I previously posted a slightly tongue-in-cheek posting about a hypothetical support call for the Windows 8 user interface. I liked the posting but I thought it needed a follow-up that summarizes my thoughts about Windows 8 UI.
What I was trying to say:
- Never have an invisible control. Especially one that kicks off most processes. Who ever thought of the upper+right hand corner control must never have tried it out on regular people.
- Don’t have the menus disappear after a time. The user may be evaluating which choice is best. 3 seconds to show a menu isn’t enough for regular people.
- A ‘search’ functionality should search everything. In Win8, it searches for applications limited to the category that is selected. Why? Most people would have less than 1,000 applications installed so speed shouldn’t be an issue.
Tips for Windows 9 UI:
- Take the UI out for some usability studies. Being different for difference sake doesn’t add value. Honor the past and the existing knowledge base, but make evolutionary changes to make the UI better. Test driving a new UI will tell you if it is better or not.
- Steal from the best. Look to the Linux UIs and to OsX. Take the best ideas. Don’t worry about the people complaining on where an element came from. Look to be the best.
- Get to two versions: Home and Professional. Confusing the customers with a myriad of choices makes them feel taken advantage of if they lose out on a weird feature.
- Make the upgrade process cheap and simple.
- Don’t be limited by the past. It seems to me that Win8 was a wrong turn as far as UI goes. Let this be a fresh start. The goal is to make the UI easier to use so your users (customers) are more productive.