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Old 20th November 2012, 11:08 AM   #1
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Default Windows 8 usability review

This article by Jakob Nielsen on the Windows 8 UI makes some interesting points - wish I had the language and knowledge to analyse a design like that. Originally via PCPro

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Old 20th November 2012, 01:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by bookmarkmns01 View Post
This article by Jakob Nielsen on the Windows 8 UI makes some interesting points - wish I had the language and knowledge to analyse a design like that. Originally via PCPro

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Thank you for this link, Mark. It makes for interesting reading.
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Old 20th November 2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

I don't know if it's all that bad. My 84 year old father recently upgraded from XP to Win 8. With a few tweaks, such as Classic Shell, he rarely ever has to deal with the "Modern UI" side of 8. It logs into the Win 7 look desktop every time, and we're finding that a lot of the "Apps" have a Win 7 counterpart that loads fine the old fashioned way. It's got me thinking about upgrading, myself...
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Old 20th November 2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by gerrycud View Post
I don't know if it's all that bad. My 84 year old father recently upgraded from XP to Win 8. With a few tweaks, such as Classic Shell, he rarely ever has to deal with the "Modern UI" side of 8. It logs into the Win 7 look desktop every time, and we're finding that a lot of the "Apps" have a Win 7 counterpart that loads fine the old fashioned way. It's got me thinking about upgrading, myself...
And, reading that made me think to NOT get WIN8 as I always have multiple windows open and work between them on one display.
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Old 20th November 2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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And, reading that made me think to NOT get WIN8 as I always have multiple windows open and work between them on one display.
But in Win 7 desktop mode, there is no problem of having multiple windows open. And as I said, you can pretty much avoid the other UI altogether after installing Classic Shell to put back the Start button. I wouldn't bother upgrading if it were full price, but as M$ is offering Win 8 Pro for $40 right now, it's got me interested...
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Old 20th November 2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by gerrycud View Post
But in Win 7 desktop mode, there is no problem of having multiple windows open. And as I said, you can pretty much avoid the other UI altogether after installing Classic Shell to put back the Start button. I wouldn't bother upgrading if it were full price, but as M$ is offering Win 8 Pro for $40 right now, it's got me interested...
That $40 caught my eye, too, Gerry. This system is running Win 7 Ultimate and my thought was to figure out how to do a dual boot with minimal hassle.
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Old 20th November 2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by mjh View Post
And, reading that made me think to NOT get WIN8 as I always have multiple windows open and work between them on one display.
The article is a little misleading. In desktop you can have multiple windows open.

And in 'Modern' UI you can view two apps side by side.

I have been using Windows 8 since the launch date - 3 weeks on 'I like it'!
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

Update: You don't need the 'Classic Shell'.

Select 'start' - hover in bottom left corner of screen or press 'Windows' key.
Use scroll wheel on mouse to move to the area of 'Modern' UI you want and click the tile:
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by alspar View Post
Update: You don't need the 'Classic Shell'.

Select 'start' - hover in bottom left corner of screen or press 'Windows' key.
Use scroll wheel on mouse to move to the area of 'Modern' UI you want and click the tile:
Thanks, Alan....
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

Update: Or - on the start screen - just start typing the name of the program you want.... (You don't need to open the charm bar search)

I get WebPlus by just typing Windows key > we
Or all Serif by typing Windows key > se
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

I find it best to think of Start as just that, a superfied start button, then it's easier to manage.

But if you think of it as the place to do everything from you'll constantly be annoyed with it.
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

Update: Of course you can still use the Desktop Icons....
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by alspar View Post
Update: Of course you can still use the Desktop Icons....

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Old 20th November 2012, 03:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by Naz View Post
I find it best to think of Start as just that, a superfied start button, then it's easier to manage.

But if you think of it as the place to do everything from you'll constantly be annoyed with it.
Naz: I have to agree.

Everything I use routinely is either a Desktop shortcut or pinned to the taskbar.

I also have 'Computer' 'Network' and 'User' icons displayed on the desktop, for ease of access, but there again I have always done that on all previous Windows versions....
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Old 20th November 2012, 03:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by mjh View Post
Thanks, Alan....
Interesting links and discussions, but were we saying the same when DOS type operating systems were being superseded by GUI O/Ss... which required more powerful, more expensive hardware?

GUIs have enabled many more people to use PCs, and to use them after much less lengthy training.

But these days, many people will come to PCs after using mobile smartphones & tablets: Should they really have to re-learn techniques, or should they simply be able to use their PCs in a similar way to how they use their mobiles?

Yes, many of us have become used to multi-tasking; having several programs running; to using (perhaps ~10% of the features in) expensive complicated multi-purpose programs.

But younger generations are now used to buying & using cheap single-purpose mobile Apps which do only one function... but have a very simple UI; and/or to using simplified online software services.

They are also used to having other things - such as "phone" "SMS" "IM" email etc. - running continuously in the background.

The first version of Windows 8 is bound to have rough edges, but is Nielsen really just hankering after the past and describing how the "elite" have learnt to use their PCs?
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Old 20th November 2012, 04:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Interesting links and discussions, but were we saying the same when DOS type operating systems were being superseded by GUI O/Ss... which required more powerful, more expensive hardware?

GUIs have enabled many more people to use PCs, and to use them after much less lengthy training.

But these days, many people will come to PCs after using mobile smartphones & tablets: Should they really have to re-learn techniques, or should they simply be able to use their PCs in a similar way to how they use their mobiles?

Yes, many of us have become used to multi-tasking; having several programs running; to using (perhaps ~10% of the features in) expensive complicated multi-purpose programs.

But younger generations are now used to buying & using cheap single-purpose mobile Apps which do only one function... but have a very simple UI; and/or to using simplified online software services.

They are also used to having other things - such as "phone" "SMS" "IM" email etc. - running continuously in the background.


The first version of Windows 8 is bound to have rough edges, but is Nielsen really just hankering after the past and describing how the "elite" have learnt to use their PCs?
I entirely agree with your last paragraph, Richard.

Also, it is not just young people (your highlighted comments) - As I said earlier I have been using Windows 8 since its launch date - having also used the preview versions on my test laptop.
I had to buy a new laptop in September, and since I effectively had a free upgrade to Windows 8, I took up the offer and was happily running it at 02:30 am following the launch at midnight.
The surprise came 2 days later on the Sunday when my wife had been playing with W8 on my laptop and said "can I have this?" - that was upgrade number two - she likes the simplicity of the 'Modern' UI apps, but still has all the desktop she is used to.

Upgrade number three was completed 3 days later - a clean install of my desktop - I had been promising myself a clean re-install of Win7 for ages - and this seemed as good a time as any.
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Old 20th November 2012, 09:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

I agree with Nielson on a lot of points. Win8 has made it much more difficult to do things especially customize. I haven't customized Win8 because most of the stuff I used is gone or difficult to find. My BIGGEST complaint is the complete removal of MPEG2 support, but still supports all other video formats. From what I've read, it's just because of a licensing disagreement. MS just refused to pay $2 per copy.

Nice trick with Windows key+type app name, but what if you don't remember the app name of the company? Most of my apps, I recognize an app by the icon - not it's name. Some apps for some odd reason end up with 4 or 5 icons on the ModernUI especially suites that install several smaller apps. Didn't take too long for that Modern UI start screen to get really cluttered on my machine.

Thanks , but Classic Shell is still much easier for me to navigate and much easier to customize the way I like it. Definitely agree that MS should have created two different UIs - one for phone/tablet market and one for PCs.
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Old 20th November 2012, 10:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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.... My BIGGEST complaint is the complete removal of MPEG2 support, but still supports all other video formats. ....
Get it here for free (time limited):

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/w.../feature-packs

Or: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w.../feature-packs
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Old 20th November 2012, 11:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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I agree with Nielson on a lot of points. Win8 has made it much more difficult to do things especially customize. I haven't customized Win8 because most of the stuff I used is gone or difficult to find.
I wonder how many of the millions of people using MS Windows, bother to change any settings?

Modern users seem to like "pretty colours" and fancy ringtones etc. But do many have the patience to optimise their PC's settings? Few seem even to adjust their web browsers; many never install any programs not originally supplied with the PC.

Perhaps people now regard a PC as they would a TV or car: They choose one which looks nice, then simply expect it to work.

So different from the days when we had to write our own printer drivers, learn clever DOS tricks, and copy/re-type programs from PC magazines.

But in those days, no-one dreamt of eg. using a cheap general purpose home computer for video editing.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 10:28 AM   #20
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Default Re: Windows 8 usability review

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Originally Posted by ggrussell View Post
...My BIGGEST complaint is the complete removal of MPEG2 support, but still supports all other video formats. From what I've read, it's just because of a licensing disagreement. MS just refused to pay $2 per copy.
Here are two interesting links about Media Centre & codecs in Windows 8:

Microsoft's explanation:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...windows-8.aspx

How to download & install Media Centre:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/win...-to-wait/6928?
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