Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Why icons are still better than metro

  1. #1

    Why icons are still better than metro


    Don't get me wrong. I love my win8 machine.

    But here's the thing. After using win8 for months now, I still have trouble recognizing certain apps right away. The reason icons work so well is it takes advantage of our in-built ability to recognize patterns. One look at an icon and we subconsciously know what it's for.

    But a bunch of squares and rectangles...

    I pointed this out to some people when the MS released the beta of win8. And I honestly thought I'd eventually get use to it. But months after, I still have to focus a little more just to know which tile to press for what.

    Am I the only one?

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  2. #2


    Madrid, Spain
    Posts : 228
    Windows 8.1 x64


    No, you're not the only one.

    Metro has been criticized by professionals of design and experts in usability from the beginning.

    I will never adopt it voluntarily. Neither will buy a phone with it just for these reasons of wrong design.
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  3. #3


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I agree 100%. I'll go to Metro and look for something I was using, takes me a while to find it. Cos they all freakin look the same! Some of them have little designs on em.

    I don't like large tiles I use all little ones, that makes it worse.

    On my iPhone, I can recognize iCons even if they have been moved by their significant design. a LOGO is a lot easier to spot than a tile

    All of the distinctive designs I am used to seeing on my iPhone apps are totally missing even from the same apps on Windows 8. That is, for the apps I can FIND for Windows 8.

    I've been through the store again today, its JUNK. Nothing byt crappy JUNK, NONE of the great apps I have for iOS are even there. All I can find are lame misnamed substitutes.

    I went through every section today, and its the same exact lame apps page after page. This is getting very depressing, anyone with a Tablet or Windows 8 Phone will feel cheated, the same apps that are available for Droid and iOS are simply not there, and they won't be, because some lame ass spam developer in China took their names.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    You are right.

    Removing visual detail is not the same as simplicity of design.

    Simplicity is about describing the object.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    The theory Microsoft had about the modern metro design is that we're smarter than that now. Back in the '80s when the GUI came about, we needed those digital metaphors so it was easier to use. These days theoretically, not so much anymore.

    I personally don't have issue about identifying the app tiles, as they are different colors, show the app icon depending on the app type, have the app's name on it usually in some fashion, have the app's relevant content in a live tile, and the location of those tiles becomes "muscle memory." If I move certain tiles around, I have to refigure out where they are but that doesn't take too long at all.


    And also, for crying out loud, Windows 8 is still a very young app model for developers to decide on.
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  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    What if:


    Looked like this:

    Click image for larger version

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  7. #7


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    Did Ms "Poach" the idea from the Kiddies section of AOL. Here's the screenshot of the comparisons of the two desktops.

    Also for desktop users the whole install process is totally hosed up on Win 8 as every wretched .EXE file seems to create its own tile whether it's the main application executable or not - leading in some cases to loads of tiles all over the place -- not even NEAR the application they are part of.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aol.png  
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  8. #8


    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by goodintentions View Post
    I still have trouble recognizing certain apps right away. The reason icons work so well is it takes advantage of our in-built ability to recognize patterns. One look at an icon and we subconsciously know what it's for.

    But a bunch of squares and rectangles...
    Let's assume you've unpinned all store apps from the Start screen and pinned all you favorite apps. What you have is a static square with the icon in the middle. What's the problem with recognizing the pattern?

    Those are the same icons, but they're easier to:
    • aim, because the active area is larger, unless you have them 256x256 on your desktop
    • hit, because you need a single click, unless you have set "single click to open" in Explorer
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  9. #9


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Also for desktop users the whole install process is totally hosed up on Win 8 as every wretched .EXE file seems to create its own tile whether it's the main application executable or not - leading in some cases to loads of tiles all over the place -- not even NEAR the application they are part of.
    That is what folders are for.

    Aren't we supposed to have those anymore?

    Perhaps not. If all we do is click a kiddie square to shop , and another kiddie square to play Farting Fish - then all we need is a few big squares.

    It is quite funny - yerars ago, these kind of things were being discussed re the Linux Unity Dash , this kind of thing was being said ( and still is ) :

    What is the facination with Dash? I just don't get it.

    Take all the nicely organized files out of their properly labelled folders and toss them all into one big folder.

    I don't understand how anyone can think this is better. I thought organizing all the files into folders was a big improvement.

    So getting rid of them until a new generation can rediscover the value of organizing files into properly labelled folders is what?

    Can anyone explain this?
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  10. #10


    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    Let me quote this too
    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there


    Also for desktop users the whole install process is totally hosed up on Win 8 as every wretched .EXE file seems to create its own tile whether it's the main application executable or not - leading in some cases to loads of tiles all over the place -- not even NEAR the application they are part of.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    While Microsoft hasn't solved this problem for the default Start screen view, this looks exactly like in the Start menu if you switch to the All apps view (Ctrl+Tab). The only difference is the scrolling direction
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