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Designing the Windows 7 Taskbar

29 minutes, 1 second


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Windows 7 offers a new way of controlling your desktop, managing your windows, and launching applications. The Windows 7 Taskbar is a new application-launching and window-switching mechanism that consolidates the functionalities from previous Windows OS Desktop mechanisms such as Quick Launch, Recent Documents, Notification area icons, desktop shortcuts, and running application windows.

Watch Yochay Kiriaty, Windows 7 Technical Evangelist, and Taskbar product team designer Stephan Hoefnagels as we present the evolution of the Windows 7 Taskbar through the different design iteration cycles, and of course, we will see the famous β€œBat Signal.”

Designing the Windows 7 Taskbar is one of a series of Channel 9 videos about the new Windows 7 Taskbar. Other videos include:

1.       Designing the Windows 7 Taskbar

2.       Windows 7 Taskbar Behind the Scenes

3.       Jump in to Windows 7 Taskbar Jump Lists

4.       Windows 7 Taskbar Overview

For more technical information on the Windows 7 Taskbar, read the Windows 7 Taskbar Part 1 – The Basics. And for more technical content on Windows 7, along with a few cool code samples, go to the Windows 7 Blog for Developers.

If you missed the PDC sessions on the Windows 7 Taskbar, you can always watch their videos: Welcome to Windows 7 Taskbar and Integrate with Windows 7 Taskbar – but I know you already saw them few times. Wink


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  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    I kind of liked that lighting effect in the batsignal. It would've been neat if that was still in there; just have the light radiate from the thumbnail.
  • LCARSLCARSNxG Dev in North Carolina
    Excellent video! What are the chances that we could get the source code for that bat signal program?
  • Great video.
    But raises an interesting question:

    At least for 2 times the space consideration was raised: one of the time to explain why the button (on the left to each icon) was removed.
    So, if space is such a big issue, why the empty space around the icons?
    Wouldn't a better space management address a little bit better that question? I would really like to see some comments on that in order to better understand the UIX.
  • Well, for one thing, if the taskbar buttons were any smaller it'd be really awkward to use with a touch sensitive screen. As it is they're about finger sized, making selecting them easy. The split buttons would probably also have been awkward in the scenario as they are too small to use usefully.
  • True, but I do not believe it addresses the problem.

    While touch friendly interfaces are rising it should not be used as a catch all. If any interface is designed to be used for the finger, than more than increasing space around icons should be done.

    In that case, an specific theme should be used for finger-oriented interfaces that boost the spaces and inputs.
    Also, the rest of the users should not be handicapped for something that they will never take advantage off.

    I would like to see a screenshot of W7 with a few windows open in a small screen device such as an EeePC....
  • I appreciate your work but I hate this. The first thing I do on an XP or Vista install is turn off the task grouping.
    With no text on the items in the taskbar this doesnt seem like a possibility.

    My issue, and this comes up in software design often, is by making everything visual and grouped... the problem of finding 2 similar apps with similar names is solved, however... if i know what i am doing already, now there is an extra step of mouse over and then click on the thumbnail to get back to my app. Further, if I have 5 or so IE tabs, that could mean moving my mouse back and forth across the screen. With monitors at 22 and 24 inches, this becomes a hassle.
  • http://www.istartedsomething.com/20090105/measuring-up-windows-7s-new-super-taskbar/



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