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Windows 8 - Unintuitivity at its best

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jamieakers    192

Well like the majority of readers I can't be bothered to read 11 pages of what I'm guessing is...

...blah blah blah I don't like it

...blah blah blah I love it

Simple solution. You like it, use it. You don't like it, use Windows 7. We don't need another 11 page thread of every man and his dog's opinion of every single change to an operating system. Get over yourselves.

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rhianntp    55

Plenty of good points here. This Windows 8 turned out to the a great mess, let's just see if it fails worse than Vista did. I'm guessing it might be the worse fail from Microsoft ever (apart from Bing).

This is going to give MS Bob a run for its money as worst blunder ever..

Are you the David Crane of old Activision fame? :)

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Detection    2,256

@ the WP7.5 no clock comment, if you press and hold the back button (Task switch button) the clock appears at the top no matter what app you're in

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bj55555    229

This is going to give MS Bob a run for its money as worst blunder ever..

Are you the David Crane of old Activision fame? :)

Methinks you're more likely to be embarrassed that you posted this.

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PGHammer    1,460

Probably. printing is expensive these days.

I had to prep toner order forms for one of the commands I was stationed at, I vomited a little. Printing at home is even less common, between the cost and the perceived permanence of digitizing physical content.

First off, "Printers" has been under "Devices" since (believe it or not) Windows Vista - this is not a new place. (Yes - that means it was there in Windows 7 as well.)

Why is it there? For a simple reason (and it has nothing to do with tablets but has EVERYTHING to do with networks); to make sharing printers *easier*. Anything that is typically shared (printers, external drives, even routers and gateways) will show up in "Devices" - whether it is shared or not. (I have a cable modem and a separate router for the LAN - depending on whether I'm connected directly to the modem or via the router, one OR the other will show up as a gateway in "Devices". However, both will not show at the same time - even though I am also the LAN administrator.)

It's just that you didn't notice it because printers was also where it was in Windows XP (and still is in Windows 8).

Shareable devices (and shared-by-default devices) is *networked* thinking (basically, corporate/enterprise thinking). It has nothing to do with tablets, slates, or phones.

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+LogicalApex    1,747

What's wrong with Windows 8 again? Because I've been using it on my desktop and other PCs for months now, and have had little problems adapting. What wrong are they doing here, because I see a lot of right things going on. Please entertain me.

I wasn't making a comment regarding what is or isn't wrong with Windows 8. I was simply making a point that just because a company has done studies and research doesn't mean they will be lead to do the right thing. Humans can't be reduced to a set of equations and studies can't isolate the world enough to always reach the right conclusion.

I cited New Coke for a very valid reason. Coke is one of the oldest companies in America and the best recognized brand globally. They know business, marketing, and research very well because they have been doing it for well over 100 years. They made a dramatic change to their core product as a result of years of market research studies that proved Pepsi was correct (Americans like a sweeter cola) and when they launched the product their customers revolted hardcore. They were forced to reintroduce the "old" coke as the "Coke Classic" we have now.

Just because people don't click the start menu as much as Microsoft thinks they should have from their studies, for instance, doesn't mean they made the right choice, among others, to remove it. Of course, time will tell what decisions, if any, were bad ones regarding Windows 8. I'm just reminding you that studies aren't always right...

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PGHammer    1,460

Probably. printing is expensive these days.

I had to prep toner order forms for one of the commands I was stationed at, I vomited a little. Printing at home is even less common, between the cost and the perceived permanence of digitizing physical content.

Expensive? Only due to the cost of ink. (Paper costs have been basically flat since Vista went RTM, and costs for printers themselves have dropped - I still keep an eye open on what new printers cost, even though my seven year old HP inkjet shows no signs of failure, and as long as I can afford the ink, it will likely outlast me.)

Three boxes of plain paper (this is the typical midrange paper used by printers and plain-paper fax machines, in addition to copiers/mopiers) is between $40/$50USD at any of the Big Three (Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot) - that wil last our household (two inkjets and a plain-paper fax machine that doubles as a copier) a year plus. That is thirty-six reams of paper (twelve reams to the box).

If you are heavily tied to how XP/Vista/7 does things (which indeed sounds a lot like what the critics are saying), then you are basically admitting that the learning curve is too high *for you*.

I get that much.

However, that isn't being unintuitive - it's simply too different from what you are used to.

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andrewbares    110

However, that isn't being unintuitive - it's simply too different from what you are used to.

Intuitive is when things are intelligently labeled... A.k.a. Print for printing, or Push to Start for cars that have the button.

Unintuitive is hiding print (a verb) under a noun (Devices). That's like if Push to Start in a car was renamed to Engine.

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PGHammer    1,460

I wasn't making a comment regarding what is or isn't wrong with Windows 8. I was simply making a point that just because a company has done studies and research doesn't mean they will be lead to do the right thing. Humans can't be reduced to a set of equations and studies can't isolate the world enough to always reach the right conclusion.

I cited New Coke for a very valid reason. Coke is one of the oldest companies in America and the best recognized brand globally. They know business, marketing, and research very well because they have been doing it for well over 100 years. They made a dramatic change to their core product as a result of years of market research studies that proved Pepsi was correct (Americans like a sweeter cola) and when they launched the product their customers revolted hardcore. They were forced to reintroduce the "old" coke as the "Coke Classic" we have now.

Just because people don't click the start menu as much as Microsoft thinks they should have from their studies, for instance, doesn't mean they made the right choice, among others, to remove it. Of course, time will tell what decisions, if any, were bad ones regarding Windows 8. I'm just reminding you that studies aren't always right...

Frazell - all the "New Coke" debacle proves is that tradition will almost ALWAYS trump change.

If folks tell the surveyors something, even though they may actually believe it, if the change is to something they expect to be a certain way (be it Coke or Congress), they will scream and rebel.

Over seventeen years, the changes in Windows have been at a comparative snail's pace - and survey after survey has complained about it. (Not just surveys at Microsoft's behest, either - but those done by Microsoft's competitors, such as Apple, the GNOME Foundation, etc.)

Yet when Microsoft actually does something about it, the screaming has been loud and vigorous.

(And the same is true elsewhere - it's not unique to Windows; GNOME got yelled at over GNOME 3.0 and GNOME Shell, Ubuntu got whacked rather hard over Unity, and even Apple got yelled at - and this year - over changes in iOS and Mountain Lion.)

As much as we say we want newer flavors, what folks STILL prefer, over anything else, remains *vanilla*.

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AnDom    14
And before you think you're smarter than me, I am a software engineer, so you can't use that against me like you did with others.

Don't use the word "engineer" in context to make yourself look more intelligent... actually please don't use the word at all unless you are a licensed engineer (with an accredited MS/BS engineering degrees and have passed the FE/PE exams etc.), as it is disingenuous. I've seen janitors call themselves "Waste Management Engineers"... so unless you are a professional engineer, it really doesn't mean much.

I would then like to point out that, in the future, say 5 years from now... Whenever anyone wants to print anything, from anywhere, be it from Adobe Reader, the built-in reader, Chrome, Mail app, Any other Metro app, or whatever, they will always know exactly where to go. Because there is only one place to print from. And that is Devices > Printer. This is the ultimate in consistency.

The flaw in this argument (and many of the others I can't be bothered to respond to) is that the Charms bar operates in the context of a Metro App... so devices->printers is not consistent as soon as you are dealing with a "Desktop" application.

One could immediately rebuff that and say "well, developers will just have to update their applications"... but that doesn't work. From the [dead] horses mouth:

"Metro style app has a single, chromeless window that fills the entire screen" and "Limit navigational chrome that is persistently on the screen, such as tabs. Let people focus on the current content and avoid distractions"

So following the above guidelines, any application that does something non-trivial will need to be implemented in "Desktop" form, thereby completely removing the whole ideal of "ultimate consistency".

This goes back to my argument many posts ago.... Metro is for content consumption at best... not for content creation.

Ironically then I must ask the question (given your insistence in telling us what is is you do).... when developing a Metro app... does the development tool used follow the Metro interface paradigm?

Think about that for a moment, and then understand why this split personality "Metro/Desktop" interface makes little sense on a actual PC.

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PGHammer    1,460

Intuitive is when things are intelligently labeled... A.k.a. Print for printing, or Push to Start for cars that have the button.

Unintuitive is hiding print (a verb) under a noun (Devices). That's like if Push to Start in a car was renamed to Engine.

Push to Start is relatively new - Devices (in the case of a location for Printers) is not. (Remember, I pointed out that Devices goes back to Vista, and carried over to 7, and now 8.) I will bet that you are used to looking in Control Panel (the old location) for Printers. I have news for you - that goes back to XP and earlier. "Devices" premiered with Windows Vista; hence, "Printers" appeared in BOTH places in Vista and 7. All 8 did was get rid of the old Control Panel location.

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andrewbares    110
The flaw in this argument (and many of the others I can't be bothered to respond to) is that the Charms bar operates in the context of a Metro App...

I have a question... what happens when you have two Modern apps split screen? When you go to print, how does it know which one you're talking about?

That's why things specific to an app (a.k.a. printing) should be inside an app, not in a Charms bar.

Push to Start is relatively new - Devices (in the case of a location for Printers) is not. (Remember, I pointed out that Devices goes back to Vista, and carried over to 7, and now 8.) I will bet that you are used to looking in Control Panel (the old location) for Printers. I have news for you - that goes back to XP and earlier. "Devices" premiered with Windows Vista; hence, "Printers" appeared in BOTH places in Vista and 7. All 8 did was get rid of the old Control Panel location.

You're still not understanding the point... a well labeled button often uses a verb. Here's a few examples

  • Send - In email, you don't click on something that says "Internet", even though it's sending through the internet
  • Save - When viewing a PDF, you don't click on something that says "File Explorer", even though it's using a file explorer to save
  • Open - same as Save
  • Start Debugging - You don't click on Devices, even though debugging would send it to a device (virtual or physical)
  • Undo - You don't click on History....
  • Cut - You don't click on Clipboard

Well labeled buttons are nearly always verbs, since when you click a button it executes an action.

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AnDom    14

I have a question... what happens when you have two Modern apps split screen? When you go to print, how does it know which one you're talking about?

Admittedly I have not really looked into all the technical details behind Metro, but I believe based on the guidelines listed in MSDN, you cannot have 2 Metro applications sharing the same screen (since they are a single "full screen" window). From what i've seen it follows the phone model (i.e. iOS) where the task not in focus is relegated to the background (and the "host" task then allocates time to background processes).

Based on my limited testing, in multi-monitor scenarios, technically you can't have more then one Metro task active, even with multiple displays. At the very least it seems the Charms bar can only be activated on the primary display, so applications in secondary displays cannot be the application in focus when activating the Charms bar.

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srbeen    76

Windows 8 would be beautiful if it came out right after windows 95. Considering windows 95 flew with the SAME design for 17 years - its very difficult for people to adapt to the 'new' unix-way of thinking.

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+LogicalApex    1,747

Frazell - all the "New Coke" debacle proves is that tradition will almost ALWAYS trump change.

If folks tell the surveyors something, even though they may actually believe it, if the change is to something they expect to be a certain way (be it Coke or Congress), they will scream and rebel.

Over seventeen years, the changes in Windows have been at a comparative snail's pace - and survey after survey has complained about it. (Not just surveys at Microsoft's behest, either - but those done by Microsoft's competitors, such as Apple, the GNOME Foundation, etc.)

Yet when Microsoft actually does something about it, the screaming has been loud and vigorous.

(And the same is true elsewhere - it's not unique to Windows; GNOME got yelled at over GNOME 3.0 and GNOME Shell, Ubuntu got whacked rather hard over Unity, and even Apple got yelled at - and this year - over changes in iOS and Mountain Lion.)

As much as we say we want newer flavors, what folks STILL prefer, over anything else, remains *vanilla*.

Which is still the point I'm making. Studies aren't the end all and be all. They are one component that has to be taken into account among a diverse group of others.

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Dot Matrix    7,419

Just because people don't click the start menu as much as Microsoft thinks they should have from their studies, for instance, doesn't mean they made the right choice, among others, to remove it. Of course, time will tell what decisions, if any, were bad ones regarding Windows 8. I'm just reminding you that studies aren't always right...

The old Start Menu was removed for other reasons. Everything was going against it, no matter how much people loved it.

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Rickkins    283

Geez guys, the printing debacle is easy enough to avoid. Just install classic shell http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/, avoid metro-turd all together, use your regular apps that you're used to and print the way you always have. It really is that simple.

Furthermore, I think we'll the majority of users will do it that way.... and that even pc vendors will include that option, if only to sell more units. Indeed, if that were to happen, ms just may have a smash hit on their hands....

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metallithrax    522

Geez guys, the printing debacle is easy enough to avoid. Just install classic shell http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/, avoid metro-turd all together, use your regular apps that you're used to and print the way you always have. It really is that simple.

Furthermore, I think we'll the majority of users will do it that way.... and that even pc vendors will include that option, if only to sell more units. Indeed, if that were to happen, ms just may have a smash hit on their hands....

Why do you need to install classic shell just to print from your normal programs? And even in the reader app, just press "ctrl + p", worked for me, and is the way I always try to print - 99% of programs i've used print this way.

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Active.    1,696

I actually find it hard to believe that Metro's invisible interface elements could somehow not turn out to be a real issue for users.The thing is, you may currently not remember that the option to print is located under File->Print. But what can you do when you don't quite remember where the option is located? You scan the GUI with your eyes and try to glean hints from it where the Print option might be. This is similar to how you might not be able to describe step for step which turns you have to take to get to some location you only roughly know your way to, but once you're on the road, you'll probably be able to navigate to your location due to the amount of context information you're getting along the way, i.e. traffic signs et cetera . This is what HCI people call 'knowledge in the world'. Metro instead relies on you to already have the knowledge in your head.

In a Desktop app, the user will either figure out on her own that printing could be under 'File' (since the File is what the user intends to print), or she can just go from item to item and look for 'Print'. In Metro she has to know (and remember) that you can bring up an app bar, know (and remember) that there is a charms bar, and know (and remember) that the printing options could be located in the charms bar to even think of activating it. Even then, I suspect, a user might even look under 'Share' first, since the reason to print the document in the first place is probably to 'share' it with someone, instead of thinking that to print it she has to send the document to the printer 'device' (which is, in my opinion, more like how an engineer would think about this task)

And to quote from another article that was posted in the forum:

In our studies with mobile devices we found that whenever a menu was not in plain view, even users who knew about the existence of that menu (that is, they had discovered it in the past) didn?t use it as much or took a longer time to think to use it than if the menu options were all visible.
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Rickkins    283

Why do you need to install classic shell just to print from your normal programs?

You "need" it to avoid metro.

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metallithrax    522

You "need" it to avoid metro.

But this isn't about avoiding metro, and you don't need to install anything to avoid metro. It is a simple click of the mouse on the desktop tile and then you are out of metro.

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Rickkins    283

But this isn't about avoiding metro, and you don't need to install anything to avoid metro. It is a simple click of the mouse on the desktop tile and then you are out of metro.

Dear God man, are you insane...??? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

All that work, when one teeny weeny little install removes it from sight entirely, returns full functionality to start menu complete with the coveted start button... AND gets rid of the ridiculous charms nonsense.....

Can I get a "BOOYEAH..!!" :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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.Neo    1,834

@ the WP7.5 no clock comment, if you press and hold the back button (Task switch button) the clock appears at the top no matter what app you're in

That's not really what my comment was about. Some people here are trying to sell us the following: Microsoft did user experience studies so Windows 8's new interface must be intuitive (long story short). I'm disputing that since even internally at Microsoft each team draws different conclusions and implements different design decisions. The clock being always visible (by default) in Windows Phone vs the clock being always hidden (by default) in Windows 8 as a mere example of this.

Thanks for the tip though. :)

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andrewbares    110

Admittedly I have not really looked into all the technical details behind Metro, but I believe based on the guidelines listed in MSDN, you cannot have 2 Metro applications sharing the same screen (since they are a single "full screen" window). From what i've seen it follows the phone model (i.e. iOS) where the task not in focus is relegated to the background (and the "host" task then allocates time to background processes).

Nah they made it a little better than a phone. You can have two apps split screen (one 30% one 70%).

So I would assume that the Charms->Devices->Canon MP 460 would print the one that's the biggest (70%), but what if you're actively interacting with the small one (the 30% window) and you want to print it? You would have to unintuitively expand the window first and click print.

Or it works by which one you interacted with last... so then what if you're looking at the 70% window and want to print what's in there, even though you last interacted with the 30% window? Then it would print the 30% one which isn't what you want.

Either way, it's a crappy experience. I would test it and discover which method it uses, but my laptop apparently doesn't have a good enough resolution to support split screen.

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MFH    179

Nah they made it a little better than a phone. You can have two apps split screen (one 30% one 70%).

So I would assume that the Charms->Devices->Canon MP 460 would print the one that's the biggest (70%), but what if you're actively interacting with the small one (the 30% window) and you want to print it? You would have to unintuitively expand the window first and click print.

From my tests I conclude: it always applies to the "bigger" app. No matter which one you're currently interacting...

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