One of my pet hates ... The Start Button
If I was to wish to change one thing in Windows it would be the Start button.
I was more than disappointed when Vista arrived to discover that designers had decided that to keep continuity with previous versions of Windows and keep the Start button with nothing more than a make-over. But it did seem for awhile that with Longhorn it was at last disappearing.
The Start button is actually an extremely useful UI vehicle as it allows someone who is unfamiliar with a machine a standard avenue to discovery, this has to be applauded as it is a simple construct that is universal but it is in the same token very restrictive. If anyone remembers Windows before 95, then you know that Windows could indeed be a disorganized mess. The Start button offers a simple restriction, where the only other alternative to navigating through menus was groups of icons on the desktop.
In recent years to help stem the sea of desktop icons, the Quick menu has appeared however if you want to have some sort of organization and (here comes the important word) 'categorization' it meant creating folder structures that turned into a skilled drilling frenzy whether on desktop or in Start Menu.
However, what’s the point of trying to get organized? Who has that many programs anyway? Well the simple reason is that we all now have loads of programs, files, documents, videos, films, pictures just lots and lots of stuff all over the place. Strangely enough however I don’t want to find anything using a search term, that’s like admitting defeat.
The Start button doesn’t really help as the menu is small and restrictive, you can't move it or expand it and you can’t have more than one of them such as an ‘Office Start Button’, a ‘Games Start Button’. So to get some semblance of categorized organization I’m using a Dock, like you can find on the Mac or Linux that has tabs to get a bit of organization.
Now that Windows 7 development is in full swing can I please ask the UI designers to take a long hard look at the Start Button. I thought we almost had it with a similar Vista Start button appearance type thing in Office 2007, I just wanted to rip it off the top right hand part of my Office window and place it next to the Start button and say … this is what I mean, more of this please!
So what do say Microsoft? Can you help me keep my hair please?