Coffeehouse Thread

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Suggestion for WP8 usability

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  • cheong

    If possible, can Microsoft modify the WP8 behaviour, so that when a forescreen App is running, the bottom 3 keys are disabled? I've accidentially pressed the keys once every few minutes when playing games there. At best, it interrupted the game play, at worst, it makes the game quit.

    Microsoft can change the rule to enable these keys when user pressed up/down volume key once, and keep it enabled during the black volume control panel is visible. I'm sure people will like this change.

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  • magicalclick

    Yeah, I have this problem as well. The game is ok, I have managed it well. The most annoying part is when I am typing and my palm (the thumb side) often press the back key and %$&^%$&*$.  I am not sure how to solve this, but, I hope they make the three buttons closer because the Back and Search are very easy to get accidents based on which hand I am holding at the time.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • PaoloM

    I absolutely would not like this change. I rely on the fact that those keys are available all the time and integrate that in my workflow. Having to toggle their availability every time I want to use them would have me throw the phone at the wall pretty quickly.

  • MasterPi

    I don't want buttons to randomly disable. When they don't enable because you forgot the mechanism for doing so or the App freezes and never quits, this would cause much frustration. I'd rather the experience be predictable, and I think it's up to the developer to factor that into user testing.

  • cheong

    Emmm... What I said was that the button is disabled until either of the sound volume key is pressed. It won't prevent you from quitting frozen Apps.

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  • wkempf

    The keys are used for IN APP control, so disabling them is generally a bad idea. The only time this becomes frustrating is in games, quite frankly, and you don't want to break the UX to accommodate that niche. What I think they could do, though, is compromise a bit. Allow apps to request the buttons be "disabled" (with some mechanism such as the volume rocker suggestion or long pressing or something else for overriding this). This would require the user to accept the change, so that they are aware that the buttons won't function normally at this point.

  • MasterPi

    , cheong wrote

    Emmm... What I said was that the button is disabled until either of the sound volume key is pressed. It won't prevent you from quitting frozen Apps.

    I didn't read exactly what you were proposing for the lock/unlock mechanism. Bundling additional functionality in the volume feature like that will be too confusing for users - I see only 10-15% of people getting this right. It's a medium - hard difficulty task with a high cost if you can't do it.

    I'd rather wkempf's suggestion of opt-in so you could at least avoid something that can screw up the experience. A difficult task that happens 2-5% of the time is much better than one happening in regular use.

    , wkempf wrote

    This would require the user to accept the change, so that they are aware that the buttons won't function normally at this point.

    The burden is also placed on them having to remember that they locked the buttons. Then, it would be up to the OS/app to flash a "buttons are locked, do x to unlock them" notification when you go to use the button, which brings you back to interrupting the game because you hit the buttons.

     

    I think it would better if the handsets had a lock/unlock button (like the trackpad locks on some laptop keyboards) and a tiny light to indicate locked buttons. That way, you have some annoying light to notify you of locked status, and you also have some comfort knowing you're in control (because the feature is being exposed at the hardware level).

     

  • BitFlipper

    If the game is landscape, it sometimes helps to rotate the phone 180 degrees so that the buttons are on the left. Most games seem to adjust to the new orientation.

  • cheong

    @BitFlipper: I haven't thought about that. Will try it next time to see how the games respond to the rotation. It could solve the problem well (unless if I'd hit "Search" button this time). Thanks.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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