Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Aug 2011 22:27 UTC
Windows Ah yes, Windows Explorer. One of the oldest parts of Windows, and yet, it's far from perfect. It's hated less than, say, the Finder (but that's no achievement), but most geeks I know aren't particularly fond of it either. For Windows 8, Microsoft is going to make the biggest change ever to Explorer's interface: it's getting the ribbon treatment.
Order by: Score:
Going in the Wrong Direction
by organgtool on Mon 29th Aug 2011 22:57 UTC
organgtool
Member since:
2010-02-25

One of the few things I liked while using Windows, especially Explorer, was that it didn't waste a ton of real estate on gimmicks. Microsoft should learn from the popularity of Chrome and realize that filling the screen with more crud is not what users want. The first thing I have to do when using a Windows computer is disable all of the button bars in Explorer or IE.

Microsoft: just because the ribbon worked great in a feature rich application such as Office doesn't mean that we want it apps that don't provide nearly as much functionality. If you want to improve Explorer, add a column view similar to Finder in OSX or Dolphin in Linux.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Going in the Wrong Direction
by Mr. Dee on Tue 30th Aug 2011 01:43 UTC in reply to "Going in the Wrong Direction"
Mr. Dee Member since:
2005-11-13

Sorry, its actually going in the right direction, which is giving back users more power. It can be turned off, give this command a try: CTRL + F1. If you don't like using commands, then you are not a power user, stick with Windows 7. When you think about basic things like moving and copying a file to a location, better customization using QAT, the Ribbon is probably one of the best things that every happened to Explorer in a long while. Remember, you can hide it.

Reply Score: 3

What about us lefties then?
by shotsman on Tue 30th Aug 2011 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Going in the Wrong Direction"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Having to use CTRL/F1 might be fine for Right Handed people. For us lefties (who use the mouse with our left hand) this is a frigging PITA.

So for 10% of the population they have suddenly made it a lot harder to use.

Don't go on about 'you can change this, change that etc'.
It is bad enough trying to use someone else's PC/Laptop. If I went around changing the function keys will nilly the owner of that PC would be rightly peed off.

Don't these idiots who propose this sort of mess ever stop to think about us lefties? Do they heck.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What about us lefties then?
by Icaria on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:54 UTC in reply to "What about us lefties then?"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Which hand you use for the mouse is not determined by whether you're left-handed. Whatever gave you that idea? Left handedness mostly manifests itself in one-handed activities, like writing. (Competent) computing is a two-handed activity. Right/left hand preferences with regards to mice is mostly a matter of conditioning.

And short of there being something wrong with your right hand, deal with it.

I say this as a lefty, myself.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What about us lefties then?
by n4cer on Tue 30th Aug 2011 17:13 UTC in reply to "What about us lefties then?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Having to use CTRL/F1 might be fine for Right Handed people. For us lefties (who use the mouse with our left hand) this is a frigging PITA.

So for 10% of the population they have suddenly made it a lot harder to use.

Don't go on about 'you can change this, change that etc'.
It is bad enough trying to use someone else's PC/Laptop. If I went around changing the function keys will nilly the owner of that PC would be rightly peed off.

Don't these idiots who propose this sort of mess ever stop to think about us lefties? Do they heck.


Instead of ctrl+F1, you can also double-click one of the tabs to hide the ribbon.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Going in the Wrong Direction
by melkor on Wed 31st Aug 2011 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Going in the Wrong Direction"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

And if one dislikes the ribbon interface and finds it completely unintuitive? A quick google shows that more people seem to dislike the ribbon than like it. I think that pretty much says it all.

Dave

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Going in the Wrong Direction
by gnumdk on Wed 31st Aug 2011 07:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Going in the Wrong Direction"
gnumdk Member since:
2007-02-16

Power user use power shell, not explorer...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Going in the Wrong Direction
by Luminair on Tue 30th Aug 2011 02:31 UTC in reply to "Going in the Wrong Direction"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

They removed all the crud with XP and Vista, and now they're adding some back in because they made a bunch of mistakes.

The problem I see is not the ribbon, which is a fine and basic concept, but their implementations of it. They seem to have no rules, just shoving shit everywhere. Probably since they have organizational direction of a bus full of schizophrenics, the result is inevitably a clusterfuck.

http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/communityserver... ....what the hell is going on?

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Going in the Wrong Direction
by Icaria on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Going in the Wrong Direction"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Wish I could up-vote this comment. The ribbon isn't fundamentally new or bad, it's just a bad implementation of a notebook widget: differently sized and shaped widgets packed in all over the place. You could just about have an anxiety attack trying to find something in it.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Pedantic Correction: Schizophrenics very rarely have any problem deciding what to do, they're the ones with voices in their heads telling them over and over what needs to be done. The result wouldn't be a clusterf*ck, it would be a wes craven or Oliver Stone film. Its those with multiple personality disorder or Attention deficit disorder that have issues with sticking with a plan.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Going in the Wrong Direction
by Laurence on Tue 30th Aug 2011 08:19 UTC in reply to "Going in the Wrong Direction"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

One of the few things I liked while using Windows, especially Explorer, was that it didn't waste a ton of real estate on gimmicks. Microsoft should learn from the popularity of Chrome and realize that filling the screen with more crud is not what users want. The first thing I have to do when using a Windows computer is disable all of the button bars in Explorer or IE.

Microsoft: just because the ribbon worked great in a feature rich application such as Office doesn't mean that we want it apps that don't provide nearly as much functionality. If you want to improve Explorer, add a column view similar to Finder in OSX or Dolphin in Linux.

To be honest, I don't even like ribbon in Office.

The nice thing about the menu interface was that if you couldn't remember where something was, you could find it with a textual interface that was (for the most part) logically laid out.

Now I have to scan through dozens of icons just to find something that's picture vaguely represents the task I'm trying to perform. Worse yet, some functions are hidden in menus behind ribbon icons.

The problem with interfaces like the ribbon bar is they expect users to learn the layout. To generate a mental map of where the functions are. Which is fine if all you use in your working life is MS Office. However I regularly switch between MS Office, LibreOffice and dozens of other productivity suites. I don't have the time nor inclination just to learn how to perform the same function I was regularly using 5 years ago.

People keep taking about GUIs and pictorial representations as the cutting edge of user friendliness, but I'm really not convinced. I'm not about to say that we should all be using the command line or anything equally absurd. However icons only work if people can identify with the graphic representation and GUIs are only use friendly so long as the form layouts are logical. Thus far I've found that the ribbon bar doesn't always tick those two boxes.

</rant>

Reply Score: 8

RE: Going in the Wrong Direction
by viton on Tue 30th Aug 2011 14:04 UTC in reply to "Going in the Wrong Direction"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

filling the screen with more crud is not what users want.
Don't think it is wrong direction.
They just need to ditch the text (optionally)
For example the Amiga DOpus 5 used screen space delicately.
http://system-log.com/wp-content/uploads/directory-opus-5.5-with-am...

Edited 2011-08-30 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

LALALALA I can't hear you
by hechacker1 on Mon 29th Aug 2011 22:57 UTC
hechacker1
Member since:
2005-08-01

Microsoft, "The telemetry data here shows that 54.5% of commands are invoked using a right-click context menu, and another 32.2% are invoked using keyboard shortcuts (“Hotkey” above) while only 10.9% come from the Command bar, the most visible UI element in Explorer in Windows 7 and Vista."

And what improvements then does the right-click context menu have? It's like they ignored the most important telemetry data, and focus on the unused ribbon instead.

Reply Score: 16

RE: LALALALA I can't hear you
by Sauron on Tue 30th Aug 2011 05:02 UTC in reply to "LALALALA I can't hear you"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

Look on the bright side. Maybe Windows 8 will be the year of the Linux Desktop. I for one am hating what I see and hear about it more every day. Perhaps Microsoft are doing it on purpose so people ignore it and buy Win 7 phones instead! ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: LALALALA I can't hear you
by Neolander on Tue 30th Aug 2011 06:23 UTC in reply to "LALALALA I can't hear you"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

They addressed this in their posts about the office 2007 UI some time ago.

Basically, if they want to optimize for the *current* usage data, they have nothing to do. That data reflects what the current interface makes easy.

Myself, I can see why they'd prefer that people did not use context menus so much. It's nice, but it's also perfectly hidden, and doesn't help you discover what an UI is up to. A more visible interface improves discoverability.

Now, you might argue that a mere file explorer shouldn't have so much feature, of course, but that's another story...

Edited 2011-08-30 06:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Statistics is all nice and all, but I recently seen one:

90% of the users don't know what Control-F does:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/crazy-90-perc...

So then you start to wonder, maybe power users and non-power users should just not be using the same interface.

Reply Score: 3

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

So then you start to wonder, maybe power users and non-power users should just not be using the same interface.
Which is why there are tablets... which also neatly explains why MS are doing this.

Have to admit that it makes more sense than '>50% of users preference context menus, therefore they're not discoverable!'

Edited 2011-08-30 10:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: LALALALA I can't hear you
by kaiwai on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:18 UTC in reply to "LALALALA I can't hear you"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft, "The telemetry data here shows that 54.5% of commands are invoked using a right-click context menu, and another 32.2% are invoked using keyboard shortcuts (“Hotkey” above) while only 10.9% come from the Command bar, the most visible UI element in Explorer in Windows 7 and Vista."

And what improvements then does the right-click context menu have? It's like they ignored the most important telemetry data, and focus on the unused ribbon instead.


They have addressed it - they've realised that the features end users want are residing in the right click menu when they should be front and centre in an easy to access location rather than requiring the number of clicks today that is required. The conclusion, get these features in a place where you don't have to go through several layers of menus hence there is the ribbon. Improving the right menu - how? it is a friggin right click menu there is nothing you can do it with apart form re-arrange somethings and that is about it.

Edited 2011-08-30 10:19 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They have addressed it - they've realised that the features end users want are residing in the right click menu when they should be front and centre in an easy to access location rather than requiring the number of clicks today that is required. The conclusion, get these features in a place where you don't have to go through several layers of menus hence there is the ribbon. Improving the right menu - how? it is a friggin right click menu there is nothing you can do it with apart form re-arrange somethings and that is about it.


Bingo.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by boblowski on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: LALALALA I can't hear you"
boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

Perhaps I misunderstand you, but are you saying that the function of the ribbon is to give a visual representation of the options that were previously available in the contextual right-click menu?

In that case I begin to understand why I feel the ribbon is such an inefficient and cumbersome solution for a problem I never understood in the first place: why are the main menu's in so many Microsoft applications (semi) contextual?

For me the advantage of a classical text based menu is that it simply shows all possible actions. That an action is not available at the moment (greyed out) is very useful information for a user.

Again, I might misunderstand what you're saying.

The biggest advantage of the contextual right-click menu is that it directly shows what object the options relate to and that the mouse travel distance is kept to a minimum.

With the ribbon interface I'm wasting a lot of time with mouse movements. Which is made worse by the non-uniform presentation of the options. It feels a bit like a McDonald's menu to me, where they need a 6 meter wide menu board to present just 10~15 or so choices.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by Spiron on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LALALALA I can't hear you"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

You sir are a power-user and while there is nothing wrong with that in itself you are not the market for which this is aimed. Power-users will mostly continue to do what they do, be it right-click menu or hotkeys. This move is aimed at the majority of users who are non-power-users and will not find a command if it is not in front of their faces. It is also probably aimed at the tablet market where right click is mostly impossible and a menu system becomes to awkward to implement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by boblowski on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LALALALA I can't hear you"
boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

You sir are a power-user and while there is nothing wrong with that in itself you are not the market for which this is aimed. Power-users will mostly continue to do what they do, be it right-click menu or hotkeys. This move is aimed at the majority of users who are non-power-users and will not find a command if it is not in front of their faces. It is also probably aimed at the tablet market where right click is mostly impossible and a menu system becomes to awkward to implement.


You honor me unduly :-) But I do have 10 years experience giving and organizing professional software trainings. And my experience with even completely new users is somewhat contrary to the findings of the article.

It always annoys me somewhat when choices (any choice for that matter) are defended based on what supposedly 51% of the users want. Architects work differently than how 98% of the people would go about when designing buildings. Does that mean that they should adjust to the majority, or that the majority can learn something from them?

What you call 'power' users, I would rather call 'users with a professional interest' -- users that are willing to invest some time in the tools they need.

The users the ribbon caters to, are (IMHO) instead users that expect software to not only tell them how they need to do something, but also take them by the hand and tell them what they want to do.

Don't take me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that. What irks me is not that software makers want to make their products accessible to more users (which makes moral and economical sense), but that the natural limitations of those users (such as lack of experience or interest) are taken as the 'better' approach.

It wouldn't have been too difficult to just make everybody happy and add a setting to present the information contained in the tabbed ribbon as simple classical text based menu's. Which for me proves this has more to do with brand and product identity (just like Apple's Finder with all it's limitations) than with useability.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by steogede2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: LALALALA I can't hear you"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"Microsoft, "The telemetry data here shows that 54.5% of commands are invoked using a right-click context menu, and another 32.2% are invoked using keyboard shortcuts (“Hotkey” above) while only 10.9% come from the Command bar, the most visible UI element in Explorer in Windows 7 and Vista."

And what improvements then does the right-click context menu have? It's like they ignored the most important telemetry data, and focus on the unused ribbon instead.


They have addressed it - they've realised that the features end users want are residing in the right click menu when they should be front and centre in an easy to access location rather than requiring the number of clicks today that is required. The conclusion, get these features in a place where you don't have to go through several layers of menus hence there is the ribbon.
"

No that is not what they found. They found that users most frequently access the features they need using the context menu. Users do this not because the toolbars and menus are insufficient. They do this because it is the most efficient route:
i.e. you select the files using the mouse and right click or you select the files with the cursor keys and press the context menu key.

The most commonly used features are already on the context sensitive toolbar - people don't use it because it is a long way from the files they just selected. What isn't on the toolbar is the more powerful, less frequently used features - this is where the ribbon improves things (especially for capable users). The OP was right when he says they should have concentrated on the context menu - to some extent. That said, it is probably less in need of improvement.

Improving the right menu - how? it is a friggin right click menu there is nothing you can do it with apart form re-arrange somethings and that is about it.


Really? You could say the same about the toolbar. Everything they have done to the toolbar/ribbon can be done to the context menu. Having watched the video, I think the new ribbon is great, but I for one hope that most of the new features make it to the context menu.

Edited 2011-08-30 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by renox on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE: LALALALA I can't hear you"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

>Improving the right menu - how? it is a friggin right click menu there is nothing you can do it with apart form re-arrange somethings and that is about it.

That's not true, you can improve the right click menu, for example by merging the **stupid** shift+right click menu in the right-click menu.

Note that maybe the removal of the shift+right click menu is already done since XP, I don't know.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I want circular right click menus, instead of rectangular. So the menu opens up around your mouse pointer giving you easy access to the option you want and space for an icon that describes the action. The ribbon takes up too much vertical space to be useful for many people such as myself.

Reply Score: 2

RE: LALALALA I can't hear you
by MacTO on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:16 UTC in reply to "LALALALA I can't hear you"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

There are two ways to interpret that data:

1) That is the way that people do things because that is the best way to do things.

2) That is the way that people do things because the current methods suck.

If you`re trying to improve something, rather than maintain the status quo, you`ll probably go by interpretation 2.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, but if you look at the article, there are a lot of points that are basically " do what windows XP did". They basically suck figuring the difference between your #1 and #2. What gives anyone more hope that they'll do a better job now?

Reply Score: 2

*sigh*
by WorknMan on Mon 29th Aug 2011 23:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Our goal is to improve the usage experience for a majority of customers while recognizing that, with such a long history and variety of depth usage, we cannot possibly provide all of the power everyone might want.


In other words, the power users are getting shit on once again in an attempt to further idiot-proof the OS, and wasting a lot of screen real-estate in the process. Hey MS - how about removing the tabs from the ribbon and putting them in the f**king folder window where they belong!!! You know, like tabbed folders???? How about the ability to filter based on criteria such as date or file types?

Their solution to this little quandry of having to shit on power users once again is to tell us 'just use 3rd party Explorer replacements and/or add-ons'; this isn't a problem at home, but at most companies where the IT department has locked down Windows tighter than a vice grip, most of us don't have the option to install any of these, so we're stuck with shitty Explorer!!!

And, from the article, it sounds like they're adding the ribbon to Notepad as well, though I wonder if they'll bother to address the fact that any text file with Unix-style carriage returns look like a complete clusterf**k in Notepad, making Notepad replacements also a necessity.

Reply Score: 9

RE: *sigh*
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 29th Aug 2011 23:37 UTC in reply to "*sigh*"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Calm down.

I actually think it sounds way more power user friendly with far better keyboard support, more content space, and the quick access bar.

It all hinges on how the ribbon hiding works; per window, or Explorer-wide.

Reply Score: 2

RE: *sigh*
by n4cer on Tue 30th Aug 2011 01:20 UTC in reply to "*sigh*"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

How about the ability to filter based on criteria such as date or file types?


Since Vista (technically before), you've been able to filter on any metadata attribute on a file, including date and file type.

If you're in details view, simply click the down-arrow on the column header to select from relevant attributes. Alternatively, you can use Windows Search's advanced query syntax to filter based on attributes. Windows 7 provides a dropdown menu on its search box for common filters, however, you may also type the filter into the search box directly (basically, whatever the attribute is named, type that without spaces). AQS works in Vista as well, or XP with Windows Search installed, though XP only has like 28 attributes versus hundreds for Vista and 7. Right-click the column header, then choose More... to see the attributes you can filter on in your version of Windows.

Some Examples:
date:8/1/2011 - 9/1/2011
date:last week
datemodified:>8/1/2011
kind:Document (or type:Document)
kind:*.pdf (kind isn't really needed for a wildcard)
size:>100MB
focallength:35

Update: Note that the video for this blog entry shows buttons in the ribbon's search tab for Kind, Size, Date modified, and Other Properties. There's also Recent searches, Advanced options, and Save Search buttons in the ribbon.

Edited 2011-08-30 01:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: *sigh*
by ilovebeer on Tue 30th Aug 2011 01:58 UTC in reply to "*sigh*"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

And, from the article, it sounds like they're adding the ribbon to Notepad as well, though I wonder if they'll bother to address the fact that any text file with Unix-style carriage returns look like a complete clusterf**k in Notepad, making Notepad replacements also a necessity.

User, meet Wordpad. Wordpad, meet user. And the best part is you get to meet in the stock install.

Any other completely basic & standard apps that come with Windows we need to point out here?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: *sigh*
by Lennie on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE: *sigh*"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

That is something I've never understood.

1. Why do they have 2 ?

2. Why is Notepad so slow with large files ? Why does it try to read the whole file ? Probably Wordpad too. But with Wordpad I kind of understand it, if you want to support some kind of structured data. But also Notepad with textfiles ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: *sigh*
by lucas_maximus on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: *sigh*"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Wordpad is more of a "basic wordprocessor", while notepad/edit is for anything that doesn't require font formatting. I tend to use Wordpad for both ...

Though I am not sure why wordpad can deal with larger files.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: *sigh*
by n4cer on Tue 30th Aug 2011 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: *sigh*"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

That is something I've never understood.

1. Why do they have 2 ?

2. Why is Notepad so slow with large files ? Why does it try to read the whole file ? Probably Wordpad too. But with Wordpad I kind of understand it, if you want to support some kind of structured data. But also Notepad with textfiles ?


1. They're more or less functional tests for the controls they're based on.
Notepad is built around a textbox control.
Wordpad is built around a richedit control.

2. Wordwrap, maybe?
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/shiv/archive/2005/09/12/464181.aspx

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 29th Aug 2011 23:54 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

I can't get past the part where they say almost nobody uses this part of the program.

Thanks for... nothing?

Where is the data showing their changes matter?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Odwalla on Tue 30th Aug 2011 00:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

Nice strawman. You need to also cite the part(s) of the blog post where the author explains that the most used commands, as found by the study, don't currently exist on the command bar or menu bar. So, yes, one way to interpret the data is that the majority of users use the context menu. Another way to interpret the data is that the commands people use are only located in that menu. In that case moving those commands to a more noticeable area would provide benefit. Right-click menus are notoriously obscure elements for people to understand or find, especially novice users. Moving those commands front and center makes a lot of sense in that context.

As for the cries of "power users get the shaft" and "they're wasting screen real estate", blah blah blah. As with all Microsoft Ribbons this one can be minimized. Also, if you read the entire blog post you'll see that, all other things being equal, the Windows 8 Explorer actually allows for two more lines of data in list/detail view relative to Explorer in Win 7.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 30th Aug 2011 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Okay lets work through what I'm reading here.

Step 1: Microsoft says "telemetry data shows that only 10.9% [of commands] come from the Command bar"

Step 2: Microsoft changes the buttons on the bar nobody uses.

Step 3: .....

We're being dazzled with a wall of text and pictures. But they haven't re-run the experiment to show that their changes made a difference. The last thing they told me is that nobody uses the Command bar!

They can't start out presenting data and then end on faith, at least not without a punch in the nose. The same thing happened when they removed the "up" button, and to see how that war turned out, check the end of this same blog post. (it's back because they were dead fucking wrong)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by Odwalla on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

I don't get the faux-entitled attitude of people like you. I really don't. Microsoft gathered data and interpreted it. Based on that they are addressing the poor usage of the command bar by replacing it with something that includes the most used Explorer commands. They are not removing the existing functionality of the right-click menu. They are not reducing the amount of information you can see in an Explorer window. They are enhancing the product in a single, targeted manner. They are actually being fairly open in announcing the change before the product ships. They could have just changed it and shipped without discussing it. This way is better, by far.

The next "experiment" you feel they should run and send you the results on is this....the sales of the product. It's only after Win 8 hits retail will Microsoft be able to truly tell if people like the changes or not. I'm sure there is limited focus group testing and there will be data gathered during the betas, but the sales #s of the product will be the ultimate gauge on whether or not Microsoft's work had merit.

If you absolutely don't want the new Explorer don't buy Win 8. If you want Win 8 but with an Explorer more like Win 7's then buy Win 8 but turn off or minimize the Ribbon and don't use it. If you want the ability to choose whether to use the Ribbon, context menu or keyboard shortcuts for Explorer commands then buy Win 8.

Microsoft has, in one blog post, given you all of the information you need to make one of the choices I listed above. Why you feel you are entitled to any more information then that is confusing to me.

Edited 2011-08-30 12:19 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I'm basically just saying Microsoft is doing bad science here. Please get this

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Luminair
by Odwalla on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Luminair"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

Microsoft isn't doing science. They are creating a retail product. They are not following the scientific method. They don't have a control group and a test group. They don't have double-blind test cases. They gathered data on usage patterns of their current product and are attempting to improve their next product based on trends found within that data.

If your entire line of reasoning is predicated on you expecting Microsoft to be doing hard science on something like how random users interact with Windows Explorer then every single word you have written is worthless.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 30th Aug 2011 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I don't follow you. All the scientists at Microsoft doing science will disagree with you next time they check this thread

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by ilovebeer on Wed 31st Aug 2011 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Microsoft isn't doing science. They are creating a retail product. They are not following the scientific method. They don't have a control group and a test group. They don't have double-blind test cases. They gathered data on usage patterns of their current product and are attempting to improve their next product based on trends found within that data.

The last half is correct, the first half is not. Microsoft uses control & test groups (groups, plural) in virtually every department. Additionally, they use a mix of both employees and non-employees.

Microsoft knows their products and customer base better than anyone else. To suggest they don't know what they're doing is absurd. They're one of the most successful global companies, software and in general, for a reason. Sane and reasonable people have no problem acknowledging that fact. Only the moronic 'evil empire' types have difficulty with the reality.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by Spiron on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

Microsoft have identified that to use most commands people go into a right-click menu. But they also recognize that right-click menus can be awkward and uninformative to a non-power-user. So by putting the most used commands in a more visible place they can then get users to use them more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by BluenoseJake on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

They can't rerun the experiment until after Windows 8 is out. They got this data from people allowing them to monitor their usage patterns, and nobody is using Windows 8 yet, so there is no data.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

so even though they have 100,000 employees and 100 billion dollars, you're saying they can't run a test on their own software. now you're making me want to hurt myself. stop it

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Luminair
by BluenoseJake on Wed 31st Aug 2011 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Luminair"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I would think that would be a start, but I would tend to think a sizable number of those employees would be considered "power users", and skew the numbers.

Also, I would consider the fact the interface isn't even frozen yet, so any data collected would be unreliable.

Than maybe yeah, go ahead, hurt yourself, I don't advise it however, it's not that healthy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 31st Aug 2011 05:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

they can test whatever they want, whenever they want. period.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Luminair
by BluenoseJake on Wed 31st Aug 2011 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Luminair"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

What? So you are just going to ignore rational arguments and just state what you say is true, and a fact?

Oh, right, I'm on the Internet.

Reply Score: 2

It's looking good.
by Tuishimi on Tue 30th Aug 2011 00:05 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

A number of little (or big to some people) changes in an attempt to make the interface more usable, or at least provide more information/access.

I think Windows 8 will be a fine advancement from 7, which in my opinion was a fine advancement from XP. (Yes I know about 50 people will disagreee with me on that and feel the need to say so, but I am looking forward to the public beta, if one is forthcoming.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's looking good.
by Soulbender on Tue 30th Aug 2011 21:11 UTC in reply to "It's looking good."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Wtf? 0? You're not allowed to like Windows?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's looking good.
by Tuishimi on Tue 30th Aug 2011 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE: It's looking good."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course I am. And people are allowed to not like Windows as well. ;) Sometimes when you post a like or dislike for a specific operating system, and a reason why, people of differing opinions that frequent this site like to take jabs at you. That's all.

But for that matter I like OS X, BeOS/Haiku, OS/2, etc.

Reply Score: 2

Ouch HTML5 video
by CaptainN- on Tue 30th Aug 2011 00:13 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

The HTML5 video on this page MURDERS my CPU when played in Chrome (likely because I have a Mac with no video hw acceleration for h.264). Please provide a Flash fallback for those of us with crappy older hardware.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Ouch HTML5 video
by CaptainN- on Tue 30th Aug 2011 00:14 UTC in reply to "Ouch HTML5 video"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Cripes! I can't get the video to work at all on Firefox. Welcome to the future of the web?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ouch HTML5 video
by CaptainN- on Tue 30th Aug 2011 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Ouch HTML5 video"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Well at least Safari can play it...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ouch HTML5 video
by lemur2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 04:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Ouch HTML5 video"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Cripes! I can't get the video to work at all on Firefox. Welcome to the future of the web?


HTML5 works with WebM video on the majority of browsers in use (Firefox, Chrome, Opera), as does HTML5 with Theora video. For IE9 and Safari, HTML5/WebM will work if you install a suitable codec in the multimedia system of the OS.

It is h.264 that is the problem, not HTML5 per se. The website is hosting a HTML5/H.264 video that only a very small proportion (perhaps 10%) of browsers can render (namely Safari and IE9), instead of HTML5/WebM which works out of the box for over 50% of browsers, and can very easily be made to work in Safari and IE9.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ouch HTML5 video
by CaptainN- on Tue 30th Aug 2011 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ouch HTML5 video"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

What should be and what are aren't necessarily the same. HTML5 video should be easy, standard and fast. In my experience thus far, it is none of those.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ouch HTML5 video
by Neolander on Tue 30th Aug 2011 06:25 UTC in reply to "Ouch HTML5 video"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, you can just use the links under the video. H.264 video doesn't work in my browser for patent insanity reasons, so I do. Works perfectly.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ouch HTML5 video
by Lennie on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:22 UTC in reply to "Ouch HTML5 video"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

You are in luck, I didn't have a browser that supports the codec.

But it is good to have the right-click-save-as option to solve that both our problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ouch HTML5 video
by Brunis on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:09 UTC in reply to "Ouch HTML5 video"
Brunis Member since:
2005-11-01

The HTML5 video on this page MURDERS my CPU when played in Chrome (likely because I have a Mac with no video hw acceleration for h.264). Please provide a Flash fallback for those of us with crappy older hardware.


eh, WHAT video?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by motang
by motang on Tue 30th Aug 2011 02:11 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

I really don't want ribbon UI for browsing files, and besides aren't those icons way too big for smaller screens?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by motang
by lemur2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 04:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by motang"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I really don't want ribbon UI for browsing files, and besides aren't those icons way too big for smaller screens?


Microsoft seem to want to put a ribbon interface on every single application. Maybe they want users to come to expect a ribbon-style interface, and perhaps to become unable to use anything else? Yet another attempt to lock people in to Microsoft products?

You would think that Microsoft had a patent on the ribbon interface, wouldn't you?

http://www.itwriting.com/blog/591-microsofts-office-ui-patent-trap-...

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/11/21/licensing-the-20...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by motang
by Tuishimi on Tue 30th Aug 2011 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by motang"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06


Yet another attempt to lock people in to Microsoft products?


Or maybe they are just trying to come up with some sort of consistent app interface.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by motang
by lemur2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 04:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by motang"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Yet another attempt to lock people in to Microsoft products?
Or maybe they are just trying to come up with some sort of consistent app interface. "

Maybe they are, but then in that case, why not just let every app developer use it without encumberances? After all, Microsoft already do that for things like dialog boxes.

Then, if it was any good, every app developer would use it, and users would then enjoy a consistent app interface even when running apps not made by Microsoft. The ribbon UI might then then become a value-add for users, rather than a jarring inconsistency between some apps and others.

Is it even legal to claim ownership over a UI design, and charge a license fee for it? Microsoft in the past have certainly argued along those lines:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corp...
"Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994) was a copyright infringement lawsuit in which Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple Inc.) sought to prevent Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett-Packard from using visual graphical user interface (GUI) elements that were similar to those in Apple's Lisa and Macintosh operating systems. The court ruled that, "Apple cannot get patent- protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]..."

Edited 2011-08-30 04:58 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by motang
by saynte on Tue 30th Aug 2011 07:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by motang"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

I do not believe that they are charging for usage of their Office Ribbon UI library, are they?

Also, I believe you can access similar design components through the WPF interface, or the regular Windows SDK, with only the regular Windows SDK license or .NET license requirements:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa973809.aspx

So it seems that they do encourage usage of their Ribbon UI, do they not?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by motang
by Lennie on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by motang"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Their is one problem I think they would need to overcome: developers are powerusers and most powerusers don't really like the ribbon.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by motang
by lucas_maximus on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by motang"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I am a developer and I like the ribbon ... Seriously don't make blacket statements.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by motang
by Lennie on Wed 31st Aug 2011 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by motang"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, my statement should probably have included something about: 'most likely'

sorry.

Edited 2011-08-31 00:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by motang
by lemur2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by motang"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I do not believe that they are charging for usage of their Office Ribbon UI library, are they?

Also, I believe you can access similar design components through the WPF interface, or the regular Windows SDK, with only the regular Windows SDK license or .NET license requirements:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa973809.aspx

So it seems that they do encourage usage of their Ribbon UI, do they not?


http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/11/21/licensing-the-20...

There's only one limitation: if you are building a program which directly competes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or Access (the Microsoft applications with the new UI), you can't obtain the royalty-free license.

Now that more and more of Microsoft applications use the ribbon UI (such as Windows explorer now in Windows 8), then more and more applications will "directly compete" with Microsoft applications which use the ribbon UI, and hence have to pay royalties according to Microsoft.

This is simply another area where Microsoft is attempting to collect fees from software which Microsoft did not write themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by motang
by dragossh on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by motang"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

There's nothing there about new apps. It states that you gotta pay if you want to build a Ribbon using Office suite, which at the time would have competed with the "Microsoft apps with the new UI."

Edited 2011-08-30 10:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by motang
by lemur2 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by motang"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There's nothing there about new apps. It states that you gotta pay if you want to build a Ribbon using Office suite, which at the time would have competed with the "Microsoft apps with the new UI."


Today the "Microsoft apps with the new UI" extends well beyond just MS Office apps. The restriction Microsoft quoted was that the ribbon UI design could not be used royalty-free in any app that competed with a Microsoft app. At the time the MS Office apps were the only examples.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by motang
by saynte on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by motang"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

The first two options on the site I linked did not require one to agree to the Office UI license (the one that contains the clause you do not like) to use a Ribbon interface.

Did you not read or understand what I wrote?

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Tue 30th Aug 2011 03:38 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

It just doesn't look right.

Reply Score: 7

Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Tue 30th Aug 2011 06:21 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of the ribbon is not to expose the most commonly-used features; in fact, the goal of the ribbon is to...

send army of office clerks to new course to get new Certificate for Microsoft Office 2007, 2011...

Microsoft logic in user interface is a big MESS since start: 1992.

for example: Papyrus (http://www.papyrus.de) even have option to show menus similar to Microsoft Office - activating this option will hide half of program features in crippling Office-like menus. Deactivating you have great example how menus should be organized.

problem with Ribbon is that it does not solve any problems with clutter user interface but bring bunch of new problems and whole new level of mess.

it is almost EQUALLY stupid idea as "Personalized menus" from Windows Me (or 98).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by justSomeGuy
by justSomeGuy on Tue 30th Aug 2011 07:07 UTC
justSomeGuy
Member since:
2011-08-30

Ugh. Been reading about this over at the other place.

The screwiest thing about all this is that these articles point out how more vertical space has been freed up by removing some of the metadata displays from explorer between 7 and the upcoming 8.

But, somehow along the way, the intertubes have twisted this into the fallacy that ribbons actually SAVE vertical space somehow, at least in some of the comments I've seen. Even though the vertical space savings have nothing to do with the addition of the ribbon to explorer.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stripe4
by stripe4 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 07:59 UTC
stripe4
Member since:
2007-09-21

That "more files can be shown in an Explorer window" picture is a lie. Windows 7 Explorer's status bar by default is set as small. In the picture, however, it is changed to large, leaving less space for files.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by stripe4
by renox on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by stripe4"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I found this part shocking too: my explorer is clearly not configured the way they show it in their biased comparison.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mrnagrom
by mrnagrom on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:26 UTC
mrnagrom
Member since:
2008-08-13

i started typing something really long to explain why this video makes me love apples finder. so you're going to put copy path on top of the button cake, i believe somebody invented a more logical copy path and called it drag and drop. kudos microsoft on yet another failure to make things generally useful or unconfusing.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by mrnagrom
by Lennie on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by mrnagrom"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Actually, in a corporate environment people are encouraged to send a link instead of the file to other people.

Especially if say the 20 people that receive it, should all add something to the file. (let's say large Excel file).

Why would you want 20 mailboxes to contain a 5MB file that they all should change and send back to the author and have him/her try to copy/paste it in the original ?

Let them all change the original.

Obviously there are problems with that, as everyone knows. Only one person can actually edit the file at a time.

A webinterface is usually a lot easier for that. Something like Google Docs where people can edit at the same time would probably be a better fit (not that I've ever used Google Docs, but atleast it is a well known name).

Edited 2011-08-30 09:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mrnagrom
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 30th Aug 2011 09:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by mrnagrom"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Drag and drop is nice for the occasional file move, but anyone doing any serious file management HATES it, and for good reason - it is one of the most RSI-inducing activities on a computer. Keeping a mouse button pressed (incredibly muscle tension) while also moving it around trying to hit a target?

Ugh.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by mrnagrom
by Icaria on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mrnagrom"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

It's not just that, DnD is bad for the less technically literate, also. One slip of the finger and they have to come and call me because that file they wanted to move ended up god-knows-where.

It's also wholly inconsistent. I defy even a power user to predict when DnD will copy a file and when DnD will move a file. The worst example was XP's 'favourites' (explorer sidebar, menu), which would move your stuff to the favourites folder. I ended up being unable to login to an install after I tried to create a shortcut to my explorer shell replacement in favourites, unaware that'd it'd move the whole damn blackbox directory and leave Windows looking for my shell in the wrong place.

Granted, that's an outside use case and my second complaint is mostly over MS' implementation, not DnD itself.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'll take it. ok.. I'm cheating.. I always right-drag and drop through context menu specifically because I want to copy or move a file not let Windows arbitrarily choose which to do.

In general though:
DnD file to the the same drive = move
DnD file to a different drive = copy

c:\file.ext to c:\dir\file.ext = moved
c:\file.ext to d:\dir\file.ext = copied


The grief for me is actually with file permissions. If you copy a file, it adopts the permissions of the destination folder. If you move a file, it retains the permissions from the source folder.

Where this becomes an issue is users who are not used to being aware of security contexts. A user grabs the file they are working on and moves it to the team's shared folder only to find out the rest of the time still can't access the file. I have to go over; move hte file back, copy it into the shared folder, delete the original, awknowledge users 'why does it work that way?' comment.. return to regular daily tasks.

The solution to both problems is right-drag. You get the context menu to specify copy or move and you usually want to pick "copy" so you get expected file permissions applied and retain a copy of the original until confirming that the file copied clean.

Reply Score: 2

A epitome of bad design
by Tony Swash on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:21 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

This is a stunningly ugly and badly designed piece of UI. I know that lot's of people think that Apple fans are snobs but it's hard not to be when confronted with an abomination like this.

It's telling that you say this:

It's hated less than, say, the Finder (but that's no achievement), but most geeks I know aren't particularly fond of it either.


as it neatly sums up what is wrong and ultimately irrelevant about the so called 'geek' perspective.

The important issues and questions in technology are about what millions of people use, about what empowers or disempowers millions of people.

What pleases or is useful to a self appointed and tiny minority of slightly dotty hobbyists is utterly irrelevant to the the major trends of technology, it is a trivial question. It's not what the minority want or need it's what the masses want and need that is important. Changing how a few thousand odd people use some weird shit is nothing to changing how millions of people interact with their culture.

This Windows 8 interface is shameful, it's a disgrace that such atrocious design will find it's way into the hands of so many victims where it will confuse and disempower them. Thankfully the days when Microsoft determined the shape of technology for the majority is fast fading.

In the future stuff like this will be in the 'curious but true' section of the museum of the history of human culture. People will look at stuff like this and will say incredulously 'you mean they were still using shit like that in the 21st century!".

Reply Score: 1

RE: A epitome of bad design
by pandronic on Tue 30th Aug 2011 10:34 UTC in reply to "A epitome of bad design"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

The important issues and questions in technology are about what millions of people use, about what empowers or disempowers millions of people.


Ah, yes, the idiots ... Well you have a point, do what gets you the most money.

As for us, power users, we can always use one of the tens of file managers available. Although it would've been a nice touch if they added an "expert" mode with tabs, panels, configurable everything and all the bells and whistles.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A epitome of bad design
by Tony Swash on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:10 UTC in reply to "RE: A epitome of bad design"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Ah, yes, the idiots ... Well you have a point, do what gets you the most money.


What silly adolescent arrogance and based on so little of any import. It's not about money it's about changing the world versus changing your hobby.

It's like trainspotters congratulating themselves on how little the ordinary folk know about different categories of trains whilst the ordinary folk just find them laughable.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A epitome of bad design
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A epitome of bad design"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

it's about changing the world


With the Finder? Lolwut?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: A epitome of bad design
by ccraig13 on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A epitome of bad design"
ccraig13 Member since:
2011-05-31

What don't you like about the Finder? Maybe it's cause I do everything via keyboard but I've never had an issue with it. Just curious.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: A epitome of bad design
by pandronic on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A epitome of bad design"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

No option for folders first, no cut (it's always grayed out, WTF??!), nu UP button, weird keyboard shortcuts (Enter to rename a file - I don't care if it's some kind of Mac OS tradition, it's stupid), no right click to create a new file, no easy option to show hidden files, crappy ZIP handling, no "Send to" context menu (dragging sucks, is messy, tiresome and not especially fast), can't be removed (or moved) from the Dock (because Apple knows best or some nonsense like that).

That's why I use a combination of TotalFinder and ForkLift.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A epitome of bad design
by pandronic on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A epitome of bad design"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

What silly adolescent arrogance and based on so little of any import. It's not about money it's about changing the world versus changing your hobby.


No, it's about people who understand more vs. people who understand shit about this omnipresent appliance we can't live without and we call a computer.

It's like trainspotters congratulating themselves on how little the ordinary folk know about different categories of trains whilst the ordinary folk just find them laughable.


To give you a car analogy ... it's like if 90% of all the drivers were completely retarded and would crash everyday into people, other cars and brick walls.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A epitome of bad design
by Tony Swash on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A epitome of bad design"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

l once saw the definition of a tech geek as being like someone who is obsessed with telephones and spends all their time talking on the phone to other people who are also obsessed with telephones and all they talk about is telephones. Meanwhile of course everyone else is using the telephone to talk about all sorts of enormously varied ordinary human type stuff.

Rule No.1 of good tech design: The end use should not be a system integrator.

Technology and devices that obey that rule will always disappoint those that actually enjoy system integration as an activity in itself.

There should be as little as possible, preferably nothing, to figure out.The technology should empower the end user to do stuff they want (to write, manipulate and view photos, edit videos, listen to and compose music, etc) in such a way as to be almost invisible to the end user. The best technology is that which barely enters the consciousness of the end user, it's presence merely empowers them without making itself felt as a separate entity from the activity itself.

Hence the tech geek misunderstanding of a device such as the iPad. To geeks, laughably, the main criticism of the iPad is that it is not powerful enough, that it is too limited. In reality the game changing nature of the iPad stems from the fact that for ordinary users, those who just want to do stuff and not spend time managing a device, the iPad is more powerful than a laptop or desktop computer, it lets them do more things, it makes them more powerful. It is a liberating technology.

The assumed notion that complex devices require complex systems of interaction for users is unsupportable. Consider the chain of complexity involved in switching on a light. The complexity of how my house is wired for electricity, how light bulbs are manufactured, how giant power stations work. None of that complexity need bother the end user, ever. You throw a switch the light comes on. If it doesn't it's either a bulb or fuse problems and both can fixed with very, very minimal technical knowledge. It didn't used to be like that, in the early days of electrical lighting there were all sorts of quite complex decisions needed by the end user in order to get to the point of having some light in the room. But that was because the technology of electrical lighting and the ecosystem that supported it was so primitive. It's the same with what we used to call computers but which people who are children today won't call computers in the very near future. Complexity for the end user is always either a sign of immature technology or plain bad design. Nowadays it's usually the latter.

There is an assumption for example that we need file systems that are visible to, and require active management by, the end user. Why? The iPad and iOS showed that with today's technology it is possible to create a complex device where the file system is invisible to the end user. That is a huge relief to most end users who don't want to manage files, always hated managing files and consider managing files to be a net loss of their productive time. This is not because they are stupid but because they are clever, because they have correctly identified file management as a waste of their time, because they want to be be busy doing other stuff, stuff that counts.

The arrival of iCloud (which is of course much, much more than merely a back up or syncing system) will take Apple another step along the road towards their ambition which is to remove the file system from user land. Apple have some big ambitions here and one of them I am sure is to get rid of the Finder - that should please Thom. Note how MacOSX Lion has the beginnings of a hidden file system (hidden Library folders, no save required in Lionised apps, etc).

And then you look at the pitiful and ugly little offering from the Windows 8 team and something in your heart hurts. It's like listening to a collection of the greatest hits of the Osmonds that has been digitally remastered and some audio freak is saying 'listen to the enhanced frequency range' and all you can hear is ghastly music only clearer.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: A epitome of bad design
by pandronic on Tue 30th Aug 2011 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A epitome of bad design"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I'm sorry I can't read more carefully your comment ... but I'm too sleepy to be able to concentrate. I browsed it and I think I understood what you were saying.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy because there are so many clueless users ... I make a pretty good living out of it as a webdeveloper. Although I understand my target audience and cater to its needs. So, if I'm expecting average people, probably I'll design something minimalist, intuitive that holds their hand the whole time. Nothing wrong with that.

What I was saying is that I'm not liking the fact that OS vendors nowadays alienate power users by not offering them the features and flexibility they need. It's quite possible to serve both audiences. Just hide an "advanced settings" somewhere, fill it with checkboxes and obscure controls and forget about it. The normal user will never know about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A epitome of bad design
by senshikaze on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:41 UTC in reply to "A epitome of bad design"
senshikaze Member since:
2011-03-08

I am confused. It seems at one point you are saying that the Ribbon is bad. Then that geeks don't like it, and no business should ever kowtow to a small section of their possible customers. Then that the ribbon is still a bad design for regular people.

I mean, to me, it reads like you agree with geeks, then bash geeks, then, again, agree with geeks. Just making sure you realize how it reads to the rest of us.

On Topic:
Personally, I dislike the Ribbon. But I don't use Windows, so it really doesn't affect me one way or another.

Reply Score: 0

RE: A epitome of bad design
by lucas_maximus on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:07 UTC in reply to "A epitome of bad design"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

This Windows 8 interface is shameful, it's a disgrace that such atrocious design will find it's way into the hands of so many victims where it will confuse and disempower them. Thankfully the days when Microsoft determined the shape of technology for the majority is fast fading.


Looked alright to me. ;)

Reply Score: 2

winfile.exe
by fretinator on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:28 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I erally wish they had made a true 32-bit version of Winfile.exe, the Windows 3.1 file explorer. I much prefer it two-paned interface with drive icons. Normally, one of the first things I install is Powerdesk, an explorer replacement. It allows me to created the dual-paned view with drive icons. It has many other nice features also. I have been using it since 1.0, back when it was made by Mijenix.

Reply Score: 2

Commander!
by drstorm on Tue 30th Aug 2011 13:32 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

Ribbon treatment? No, what it needs is a Total Commander treatment. ;)

Invented about 25 years ago, Orthodox file managers are still the most efficient file managers around (IMO). Sure, they look a bit unfriendly at first glance, but they are the best friend you can have when it comes to dealing with files.

And yet, I doubt they are ever going to be truly mainstream again, because we need our computers to be "easy" these days, not efficient. We want them to work well for the average Joe...

Reply Score: 3

*blablabla*
by MysterMask on Tue 30th Aug 2011 18:24 UTC
MysterMask
Member since:
2005-07-12

> It's hated less than, say, the Finder (but that's no achievement),

.. should be: 'I hate it less than Finder'. IMHO Explorer is horrible and Finder is OK.

> yet no easy way to find them

Yes. And Ribbon makes it even worse.

> The ribbon was designed to solve this issue.

.. and fails miserably.

> The up button is back as well

And does it work this time? It didn't work properly and consistent in XP. Removing it was only a logical consequence.

> While I love the ribbon in Office,

Good for you. It's IMHO a major productivity brake.

Reply Score: 1

Kalessin
Member since:
2007-01-18

When I was in college, one of my computer science professors pointed out to us that changing how a feature works in a program costs money - not that it costs money in development (which it does) but that it costs money to every employer whose employees must spend time learning or relearning how to use the feature.

In a program with a relatively small user-base, it's not necessarily a big deal. But with a popular program such as Microsoft Office or Windows Explorer, it can be huge. Even if it only takes a few minutes for each person to relearn how to use a feature after it's been changed, the sheer number of users can put the total cost in the millions of dollars. Employers end up wasting money on employees relearning whath they already know. So, unless the changes are going to provide a large benefit in productivity, it's better not to make them. And redesigning the whole menu? That could easily cost hours of productivity per person as they each take the time to relearn how to use the program. And with millions of users, there's a decent chance that the total cost would be in the billions.

Now, it's probably not as big a deal to change Explorer as it is to change Office, since it's much simpler, and obviously not all programs have the user base to cost millions of dollars to the economy as a whole due to making UI changes, but for something like key Windows programs, which just about everyone uses, you could argue that it's irresponsible to make major changes when they are not clearly much better. And it's been very rare that I've heard anyone say anything positive about the ribbon interface. I think that I've see more positive comments about it here than I've ever read or heard up till now. From what I've seen, most people hate it.

Changes like this cause serious harm to productivity unless the resultant UI is a marked improvement which has serious productivity gains, which the ribbon does not provide. I'd love to see the ribbon interface die out completely. About the only saving grace at this point is that it hasn't caught on outside of Microsoft (yet).

And if the ribbon isn't a marked improvement in productivity, then it will ultimately cost productivity due to the time required to learn it, and that costs money. But since it doesn't really cost Microsoft money, and they can try and use it as a selling point for their new program or OS, I guess that they just don't care.

Reply Score: 1

senshikaze Member since:
2011-03-08

It costs m/billions of dollars to whom? The employee? No, they are getting paid regardless. The employer? Maybe. It might mean more money goes out the door for paying above employees, but, again, you were going to pay them anyway.

But: more money entering the economy is a good thing. Many people don't save all that much, so a lot of the money leaving the employer actually bolsters the economy, which helps make the economy better, which helps the employer. So, yes, the employer is out $X/N hours of retraining, but the economy now has nearly $X/N hours more dollars. Dollars don't disappear in the ether just because an employer pays someone.

Edited 2011-08-31 11:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1