Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Mar 2012 22:48 UTC
Windows "Microsoft will finish work on Windows 8 this summer, setting the stage for personal computers and tablets with the operating system to go on sale around October, according to people with knowledge of the schedule." Judging by the community preview, they've got a lot of work yet to do, like, you know, actually making it usable on non-touch devices. What I'm tying to say - pretty aggressive release schedule.
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dragossh
Member since:
2008-12-16

Microsoft has been moving into a (in my opinion) right direction with Metro. After you learn an interface, you don't want everything to scream "I'm here look at me!!!!" We're moving into a kind of UI which stays out of your way until you need to do something. Now, the problem is exactly what you say: there is no way for a new user to know how the UI behaves. Nothing a tutorial can't fix.

Because most of Windows' interface is based on muscle memory, they decided to remove the redundant start menu (you have a start button on the keyboard and you move your mouse into the same spot), and replace it with app thumbnails, including the start screen. They also decided to not clutter the start screen with a search box because to search in an app, you bring up the charms bar and tap search. Or just mash the keyboard like in previous versions. The fact that people are clicking stuff in the start menu is their problem, because the default behavior of the Start menu has been the same since Vista: type to search.

Start a Metro app. Now, without touching the keyboard/mouse, can you explain:
- how to resize the app
- how to move the app
- how to close the app
- how to switch back to the Start Screen
- how to switch to another app


- Metro is a full-screen interface, so there is no resizing. Why would you expect resize in a non-windowed interface is beyond me.
- Drag & drop it from the app list. The drag at the top is a bit unusual, but it's pretty much like how Aero Snap behaves.
- Windows 8 memory management makes it so you don't have to close apps, and yes, the OS is better than you at managing memory.
- Start. All actions in Metro are designed with the idea that what can be done can also be reversed. Swiped an item by mistake? Swipe it again. Moved something? Move it back. Switched from an app to the start screen? Press start. Switched to the start screen from an app? Press start.
- Click its tile in the start screen, Alt-Tab, Win-Tab. It's the same as iPad, Android and previous windows versions.

Start a classic app. Now, without touching the keyboard/mouse, can you explain:
- how to get back to the Start screen
- how to switch to a Metro app

- Because Desktop is an app, you do it the same as with any other app. This is called consistency.
- The same as with any other app.

The problem with Metro on the desktop is that you can't just look at the screen, and figure out what you can do.

That's because you're supposed to look at the screen, and KNOW what you can do.

I don't think there's a discoverability problem as much as a training problem. Teach users how to use it, and you won't hear any complaints. Because once you know how to use it, it's the same across all apps. Besides, even in the old versions of Windows you can't expect people to know what will happen without experimenting a bit with it. The classic UI is not intuitive, it has been learned. Just like Metro can be.

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