Metro is simply awful, I really don't get people who defend it (probably the same people who defend windows phones lol).
It is just not a well designed User Interface experience compared to the old style windows desktop. The proof is in how many people use it, I've got windows 8 installed on one of my PC's and just boot straight to the desktop. I'm sure many others do too.
It's not just a change of interface - it's an inconsistent, jarring user experience.
I've used a ton of interfaces from early Gem, SunOS on early Sparcs, OS/2, through fvwm, *boxes to Unity (my favourite!!!). I prefer some, dislike others, but Metro is simply horrible.
Yes, you can get used to it. You can get used to anything, but that doesn't mean it's a good interface.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 18th March 2014 at 11:41 AM.
I think being faced with new computer interfaces is difficult for people. People generally don't like change and regardless of the merits of an interface, you get used to what you use. It's a problem for evangelists who will say "Try Mac/KDE/Gnome/Windows/X". The first experience anyone has of a new interface is the pain of change - they won't see the benefits easily through the effort they have to make simply to assimilate change, so evangelists say try X and are then disappointed when someone does but comes back and says "well, I did try it and I didn't like it". Windows 8 IMO suffers hugely from this in that it is such a big change. It takes a while to get over that hurdle.
Learning new stuff causes physical changes in the brain, it is hard, it takes energy and it can actually be painful. I think people tend to underestimate the effect of that on their judgement when trying to be objective about change. It's very difficult to eliminate confirmation bias at the best of times, it's hugely difficult when it is associated with things that are temporarily rendered difficult that used to be easy. I found W8 to be a real pain at first, but actually using it on a tablet, it makes a lot of sense. Just getting over that hurdle is a challenge. MS underestimated that and will now pay for it, having to reign in the pace of change. However, IMO the long term future is more Metro style than Windows desktop.
For me , Metro is just more dumbing down of Windows (and a step way to far, and bad design at its greatest) thats been happening since Windows XP. Windows 2000 was great GUI design wise. With XP it was dumped down, take the 'Control Panel' as one example, i had to turn it to Classic to make it usable, they made 'Simple File Sharing' which actually made things harder. To name but a few annoyances. Luckily in XP you could turn everything back to classic and get on with using the machine again. Every version of Windows this is getting worse.
ive never even wanted to set my pc/laptop/tablet to boot to desktop
I've put 8.1 on most devices I use and don't mind the Start screen \ search on 8.1 (8.0 was horrible though) but have to agree many of the "Modern" apps are pretty poor. The only one I use is OneNote which works better than the desktop version, apart from that every other app is better in its legacy form.
Live tiles are useful for email and similar and for a couple of frequently-used programs so I can tolerate that, works well on the touch-screen devices it was intended for and not unbearable even on a 23" widescreen. What I don't like is how inconsistent the navigation is using the Charms and similar. For example in apps you'd expect to be able to use the search charm to find information inside that app but in the Windows Store that doesn't work and you have to find the other search bar at the top which to me feels rather counter-intuitive. It's still too easy to get "out of control" by accidentally activating the hot corners when you don't want them, not sure how MS can get around that though.
Alongside other stupidities like needing both Office 365 and Microsoft accounts to use certain features in 8.1 \ Office 2013 it just seems like MS need to sit down and sort out all the oddities and smooth the user experience before trying anything more radical as at times it's all over the place.
I'm not going to wade into the opinion debate about whether the modern UI is good or not (but for the record: I think it is a great move forward that gets somethings right immediately, but leaves other things to be refined in future) but for those of you who are interested I'd recommend giving this video a whirl:
UX Week 2012 | Jensen Harris | The Story of Windows 8 on Vimeo
It's quite long, but worth watching if you've ever thought "what on Earth was Microsoft thinking with the modern UI?".
I'm happy to adapt to a new interface but I'm finding metro offers me little in the way of improvements. Its lacking in control and manageability in the work environment we're used to, but ok for home users and tablets.
On our test Win8.1 laptop everything we use here opens up on the desktop anyway, so the metro interface is defunct before we're even rolled out any Win 8 devices.
I'm typing this on my home 8.1 touchscreen pc and its fine, although I'm using the desktop Firefox and I don't have to worry about proxy authentication
As soon as you say you prefer the start menu layout you're dismissed as a Window 8 hater or just dragging behind the times, but the simple fact is the expanding menu structure is a very simply and very effective way for all sorts of levels of users to navigate their PC, whether at work or at home. Perhaps MS should have split Win8 into tablet + metro version and Pro + Start menu versions to suit the two different markets?
Last edited by Sheridan; 18th March 2014 at 08:25 PM.
Former Firefox for Windows 8 developer: Low test numbers doesn't mean OS is in trouble « Neowin
Last week, Mozilla decided to put development of its Firefox web browser made specifically for the Modern user interface in Windows 8 on hold indefinitely. Now a former member of the browser's development team is defending that decision while at the same time saying that it does not mean Windows 8 itself is in trouble.In a new blog post today, former Mozilla team member Brian R. Bondy, who worked on the Firefox for Windows 8 team, wrote that just because the browser had a low amount of beta testers doesn't mean that Windows 8 and the Modern UI have low general usage. He believes that one of the reasons why there were so few testers is that Windows 8 does not allow any third party browser to run on the OS unless it is set as the default. He states, "Several people could have had a Modern UI capable Firefox pre-releases installed, but just never knew it."
The other reason is that Windows 8 also makes it harder to set one browser as the default compared to older versions of the OS.While Bondy believes Microsoft should make the default browser settings in Windows 8 less confusing, he does support their direction with the Modern UI as a whole, stating, "I do believe that touch hardware is something people are adopting and will adopt more."
Following Friday's blog post by Nightingale, Neowin attempted to contact Mozilla to see if we could get more information about their decision to cancel development of Firefox for Windows 8. Unfortunately, a spokesperson for the company declined to answer most of our questions, stating only, "We have no plans to start development again at this time. We always watch the desktop and mobile markets to find opportunities to advance Mozilla's mission."
A touch interface works great in many applications - phones, tablets, touch tables, kiosks, point-of-sale, controls in cars, etc. However, they do not translate well onto laptops or desktop computers where the screen is sitting in the upright or vertical position."I do believe that touch hardware is something people are adopting and will adopt more.".
If a large mass of the population suddenly started using touch controls on laptops and desktop computers in place of a mouse or trackpad, we would see a large increase in RSI-related shoulder and neck problems as the result of constantly lifting the arm horizontally and reaching forward, up down, and to the side. These movements are natural for a person in a standing position for short periods of time (kiosks) or when the touch surface is on an angle or sitting horizontally (as tablets are most often used). There is a risk of RSI in any touchscreen device, but the risk goes up considerably when the screen being used is sitting in the vertical position.
Are Windows 8 Touch Laptops Bad For Your Health?
This is why I think MS blew it in failing to understand the distinction between a touchscreen interface and a desktop/laptop interface. Trying to merge the two interfaces makes the resulting interface inferior on both types of devices. It's not about a technological issue such that just improving the interface or touchscreen technology is the solution, it's the reality of human physiology and therefore breaks one of the cardinal rules of human interface design.
Are people more prone to RSI if they use keyboard cases with their tablets (because it's more-or-less than same form factor as a touch-screen laptop)?
Last edited by Arthur; 18th March 2014 at 11:40 PM.
I would say yes, absolutely. Putting a keyboard case onto a tablet and using that extensively is even worse than using touchscreen interfaces on a laptop. At least on the laptop, there is the option of using the trackpad and most people would and should use that (making the touchscreen on a laptop or desktop pretty much a "gimmick" and only increasing manufacturing costs). On a tablet, that is not an option (except on the Surface). The fact that there is a trackpad built into the Surface shows that MS did at least realise that using the touchscreen when in "laptop" mode was less than ideal.Are people more prone to RSI if they use keyboard cases with their tablets (because it's more-or-less than same form factor as a touch-screen laptop)?
The whole interface is designed for touch, so even having to use hot corners and all of the other interface quirks with using Metro on a desktop means much more movement of the mouse to bring up the Metro "start menu". This all adds to the increased likelihood of RSI.Without a touchscreen, all the Start Screen is is a full screen Start Menu with bigger icons that can display dynamic information. In this context, what's the problem?
Last edited by seawolf; 18th March 2014 at 11:51 PM.
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