'Redesigned' Windows Vista "Start Menu" (Mockup)

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Hey Guys!, Take a look at my Start Menu Mockup :)

newinvistastartmenu_unexpanded1png.png > newinvistastartmenu_expanded1.png

Like the new and redesigned Start Menu?

I hope you do :)

Ok, there is my Mockup of Windows Vista tm Start Menu. But, I didn't do it just cause I felt like doing a mockup, I've got my reasons that I would like Microsoft to look at (feedback):

First off, let's say that Vista will ship with Avalon graphics environment and the other stuff, blah blah yeah, let's not be so technical here now (We are exited woohoo! :p); so for some reason, I was looking at all the nice glassie effect within the Windows and Icons and all other, and I said "why not having a totally NEW and redesigned Start Menu with Glass effects?"

So I had numbered a few questions users ask everyday: (even went to bed late just cause of working on this :D)


- Why the Windows Start Menu keeps being so complicated today?

- This Excellent Mockup could be the answer to this!

Q: - It'd be good to have the Start Menu Simplified. First off there is no more "Right Click/ Properties / Start Menu / Customize / General "Programs" > Clear List" way. That is A PAIN in the arse. Simplified:

Don't you feel like you get bored with all the recent softwares in your start menu "recent applications list" ?

A: Well, that's why the new Start Menu has this button:


It's simplified, right next to the Search bar. You just have a few pixels to walk to get there, click on it, it would ask "Are you sure you want to delete your recently opened applications history?" "Yes" PUFF! done :) Goodbye long long bored old way...

Q: - What about having a much simpler StarMenu, by remembering how old Windows like 98, or even 2000 had? What about that long way to change from my "XP Start Menu" to a good old "Classic Start Menu"?

A: - Well, there is no more long runs for that anymore either.... Do you remember how you had to "Right Click / Properties / Start Menu > select "Start Menu" or "Classic Start Menu" ? That is over:

There won't be any switch from new to classic. "Classic" has been there, waiting for you, along with "New". They have just united each other to simplify your things. Once you click on the "start" button, you will get a nice looking "Classic Version" of Start Menu, which is at the same time the newest and much nicer version ever! - Why this? There will be a bar at the edge of the "classic-New Start Menu" for you to just click and "expand" the new Menu options. Something like this:


And what do you get when you open up the expansion panel? Well, all of the Windows XP Start Menu options, including "My Computer", "My Network Places", "My Documents", "Control Panel", "Printers and Faxes", "Help", and a few others that you might be able to "add" by right clicking on "that panel" and just checking the Icons you would want to show up there. :) nice huh?

So then, that panel would be fixed, meaning there won't be ways it would get bigger if you add more icons... why? well we don't like huge things, so it would show up a tiny "navigation button" just below the last showing icon, so you can scroll down/up the other ones that are not visible in the panel. Something like this:


Another option along with this "expansible" extension will be the "Quick Action Buttons"


(however it could be called lol)

located in a little nice taskbar looking-like panel, in where you will have easy access buttons like "log off", "shut down", "restart"... there is no more "shut down / Open Window with differen options to choose / Shut down.."; all what you will see is A BUTTON TO SHUT DOWN. A BUTTON TO RESTART, ANOTHER TO LOG OFF, AND SOME OTHERS TO HYBERNATE/STAND BY... Right, there won't be more weird "Shut down Window / Choose what you want to do". You just click the button of the action you want to take, it would ask you if you are sure you want to do that (maybe something like "Are you sure you want to "Restart"? If you click "Yes" your computer will restart inmediatly; please save all your data and documents before procceding.")

Now, in case you want another buttons to appear in that "Quick Action Buttons", you can just right-click "that panel" and choose within the options which button to enable and which one not to... just as if they were checkmark options... then the panel resizes itself to fit the buttons of your choise :)

Q: - And what about that Top Part option of the Windows XP Star Menu in where you can add your own programs so they stay there as if they where "Favorites" along with the Default ones that you use to do simple things like "Navigate online", "check my e-mail" and stuff?

A: - That is so easy with this newest and simplified version of the Start Menu :)

Here let me explain this:


See that image? Ok, that's what the new "Top Part" as you call it, would look like. Let me call it "New Quick Launch Buttons". There might won't be "application drag n drop" in that panel as it is in the current Windows XP start menu version... why? Because it would come with like up to 5 positions to configure. Let's say you will have up to five icons showing up in that panel that you can configure, either throught right-clicking them, or by the Control Panel applet > "Set Program Access and Defaults". Once you are on the configuration part of let's say, the "Internet Quick Lauch Button" a list of currently installed "Web Browsers" would show up so you can choose which of the Web Browsers that you have installed will be used as the DEFAULT one for all of your Internet Navigation stuff. Then that Icon can again, show up there in the new "Quick Launch Buttons", thus replacing the icon of the Web Browser you had as default before. (ex: the Mozilla Firefox Icon would show up instead of the Internet Explorer icon...).

Now, you still have four more icons left, what would they be used for?

Well, simple things that users like doing a lot everyday once they sit in front of their computers; things like "Checking the Calendar for Meetings and other stuff", "Reading and writing e-mails", "Loggin into their Instant Messenger application to talk with their friends/families"... those are simple things that user would like to have in that part of the New Start Menu... Wouldn't it be great?

But that is not all.. Back to the neat effects found in Windows Vista, it will have scroll left/right buttons so you can navigate throught all of your "Quick Launch Buttons" options; again applying there one of the nice and unique Windows Vista effects!

Q: - Ok, there is one more thing I would like them to get rid of:

The User Image showing up on the Start Menu.

A: - Oh even you would like that option to go away! Nice so here is what the new Start Menu would include:


the newest and simplest way to let the user know "he is who he think he is"... So whenever you are wondering if it's you who is logged in your windows, you can go to start menu and open the expand panel; right on top of the main icons, you can find your Username, in a even nicer and simpler way, without the picture junk that only takes useful space in the Start Menu bar.

Now, if for some reason you still wanna see your user picture, you could easly do it by toggling "on" an option within the Start Menu Properties, that would act like this:

"Show my User Picture when I pass the cursor over my Username in the Expandable Panel".

Good huh? :) that would apply for those who still want to have user picture showing up on the Start Menu.

Now here are a few full previews:




What do you all think about my Mockup? Please feedback and rate if required, thank you! :)

(I wish this could be interesting, and that if it turns to be that way, that MS could get interest in doing something like that... cause it does looks better than the old XP fashioned Start Menu...)


None of these information, names, images, and brandnames if any, are Microsoft products, unless it's name is registered under their copyrights (such as Windows, Vista, Windows Vista, Windows Start Button, the Start Menu, and the Windows? Logo). This is not direct Microsoft Information, and such information should not be used to give any further information to users over the internet, as such information is not true or actually being used for ANY Microsoft Product Development Project. This is just a custom creation from a Windows User, like any other, and it's under its own rights to delete and/or modify. None of the "features" mentioned in this Topic, are actual Microsoft Products being developed, unless they are undisclosed Projects. Should this information from this Topic not be taken as real facts and/or any future Windows Vista upcoming Feature. This is just a CUSTOM DESIGN. MICROSOFT has not worked on this and this is not any user interface advance feature on ANY Windows Code-name "Longhorn" current, older, or newer released build.


Edited by Jazket
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I'll keep it simple - I really like that idea. Personally I would find that much easier on the eyes than the current Vista start menu - which looks like a mess. Yours looks cleaner and more to the point, at least to me.

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Cool idea, except for one thing. The "expander" button, the arrow to the right that you click on to get the right half of the start menu, isn't intuitive enough for users who aren't familiar with computers. Part of my job is to put my mind into that of a beginning user, and think from their perspective when designing interfaces (in which respect, a good portion of Vista currently fails miserably), and I can tell you that a good portion of them wouldn't have an intuitive sense of what that button does, and some of them -- I'm not kidding -- would never even see it.

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I'm sorry, I must say I did not read all of your descriptions/instructions.. but from just looking at the pictures, your mockup is beautiful but it looks like it'd add some extra clicks and/or waiting time to get to the program I want to open. I'd probably still use it though, because of it's beauty and "cool factor". Good job :yes: Maybe you should email it to Bill Gates.. It's probably too late for Vista, but maybe he'll put it into Singularity... lol

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It's a good concept, but not my taste.

The reason it's not my taste is because, although simplified it seems to focus eye-candy rather than functionality. It looks great, but I prefer to click less buttons to get to where I want rather than a few more just for the sake of it looking nice.

I'm quite happy with the Windows XP Start Button menu concept.

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I'll be brutally honest here - this would be a huge step BACKWARDS in terms of usability compared with the Start menu we have today. XP's start menu is layed out so that you can get to anything you commonly use in just two clicks (click start then whatever item you want) and you've turned getting to your most frequently accessed stuff at least 3, and left all the unfrequently accessed stuff in easy reach.

Also, what does the back button do? If its displayed by default (as your screens suggest) it makes absolutely no sense. If you haven't gone anywhere, how can you go back?

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I'm with y_notm here - this design looks okay (still not my style, feels way too heavy), but would be a big step backwards when it comes to workflow and accessibility.

Still, I don't think that the current way of using "start" is optimal - Start should be anywhere, it should be where my cursor currently is. If I want to launch a program, I should be able to open it as fast as I can think of it - Right now, I always have to walk into an extreme position of the screen, which makes the whole thing pretty slow. Also, the data in the start menu should be organized a lot better, so that you could access things just a lot quicker, but I already talked about this in the predications thread, so I'll shut my mouth here :)

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it is nice looking but you missed the point of the start menu, i want to quickly access my shortcuts, i don't want to click the menu, then click the expand button just to go on the control panel

too much clicking!!! :p

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for improving usability

1. make the pop out icons like apple osx dock running vertically... that should get rid of the button used to scroll down/up.

2. make the pullout a non click thing but a hover+magnify thing instead.

3. just try and get rid of all extra clicks.

good try though.

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I, for one, Think that the concept is wonderful. you have put a lot of work into thinking about your design and it has paid off.

I hope that it may one day be available for use, either by default or as a mod to vista when available

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I don't really like the plain white start menu background on the concept. Add some glass effects, glows, or transparency. Simple, yet nice-looking.

You know what would be cool. If you made it look like a holographic "scroll" screen extending from the edge of the screen. LoL that would never happen :\

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Start should be anywhere, it should be where my cursor currently is. If I want to launch a program, I should be able to open it as fast as I can think of it - Right now, I always have to walk into an extreme position of the screen, which makes the whole thing pretty slow.


Litestep might be what your looking for. Very minimal. Very functional (at least when I tried it out back in the day ['99 or so])

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Thanks guys for your comments and suggestions... IF there is something I'd have to change I will....

Now let me clear some concepts a little better so you all can understand a few things that might wer not clear enough - cause I DID Think about workflow all of the time... So I'm guessing a few "workflow" enhancements weren't explained well enough :

- The "Quick Launch Buttons" (Top Part of the Start Menu) -


The scroll left/right buttons are NOT clickable buttons in fact. I made it thinking of a "mouse over trigger" - once you put the cursor over any of the arrows it would move to that way.

As you can see, that panel would have as I said, 5 Quick Icons. However that is just a suggestion, it could have an option to add more icons in it. Its like the "Favorite Icons" part of the current Windows XP, but with "nicer" effects, and maybe better "workflow", only because of the fact that if you would add FIVE icons into that favorite icons part of the Windows XP Start Menu, it would go extremelly HUGE, and that cuts off space of your desktop once you open up the start menu.

- The "Back Button" (Actually a Vista Start Menu Feature) -


Of course you have somewhere to go "back". Remember that right now (as the picture shows) you have clicked the "All Programs" button... so it had turned to show all the software you have installed and their shortcuts. Once you click back you will be back to the "frequently Used Programs History". I made it that way since that feature is really simple and saves a lot of time looking throught application shortcuts, and I didn't want to change that option, since it offers good workflow.

- The new "Expandible" Panel -

One thing that I thought of is that, for the User to have a simple looking menu, does not have to go throught so many right clicks and options navigation like in Windows XP actually. So, by just clicking the "expand" button to hide the expanded panel, you would have a easy to use Start menu, without all the junk on it; thus DISABLING and deleting FOREVER the option to switch from Classic to New Start Menu, and even sinc that task is really painful. The option to switch from a New to a Classic Menu is now ONE click away.

Now, I didn't do the expanded panel thinking that everytime you come to the start menu you have to click it to open it. That's why I'm reffering to it as a "Switch" from a "Classic-looking" version of the Start Menu, to a "New-Full Version" of it.

A "Switch". It means that once you click that button to have the expanded panel showing up, it will leave it there, even thought you click the start button again, logoff, restart or even shut down your computer, to again "hide" it only if you click the "expand button" again.

Pointing to some other comment one of you guys made. The fact that a lot of "unexperienced" users would not even dare to click the "expand button", does not mean that they will not find it:

Microsoft has made a good reputation abut "teaching" the users how to use their new things. Windows Vista, could have a lot more tips to show the users new features, from the first time they install their new OS, than any other Windows OS version ever made. How hard would it be to add a Tip Windows that pops up the first time you click on your Start Menu once you install your Windows Vista OS version, telling the user about the new feature of the "Expand Button". Even I could make that tip...

It could look something like this:


its just a concept to strenghten the "Expandible Panel" feature . . .

Hope it clears out some concepts of "workflow" :) more comments! Let's see if we can get to have the "Perfect" Start Menu for Vista! And then give the feedback to MS! :D

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I don't want to be really negative because its obvious you have put a lot of thought and effort into this.

But really what is the point? It's not like Microsoft is going to scrap what they have in favor of this. Believe it or not Microsoft does actually put a lot of thought into workflow and how to make the experiance better. I think that even though your concept looks very slick it wouldn't be any more functional than what is there now.

Also I don't get the point of having a button on the start menu to clear the recent docs. Is this something people are doing a lot? Do people even still have the most recently used docs on their start menu anymore? As soon as you start adding buttons for this or that you run the risk of the why not theory of lets just put a button for everything hidden everywhere. Lets put a button on the start menu that opens desktop properties or add remove programs. It just seems like you are trying to do too much.

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