Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Sep 2011 22:20 UTC
Windows This is mandatory listening and watching material for understanding the design methodology and ideas behind the Metro interface in Windows 8 (and thus, Windows Phone 7). All this sounds great in theory, and Jensen Harris, one of the minds behind Metro, is clearly passionate about it - and I love people who are passionate about their work. It's just that to me, the Metro UI doesn't seem to work very well for actual work. I want window management! I'm taking all this into account for an article on Metro in the Developer Preview. Stay tuned.
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The problem with this study is the software that was available at the time. It assumes that windows 3.1 was easy to use. Most people back then had trouble with computers and didn't have Internet access.

Users are smarter now than they were in 1994 and the software is much easier to use. I would bet that Windows 7 would score much better than Windows 3.1 on usability

My mother couldn't print a document in 1994 but now she can write a word document, post on facebook and so forth. Younger people grew up with computers and they get it.

Making them dumber in 1994 would have been a great idea. Making them dumb AFTER everyone figured out how to use a computer that wanted to is stupid.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:


It's not about making them dumber per say, it's about making them usable to a broader audience. I have first hand experience at teaching (older) people multi-window interfaces, and it is a frustrating challenge. Making things simpler for them it a good thing, and I am ok with getting rid of multi-window interfaces for them. However at some point you reach a point of diminishing returns and things become less useful to everyone.

1:22 & 2:04

Real life technophobes like the those in the video above, assuming they have a desire to own a desktop at all, will need their hands held no matter what the interface designers do. Eliminating *basic* feedback and context won't help them at all. Even a cell phone provides better feedback than metro.

In any case, I honestly think metro would be *easier* to use with additional context and feedback. It would certainly be easier to follow instructions this way.

Edited 2011-09-16 20:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2