User Experience Expert Pans Windows 8

63

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

popeye67

For months people have been evaluating windows8 and giving feedback on the various forums, 99.9% of the comments have been negative and almost entirely directed at the missing start menu, people didn't much like the metro ui but they could live with it, the missing start menu they couldn't. And microsofts response was consistent if nothing else "WE DON'T CARE, GET USED TO IT". Windows8 doesn't deserve to succeed, it's not what people want, it's what microsoft wants people to want, its designed for phones and tablets, anyone using it on a desktop or laptop will be less than impressed and it doesn't matter how many positive comments microsoft plant on comment boards it's not going to make it any more popular. Yes there are work-a-rounds but i for one wouldn't be happy putting a brand new os right, doing it with the evaluation version is one thing, paying for it then having to fix it yourself is something totally different. And if microsoft try to stop people downgrading to 7 by making the hardware windows8 only they are going to seriously alienate customers who are already none too happy.

avatar

Penterax

Something's wrong with your calculator.

The actual number of people dissing Win 8 is far lower than the out-of-the-wild-blue 99.9% you say it is, and almost all of those people have never tried Win 8.

While most of us that have tried Win 8 aren't thrilled with Metro, we understand that it has a very low impact on our experience, because most of the time you can use Win 8 just like Win 7.

Some of us are even aware that there are actually improvements, it's not just a UI change. Better storage handling and better security are just two of them.

I won't upgrade my Win 7 machine to Win 8, but I will update my Vista machine to Win 8 instead of Win 7.

avatar

popeye67

it wasnt far off 99.9% and it was on a forums giving feedback you idiot, if they hadnt tried it how would they know start menu was missing, im not saying theres no improvments im saying it virtually unusable withthe stat menu removed, and before you say it yes i know theres workarounds ive tried them and while they work up to a point they dont replace the start menu

avatar

Ntropy99

Did you have to go there with "you idiot"? There was nothing uncivil with the response to your post. I would agree that most of the people who post on forums such as this won't like W8. But those of us who have used WP and look forward to the W8 tablets might find a benefit. As of right now, I am reserving judgement until the final product comes out.

avatar

davelray

Well I have to say I highly disagree with Raluca Budiu. I just changed over to Windows 8 Enterprise RTM today. It took maybe ten minutes to install. I didn't have to go searching for any drivers. All my games, Steam and non-Steam, work just fine. Office, Photoshop, Acrobat, and Visio work just fine. And if there is a "cognitive burden" when it comes to multitasking and content creation, I certainly haven't noticed it....

If they were paid for their views, maybe whoever paid them should ask for a refund. So far, my Windows 8 experience has been quite pleasant.

avatar

Erris

Totally the opposite experience here.

Saying that programs work, is not an achievement for the OS, programs are supposed to work. They work on Win 7 as well. Nothing new there. Would have been really bad if they did not work.

Drivers are so easy to install in Win 7 that I'm not even going to address this one.

Win 8 requires more clicks to to the same task. It actually takes longer to find the program I want compared to just typing the name in the start menu in Win 7, the 2 different styles of interface are jarring.
The "Metro" UI does not allow me to arrange the tiles as I see fit - it auto arranges them. There is a lot of wasted space, searching for a program results not in showing you the list of programs that meet the search criteria, but in 3 buckets with results in each one - now i have to go through the buckets to find what I need - additional steps that are just stupid.
The hidden "ribbons" that we activate by moving the mouse cursor to a corner of the screen are more annoying than useful.

And to top it off, I just don't like the "Metro" style to begin with.

If they wanted to make Metro the new standard, they should have done some research and optimized it for use on a desktop PC with a mouse and keyboard. Then they should have overhauled the WHOLE OS UI to be in the Metro style, not just the program list portion of it.

The only things that are an improvement are the task manager and copy/move windows. But even they are half-assed and are lacking basic functions that free 3rd party programs have had for a while.

avatar

davelray

Sorry to hear your woes. As with anything new, there will be a learning curve more or less. I've had no issues so far. At least none similiar to yours. I really would like to see further options to customize the new interface. And the mail app could use some layout options as well.

avatar

maxeeemum

Well I have to say I highly agree with Raluca Budiu. Even though I can get everything to work the user interface is just "horrible". I don't want to compute this way period! Ribbon!!! Metro!!! NO Aero!!! NO WMC!!! NO Start Menu!!! It's faster because they stripped everything out of it and made it a maze for the desktop/laptop user.

All this to sell tablets, smartphones, Xbox and hope to copy what Apple is doing. Screw their user base!!! Ain't gonna work now and it hasn't worked in the past. M$ just continues to piss off their customers and will hurt them in the future.

Win8 will sell some tablets but will cause more hate and discontent than anything else. One more thing "Sorry Dave your computer business is going to take a beating".

avatar

maxeeemum

Sorry I mistaken you for the other fanboy who owns a PC repair business. I see you didn't read my comment I said I can use W8 but why. Your a PC expert and not the average user. The average user will never accept W8.

Your arrogance is disturbing!!!

avatar

djrebelion

Why is it that apple can change everything and it's "Oooooh Awwwwww" blah blah learn it and use it. As long as it's stable I'm good.

avatar

maxeeemum

PC users are NOT Apple sheep!!!

avatar

thunderclap82

I think this is a pretty ignorant comment. Apple doesn't "change everything". In fact, their OS design, for both OS X and iOS, have remained virtually unchanged since their initial incarnations. You might be referring to LaunchPad in OS X, the program that gives an iOS feel in OS X, but unlike Microsoft they don't force it on you. It's a program you can run if you want to, but if not just never start it. They haven't done anything so bold as Microsoft as to completely change the OS design and functionality.

(And before people start blasting me as an Apple zealot, I'm far from it. My primary system is a Windows 7 system I custom built, though I do use a MacBook Pro.)

avatar

xmichaelx

Your comment gets to the heart of what's wrong with UX "experts" today.

I work in usability*, and have noticed an entire generation of self-styled UX folks who base their entire UX philosophy on Apple designs. It's sad. "Apple-like" is automatically "good UX" while everything remotely different is bad.

Apple makes a lot of great design choices, but they also will happily choose pretty-shiny over usable. This works out great for people who are already Apple users, but creates an overall thrown-together feel that's confusing to everyone else (my favorite: bouncing icons in the dock -- I have yet to see anyone NOT complain about them when testing on out-of-the-box Macs).

This isn't to say that Windows 8 is good or bad -- I'll tell you that when I do some user testing on it.

(*Yeah, it's not the same as UX. I'm aware.)

avatar

kevaskous

Way too many band-wagoners on this site. The Os is solid, been using it for quite some time now, RTM works great, wish it had more customizing features and such but 3rd party apps have always taken care of that anyways. I got a start-menu esque app already called Start8, does exactly what I want it to do. There are other options, exactly like old start and even classic but I like metro, just wanted a "peek" version of it.

It also puts me straight to desktop, which is nice, i guess. The Os uses 500-1GB less memory with exactly the same setup from my 7 install (Upgraded from 7) everything works with it, albeit with compatibility mode on some things (To be expected) it boots in literally half the time and it has reworked many many things, like Task Manager, god so needed.

Furthermore I get a bit better FPS on everything I play, that's even considering my shit audio driver causing me issues because yet again the company doesn't make any beta or preview drivers, surprise Creative (Who makes Auzentech's drivers, more or less). Metro takes some getting used to, and as I previously said i wish I had more control over it's functions, like searching computer puts Computer Management as top search, why...that should be seconda s it's not exactly what I typed!

So all in all it has some quirks and minor annoyances that I get with every new OS or app I try, but it's quick, it upgraded some much needed things and there's nothing I can't figure out, winner for me. Anyone who says differently just hates on change per usual, wants to find reasons to hate something or simply bandwagons. It's not perfect, but nothing is perfect Win7 is good, but there is always room for faster, better, Metro may be a unwelcome surprise for many (It's not bad after a bit of playing with it, a bit being days not seconds people) but as they stated to rewrite a more efficient code start as you knew it had to go. Could they have brought something similar back? Sure, but why not take the chance to uniform the UI across all their products so that people who are -not- tech savy only got to learn one thing, easy to hate when you know how to use 6+ OS's, Now get your grandmother to learn them all too, it makes sense, like it or not.

avatar

thunderclap82

While it's good there are workarounds one shouldn't have to do that. The OS should be easy to navigate and use. I still think Microsoft could have eased people into Metro by not forcing it on them, but instead encouraging usage (as well as encourage developers into designing for it). Forcing such a radical design change is going to make people dig in their heels and reject it.

avatar

kevaskous

People reject change, there is no slight, any change is usually revolted, better to do just do it, force them to get over it and work with it. this has always been the case, to be honest, companies especially would rather never change anything, ever.

avatar

John Pombrio

I just completely skip Metro and the Charms bar and have plenty of workarounds for the loss of the Start button (which I never used anyways). There is plenty to love in Win8 if you can get past all the negative hype (most of which is aimed at Metro).
http://www.eightforums.com/software-apps/8485-skip-metro-suite.html

avatar

kevaskous

Yeah no doubt, and with some time and tweaks Metro itself an't half bad, slightly half baked, but not horrible. I always supplemented start anyways as it was never entirely useful for me either, using docks and such, but hey whatever floats peeps boats, their PC not mine I enjoy the speed improvements, something I care more about than aesthetics!

avatar

Peanut Fox

Do you find docks redundant in 7? I ask because you can pin applications to it and it functions much the same as a dock.

avatar

kevaskous

Nah I do not, because win7's dock is very limited in comparison to what I use, and still use in 8, nothing can replace this dock in the foreseeable future(Except maybe a better 3 party dock). it's also too complex to be part of a windows UI, so doubt I'll ever see this level of functionality built in sadly.

avatar

kevaskous

Oh, there are addons you can add -to- win7's dock and get a lot of the added functions i enjoy, but I prefer the second dock, and i auto hide them both and desktop icons for my pretty backgrounds, preference there but my dock still does more than even the upgraded 7 dock.

avatar

boidsonly

I ran it in a virtual machine for a week and then removed it. I did not like it. I adapted through all the iterations of DOS and Windows, even like android (once the device is rooted) and dislike the Orange OS.
I am not going to spend money on something I "don't like", period.
If all the crippling features that are rumored appear in it, even if I liked it, I would not use it. To me, this is Vista reborn-and I like Microsoft products, generally speaking.
At least I have my 98, XP and Win7 machines to use as PCs-and my tablets to use as tablets.
Good luck on this one Microsoft...

avatar

georgey

I went to a Microsoft event recently where they explained the reason behind the two extremes, Windows RT and the normal Windows desktop on Windows 8. It's because they have completely rewritten the platform from the ground up with Windows RT. The code is a lot more efficient, i.e. threading isn't as cumbersome.

It's really a shame Microsoft isn't spreading the WHY people should care about Windows 8 more. They're desperately trying to improve their platform, which they've been band-aiding for the last 11 years.

avatar

BadCommand

Win 8 is not a "mobile" interface, Win 8 is a new interface that happened to be released on the mobile platform first. The only issue with the new Win 8 interface that has people scratching their head, is that we are now having to wait for developers to interface correctly with the new Win 8 interface. Keep in mind folks, MS doesn't control the entire windows ecosphere- especially one with now well over a decade of legacy apps (retro to XP basically). Once developers start to rapidly release the "made for Win 8" apps, and people stop having to drop to the old desktop, they will be wondering what they did without the new interface.

The further fact that the same interface is ubiquitous across desktop, tablet and smartphones will greatly ease future learning curves.

avatar

NavarWynn

""It's] definitely a cognitive burden, but not an insurmountable one.”"

That's exactly how I'd define 3 semesters of college calculus, and Thermo & Fluid dynamics. Doesn't mean they weren't royal pains in the ass... I however don't think that's exactly what she had in mind.

Frankly though, if Win8 encourages wider numbers of people to experiment and install '3rd party' distros (which are getting pretty mature), the long run effect will be good... Frankly, at this point, I'd even install Wooly Mammoth (or is it Sea Lion?... well, whatev. Apple is selling now ;-) ) over Win8.

avatar

Bullwinkle J Moose

Usability Tips that a Usability Expert could Love!

To boot directly to the (Whatever it is) without entering a password every time
Run Netplwiz.exe
Now uncheck the box that says: Users must enter a name and password to use this computer

To SHUT DOWN the computer in a single click, create the following shortcut and pin it to the taskbar>
%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 0

To REBOOT the computer in a single click, create the following shortcut and pin it to the taskbar>
%windir%\system32\SHUTDOWN.exe -r -t 00

avatar

John Pombrio

Add this to your list Skip Metro screen, Disable Charms bar, and corner switcher:
http://www.eightforums.com/software-apps/8485-skip-metro-suite.html

avatar

whathuhitwasntme

ok so because all of the functionality has been removed from windblows 8 it is FASTER. Of course it is, its not doing anything! I can do nothing faster than you can compile code, its basic math.

I do not understand why Micro$oft feels the need to make my pc into a tablet clone. Tablets have their place, in a mobile market. Yet, when I get home, my tablet goes on the charger and I use my pc.
I do not use a tablet to write papers for my college classes, EVER. Its just not possible in my opinion. Exactly why would I cripple my PC like this?

Ok, yeah if I was 14 and did not grasp the power of a PC and had no real need for it, sure make my massive PC a tablet clone, I will not likely notice because after all facebook loads .15 seconds faster so I can "LIKE" stuff faster and "poke" random people faster. WHY? Did somebody at Micro$soft hire their sisters younger retarded kid for the summer and this was their "project"? Fire your siblings and get back to the real work at hand folks. For windows 8 to survive they will surely have to make it to where you can switch OFF the tablet goodies for the real work that real people buy computers for. As much as the television commercials want you to believe its about 11 year old kids making flying green screen videos, it's not. It is spread sheets, and good old fashioned software that makes the PC run, not aps from the ap store that run on a cell phone.
end rant

avatar

Hooded

Windows 8 whatever.
It has it's good and bad points.
Much like ME imho. This will probably under go a huge change by the next release so maybe then I'll be thinking about a change in OS's.
95 = P.O.S.
98se = Rock Solid
ME = P.O.S
XP SP3 = Rock Solid
Vista = P.O.S.
Win 7 SP1 = Rock Solid
Do we see a pattern forming here. LOL
So long as they don't stop supporting Win 7 anytime soon.

Yes I have Windows 8 RTM running in a virtual machine.
Sometimes you've just got to mess it up, in order to move forward.

avatar

Arnulf

You missed Windows 2000 and NT (few distinct versions).

avatar

davelray

Actually if you look even deeper, each version you listed as P.O.S. is a version where Microsoft did something different.

Win95 = Changed entire GUI
WinME = Dropped DOS
Vista = Changes to the GUI and added in some protection that apparently annoyed the hell out of people.

Windows 8 = Stripped the start button but left the desktop and superglued a new "tablet like" gui on top.

Guess you could sum it up as people hate change.

Personally I just they would make the "metro" interface more customisable. I think fewer people would take issue with it if they could change it up more.

avatar

Tenhawk

It's not that people hate change so much as making those changes inherently lead to mistakes, missteps, and misreads on the part of MS. I expect that Win8 will be the Vista or ME of this time around, but whatever they call Win9 will fix most of the problems and get the user experience on a solid track.

I am a little concerned with the reports that the new interface makes content creation difficult. One of the main draws of Windows over Android or iOS is that you use it to DO things, not just to consume. Stomping over content creators just seems like a way to drive people to OSX or whatever Apple's new main OS is called.

avatar

davelray

That is concerning and there's been no details as to what they mean when they say content creation is difficult. I had no issues with Office applications. PowerPoint was smooth and Excel worked fine with all my spreadsheets. Visio worked fine as well. I also played around with Adobe Acrobat and had no issues there. Though I rarely create PDF files, my clients do so I needed to make sure I would not see any surprises. Photoshop worked as flawlessly as it ever does. I admit I'm confused on that point. I would love to get some real feedback on what is making content creation difficult.

avatar

Typo91

its not that people hate change... many of MS OSes where just useless for gamers

MS DOS 5.0 = Decent
MS DOS 6+ = Excellent for most things
MS Win 3.0 = Complete waste of time
MS Win 3.1 = Ok if you work in an office or like After dark screensaver
MS Win 95 = Not the worse thing cause you still have DOS for games
MS Win 98 = Worked pretty good, and ran most games
MS Win ME = For the love of god no. Didn't work well for anything
MS Win NT = Office stuff is pretty good, don't try to have fun on it
MS Win 2k = Hey this almost runs games and works sorta good
MS Win XP = God's gift to PCs. This is what OS should be.
MS 2003 Sv = XP on a server, Good, better with Service packs
MS Vista = OMG WHY?!?!? Can't run stuff right, glitchy, stupid rules
MS Win 7 = Its like XP only better! Faster, runs more stuff! F-Yea!
MS 2008 Sv = Win7 gone server, better with Service packs, >2003 Svr
MS HomeSrv = Drive Extender=huge turd. Good idea, poor implementation
MS Win 8 = NOT Win 7+1.Useless interface, glitchy, compatibility issues, not faster then Win 7

avatar

Keith E. Whisman

Definitely an EPIC WIN! for remembering the After Dark screensaver. Star Trek After Dark screensaver was epic. I wish it would be updated.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

It's a computer, not a phone. Fuck Windows 8, fuck Microsoft, and fuck Steve Ballmer.

avatar

Keith E. Whisman

I went back to Windows 8 after I found a, ahem, computer with Windows 8 Pro RTM Build 9200 on it laying in the street. Well I decided that I would give it a chance and run only it and Ubuntu and I find I use Ubuntu a lot more than I've ever done in the past but those days are disappearing as I get used to the new Win8 interface. I actually do like the fancy Win8 Style interface and see that as the obvious future that will be polished and fully fleshed out in future Windows releases. I also found Start8 and after installing that I found I am actually having a harder time going back to using the start orb. I think that if you give Windows 8 a chance, it'll grow on you.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Like mold.

avatar

Morete

I blame consumers on this one. When smartphones, tablets and yes, even laptops all combined outsell desktop PCs 3 to 1, we will forever be stuck with enhanced mobile OS's on desktops because consumers prefer portability and convenience over everything else. The market dictates portability and convenience and that's where the money is so that's why Microsoft went there.
My prediction is that the majority of office cubicle and workstation PCs will be replaced with a tablet/keyboard connected via Wi-Fi to a mainframe within 10 years. Schools will no longer have textbooks. Our whole life is going to be one portable and convenient mess.

avatar

someuid

Haha. I'm not trying to poke fun at you, but it is funny to see you say we'll all be using tablets with tablet-style UIs and connect to mainframes.

For years, everyone said the mainframe was dead and windows servers would rule the planet. Now, Big Iron is everywhere.

Nothing dies in IT. It just gets moved to somewhere else in the pipeline or ends up behind the scenes doing the heavy lifting while some other new 'technology' takes the lime light until it to is matured and shuffled into the pipeline, forgotten but still required.

The Windows style UI isn't going anywhere. It will just no longer be the primary UI that entry level users and the masses utilize. The real heavy lifting in programming, media creation, and other information intensive industries (financial trading?) will continue to use a window based UIs for a long time.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

And when the lights go out, we get to sit around with our thumbs up our asses.

avatar

anusbreath

"...we will forever be stuck with enhanced mobile OS's on desktops because consumers prefer portability and convenience over everything else"

That may be some of the reason, but a really huge reason can be seen easily if you happen to be an Apple programmer. The code base that you use to build applications is hugely overlapped between the desktop and touch devices. Developers aren't forced to learn and support two (or more) entirely different programming paradigms in order to write software for the platform. You can write your application with one code base, and have that same application run on a desktop, laptop, touch device (phone, iPad, etc) with very minor code changes. That is a massively enormous bonus to programmers.

Imagine now the companies that write games, and they have to write one version for PC's, one for Macs, one for XBox, one for Playstation, one for Wii, etc.
That is a horrific nightmare of epic proportions. The massive amount of additional resources and work that has to be applied to make 1 game look and run the same on so many different platforms is a huge money drain for game companies.

So I think a gigantic piece of the reason for the mobile OS's on desktops is because Microsoft looked at crApple and said "wholly effing chryst, look at the trazillion bazillion gazillion dollars in Apple's bank account... all because they can write code once, and run it on all their devices." They see that and have no choice but to jump on the same paradigm bandwagon.

avatar

anusbreath

I dunno how much I agree with this. The smartphone is in no way intended to directly compete with PC's, and especially desktop PC's. These markets have a little bit of overlap, but that's about it. Yeah I use my phone's browser to look up stuff on-the-go, but I would never in a million years trade my phone for a desktop PC. Especially when my desktop PC has four 27 inch monitors, a few terrabytes of storage, and can play Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, and other high end games flawlessly. Those games would be boring, stupid, and intolerable on a smartphone. Smartphones can stick with angry birds.

By the way, I also like being able to type 90 wpm on my desktop PC. Try that on a suck ash smartphone keyboard. Voice recognition has years to go before it will be that good. I was using Dragon Naturally Speaking over 20 years ago, and they've hardly increased their accuracy a drop over the last 2 decades. Voice recognition is still garbage for most applications (purposes).

avatar

anusbreath

The author makes a fantastic point. Micro$oft is dumming down the interface for the modern moron. The facebook generation which shares their lives with a million strangers on the internet.

If you haven't seen the movie "Idiocracy," run, don't walk, to the nearest place you can get it... it's a hilarious and amazingly accurate depiction of the future. The stupid and ignorant continue to have the most kids, just like in real life, and eventually wipe out all traces of intelligent humans. You know, those that had meaning and purpose to their lives.

avatar

Engelsstaub

I love that movie. Almost anything Mike Judge does is golden.

avatar

Xenite

I won't be downgrading to windows 8.

avatar

kevaskous

"Downgrading" would imply it is a lesser product, the only thing lesser about it to 7 is your opinion of it. It is faster, lighter and more polished in every way outside metro itself, which is mew and never done before.

Stop making a total fool of yourself, you don't like it, cool, it's anything but a downgrade, in every regard, like Metro, or not.

avatar

RaptorJohnson

You working the night shift at microsoft?

avatar

maxeeemum

Yep! M$ employee or blind fanboy! W8 is a tablet OS! End of story!

avatar

pratikrawankar

+1

windows 8 sucks on desktop and hell for gamers

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.