Reader and try to print it, I dare you. (A challenge to whom?) 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. (Again, this is from your perspective.) 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."

As far as the rest of this, other people have answered you. You keep saying it wasn't clear from what perspective you were speaking and that you were speaking from the perspective of the average user, a contradiction I might add. But, your statement clearly shows that you were speaking from your own perspective regardless of what you may or may not have meant.

Now, understand that if you don't like Windows 8, that's fine with me. I was just correcting some things that you stated or claimed you didn't know how to do. But, if this was all some commentary on how YOU believe the average user will see Windows 8 then please be more clear next time.

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.Neo

Microsoft does extensive UX studies.

Apparently Microsoft decides to do very little with the findings.

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Depicus

They're **** out of luck then. Like it or not, change happens. Companies can't let these types of users stand in their way of moving forward. If this was the case, computing would still be stuck at the Mainframe/terminal/CLI. But we all know now that type of computing was highly inefficient, despite people's claims to the contrary. The only reason they complained was because they didn't want the GUI to kill what they knew at the time.

Well that did make me laugh, the main LoB app is a terminal emulator into a mainframe which I have yet to see a more efficient way of working in this company. When you get out of school you will learn that business like continuity not change.

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Dot Matrix

Then Microsoft decides to do very little with the findings apparently.

How so? I'd say these changes are spot on.

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.Neo

How so? I'd say these changes are spot on.

Of course you'd say that. Even if there was a pink hippo dancing across the desktop all the time.

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Dot Matrix

Well that did make me laugh, the main LoB app is a terminal emulator into a mainframe which I have yet to see a more efficient way of working in this company. When you get out of school you will learn that business like continuity not change.

While that may be the case, change happens. And the changes in Windows 8 are needed as the role of the PC expands past the desktop.

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Calum

Apparently Microsoft decides to do very little with the findings.

How do you know what the findings are?

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Dot Matrix

Of course you'd say that. Even if there was a pink hippo dancing across the desktop all the time.

You seem to be side-stepping my question.

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.Neo

You seem to be side-stepping my question.

The OP makes some really good points, things I've seen many people struggle with myself. I honestly can't imagine many of the choices Microsoft made are the result of proper studies and actually doing something with the information.

How do you know what the findings are?

Are you finding it logical the Windows Phone team came to the conclusion it's best to have a clock visible all the time, then the Windows team comes to the conclusion it's best to hide it? Per example.

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NeoandGeo

IMO, Windows 8 will do most users a lot of good. It will teach them TO be a power user with keyboard shortcuts. My Mom never knew about Ctrl-P to print until it was seemingly forced on her using a modern app. There is a plethora of new keyboard shortcuts to use now and after the awkwardness initially people will increase their workflow throughout Windows 8 since everything is more readily available to the end user.

Why is everyone afraid to learn new and more productive ways to do things?

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Dot Matrix

The OP makes some really good points, things I've seen many people struggle with myself. I honestly can't imagine many of the choices Microsoft made are the result of proper studies and actually doing something with the information.

Well considering this is a change, many people are going to be confused at first, but the unification of controls in one spot is better in the long run. There won't be a need to learn a new app layout, because it'll all be in one spot, app after app.

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Wyn6

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...

Feature-wise, the native Modern UI apps are way behind. We agree there. But, they're way behind in features not function. They function just fine. Let's just hope that by GA Microsoft has them on par with WP7's native apps. Which leads me to my next statement.

I certainly do have a WP. A Dell Venue Pro that I've been using since January of 2011. While many apps may have the clock or system tray available, many more don't. A few examples from my phone being, IMDB, Wikipedia Reader, Flixster, ESPN ScoreCenter, USA Today, and CNN. Those are from just a few I have on my Start Screen.

While in those apps, if you wish to check the time, you'll have to come out of the app or hit the power button to activate the lock screen. Some devs have decided not to implement this for any number of reasons, or haven't bothered to.

I've also used Windows 8 since the CP and don't believe it's perfect and some things could be and hopefully will be better. At the same time, complaining because you don't understand how something works or because it works differently isn't really a valid complaint.

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Calum

[. . .]

Are you finding it logical the Windows Phone team came to the conclusion it's best to have a clock visible all the time, then the Windows team comes to the conclusion it's best to hide it?

It isn't visible all the time on Windows Phone. It's visible only on the lock screen and the Start screen. Not only that, but it's technically in the same place as it is on Windows 8?in the part which shows battery life and network information. Further, are you going off Windows Phone 7.5? It might be best for us to see if the clock is visible on the Start screen in Windows Phone 8 (is the Start screen they've already shown us the final one?), and then we'll know if Microsoft decided to make it consistent with Windows 8 in that manner. Either way, it's important to note that it isn't visible when in apps, so it is consistent with Windows 8 in that way. At least Windows 8 allows one to bring up the clock with a quick swipe or keyboard shortcut; Windows Phone 7.5 doesn't appear to allow that.

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.Neo

Well considering this is a change, many people are going to be confused at first, but the unification of controls in one spot is better in the long run. There won't be a need to learn a new app layout, because it'll all be in one spot, app after app.

It's not about unification in itself. I have no issues with that. It's about the wording and location where you find certain things.

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Routerbad

Well every app they currently use have a button to print so 1. click 2. print I think is a bit faster than it is in Metro apps, however that doesn't bother me, a few more clicks really isn't the issue. Obviously the years reference was an attempt at humour, which looks like it sadly failed.

However, I stand by my contention that these users have no interest, in the main, about learning new ways to do old things and will more often than not open a support ticket than look for a solution. You may not like it but that's how it is.

I have other clients who I am sure will cope just fine but not everybody wants to learn something new.

I don't think it's likely that 'every' app they use has a dedicated print button, but either way, I prefer a method that doesn't introduce any new complication while standardizing the method overall.

I didn't take it as humor, sorry. I probably get a little too empassioned about subjects like these to read for humor, so very well could be my fault. Users have to learn new ways to do things all the time. Every time we've ever rolled out a new os we have to hand out literature to ensure they know the new method for any basic functions. This will make that literature easier to write, and I think it will lower training costs for users in the long run, depending on the organization and the environment.

Any new OS, regardless of how radical the change, will cause an uptick in support calls, these are costs associated with changing user facing environments. Engineers and Administrators can typically adapt, and typically have had some hand in the choice, planning, development, and rollout of a solution like this. Users complain, period. Computers have been using electricity since their creation and yet there are still calls that get put on the 'wall of shame' because someone called the helpdesk because they kicked the power cord out of their machine.

Make the change, they will adapt. If they are gainfully employed it is in their best interest to do so.

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Depicus

Well considering this is a change, many people are going to be confused at first, but the unification of controls in one spot is better in the long run. There won't be a need to learn a new app layout, because it'll all be in one spot, app after app.

so file > print wasn't a design standard and part of Microsofts UI specifications ? even on my mac it is file > print so not sure how you can describe that as unification ?

I also think ctr + p is going to be fun on a tablet - if you think about it for a second you need both hands on the keyboard or screen.

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Routerbad

so file > print wasn't a design standard and part of Microsofts UI specifications ? even on my mac it is file > print so not sure how you can describe that as unification ?

I also think ctr + p is going to be fun on a tablet - if you think about it for a second you need both hands on the keyboard or screen.

It's a couple of clicks with a mouse, it would be profoundly simple with a swipe and a tap.

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