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Discussions

brian.shapiro brian.​shapiro things go on as always
  • Stop thinking in binary Desktop vs. Tablet UI design

    , MasterPi wrote

    *snip*

    Maybe it has something to do with this?

    *snip*

    Yes, but that just suggests that they're going to make a popup for it like they did for the Search and Notifications.

    I think the flyout is better, and would work better for Search and Notifications too.

  • Stop thinking in binary Desktop vs. Tablet UI design

    , bondsbw wrote

    *snip*

    I agree with your whole post, but this is my main gripe.  Metro snap is something I would love to see desktop apps have the ability to use, not removing it from Metro apps.

    I think it would be cool to snap two virtual desktops side-by-side. They'd have to choose which taskbar to have the Start button on, like with Multi-mon.

  • Microsoft Watch

    , RealBboy360 wrote

    These watches are so stupid.  No one needs a watch unless it's for fashion.  (Who's going to have a smart watch and not a phone?)

    I wear a non-fashion watch, but the smart watches defeat the purpose for some uses. I like it because I don't always charge my phone battery and let it run out, plus I also wear during sports activities where I can't have a lot of stuff in my pocket.

    I guess for sports purposes, some people would like smart watches though, with all sorts of features like timers, pulse monitors and so on. Digital watches used to do all that.

  • Stop thinking in binary Desktop vs. Tablet UI design

    , magicalclick wrote

    In short, they removed the settings Charm? I like thE Charm actually. I got used to just slide out the Charm and turn off my PC. Now, I was like, yikes, removed.

    Yep, it was nice. Its part of my point, some people have decided these are "Tablet features" and don't realize they're nice on the Desktop too.

    And actually I noticed you can't even access it through Windows+C and the charms bar. You click on the WiFi icon in the Settings fly-out and it brings you to the Settings window.

    I don't think small is necessarily good on desktops. It seems some power users do like it, but thinking as a UI designer, I find big is sometimes better design. The Office UI has also been moving away from dialogue boxes to other ways of presenting things. Print/Open/Info etc are now moved into the File screen. The Options window and the dialogue boxes that still are in the UI (Font/Paragraph) feel out of place and like they need updating.

  • Stop thinking in binary Desktop vs. Tablet UI design

    So, I updated to the latest build of Windows 10, and I saw they took out the WiFi fly-out for the Desktop. It now goes to the Settings window for Network settings.
     
    Maybe eventually there'll be a popup, like we have for Notifications and Search.
     
    But, why though? The fly-out was very elegant. It would fly out right where the Notification area was, and because it would take up the length of the screen your cursor was right over it, and when you clicked anywhere else on the screen it would go away. It worked, and it was very nice. Compared to that, a popup feels very cramped and very unpolished. The Notifications popup is not impressive, and neither is the Search popup. I'm thinking these would work better as fly-outs as well.
     
    I'm happy that Microsoft is working on making the OS more flexible for everyone, but I'm not happy that they're assuming these things are not "Desktop features" but "Tablet features" and deciding that nobody on the Desktop wants them.
     
    As a laptop user, I also liked the idea of the whole Settings fly-out, because you had things like WiFi, Brightness, Keyboard layout etc all in a very accessible place, and this list could be easily expanded to include more settings as time went on. Of course, I have some of these on the Notification area, but not all of them and even if I put them in the "hidden" state, that's not a very elegant way to use them.
     
    I also still use the full screen Start Screen, just because I like the ability of the Start Screen as an app launcher, to arrange my apps into groups. Hopefully groups and so on will eventually make its way into the Start Menu too, but I'll probably still be using the full screen because I'll have it fully populated where I have to scroll it, and my screen isn't that huge; its a laptop.
     
    Currently, its annoying on the Start Screen to have to go into a tiny two-item context menu to get into settings. The whole context menu on the Start Screen also makes it more clumsy, because in order to select more than one item you have to go into the arrange mode (press Space). The taskbar being up by default also makes scrolling more difficult. (And in fact sometimes its sticky, and doesn't go away, or sticky and hard to bring back up).
     
    It feels like they crippled Start Screen use for Desktop users because they decided Desktop users don't want it. Plus, I don't see how they're going to put group functions on the Start Menu in any elegant way with context menus. Are we going to have to press Space on the Start Menu to arrange things, just like on the Start Screen?
     
    Sidebar-ish like RT apps also made sense in some instances over complicated window snapping.
     
    Look, there are many good things Microsoft is doing. Its good that RT apps can be windowed, and its good that people have the flexibility of using Start as a menu rather than as a full screen. But seriously, why are people so obsessed with windows, popups, and context menus for Desktop UI design? They simply aren't always the best UI choice. This has nothing to do with touch.
     
    "Continuum" so far seems designed to be a binary Tablet vs. Desktop concept, and then transitional UI where a PC can act as both a tablet and desktop computers. This isn't good, it assumes some features are Tablet features and some features are Desktop features. They need to get out of this binary way of thinking. They're being too reactionary so far, listening too much to the biggest cranks, and doing a reverse 100% on design, instead of finding a smart middle-ground.

  • Windows 10, first thoughts.

    , magicalclick wrote

    @brian.shapiro:
    Not sure how many people use that version of outlook, but, outlook 2010 looks way way way better. Main difference is the darkened edge on the folder icon. I mean, without it, the screenshot you have is all just a fuzzy orange smudge to me. It blends with the white background and making it looking blurry.

    If I have that version of outlook, I certainly will complain. Although keep using 2010 isn't so much a pain because using older version of office don't make me feel like a grandpa using his Win7.

    Well its not a very good reduction , yes, but I use Office 2013 and I find the ribbon icons look very sharp.

  • Windows 10, first thoughts.

    , magicalclick wrote

    I have seen pretty flat icons before, but, Win10 flat icons are not.

    They aren't as pretty as they could be, at first glance, no

    Although I think people should look at what they're doing context. Its basically an exact replica of the style of icons they use in the Office ribbon -- the folder in the Explorer icon is the folder icon in Office -- and is designed to look good when scaled down to small sizes and in the UI, like in ribbons or toolbars or in tree views. I think when you see it in various places in Explorer on the ribbon it does look good. You see an "Open" icon in two places, in a small format in any folder on your disk, and in a large format  under the folders in This PC.

    Maybe perhaps not the most beautiful icons, but they work and are clean and I like them. And I guess Microsoft figured nobody complained about the icons in Office looking ugly. I think it will look clean like Office when they start redoing all the older icons.

    Looks the least good on the taskbar where you don't have a strong background to contrast with the icon.

    But I'm happy to see what type of alternative icons people come up with.

  • Windows 10, first thoughts.

    , BitFlipper wrote

    BTW this viewpoint is by no means unique. Check out this first look review.

    What's neosmart and why should I care?

    Of course Windows 7 needed improvements. The Start Menu was always much less useful than it could have been, that's why you had people work on shell replacements like Cairo with enhanced menus, and desktop widgets were still not very accessible or useful even though they were a useful thing in theory.

    As for style, as someone who does a lot of graphic design myself, I just find icons with a lot of bells and whistles, too much emphasis on shading and highlighting just are pointless, and flatter icons look far more elegant. They also have the advantage of not trying to bring all the attention to themselves, and not distracting from the content.

    I never had a problem with visual cues in the interface like shadows. Whether it appears skeumorphic or not isn't the point, whether it works best visually is the point. And actually I find the W10 shadow/outerglow effect just much prettier and more effective visually than a drop shadow. The first thing it reminded me of the setting in WindowFX from Stardock where everything behind the active window would have shading over it, except its a bit more sparing. Technically, I would say its "less" skeumorphic, but its also not the point.

    The best cue in W10 still is the fact that active window titlebars are a different color and all the windows underneath look washed out, but the shadow adds to the effect.

  • Windows 10 won't be the last major version

    , Ian2 wrote

    Is that why they left a gap for Windows 9?

    They lost the floppies for Windows 9. Its like Leisure Suit Larry 4.

  • Triple Celebration

    Henry Winkler with the Roy Orbison tattoo? ;>