Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

What if...? (integrated UIs)

  1. #1

    Posts : 5
    Windows 7 and 8

    What if...? (integrated UIs)

    Hello, I've recently installed Win8 Release Preview and so far I don't like the UI at all. The start screen is good, preinstalled apps work well and it is not that difficult to understand how they work. But, although I'd like to see a similar interface on different devices, so that you can think of them as a single one, being them a desktop, a notebook or a phone, Metro just doens't work for me. And having desktop there is not a solution, because switching between one interface and the other is slow, distracting and unpleasant. Basically they put two separate environments in a single system asking me to switch between them while I work. What's the point in putting metro on x86 PCs? Do they want to have a similar interface on all windows devices? Fine but then why having two UIs on a single computer?
    So I thought, what's the main problem of the Metro UI? The start screen? No, I kinda like it. The problems are fullscreen apps and minimalistic options! Why do I have to run a single app at a time? I'm not on an ipad, I'm using a windows pc, because it is more powerful and does not limit my experience! It's been years that I always have more than a program running at a time and i'm constantly swithcing between them, moving from a window to another and so forth and so on. Now there is this idea of one at a time, as if we used the pc just to check mails or meteo. Same thing in the apps. Have you tried IE metro? I have to use the RMB to display a gigantic ribbon with thumbnails of my tabs. In this way I practically navigate with one tab at a time. And right clicking on any object brings up a ribbon in the bottom part of the screen so that I alway have to move through my entire workspace to click on .. nothing, there is almost nothing in this ribbon, it's practically empty!

    But i don't want the old UI back? where would innovation be? So I thought of something. What is the difference between the desktop and the start screen? There is no difference at all, just one is customizable, the other is not, so why don't they just
    1- Make the start screen background more customizable
    2- Make it easier to navigate with a mouse
    3- Make apps work in windows instead that fullscreen. They could make them open on fullscreen in windows RT, and open the_way_they_were_last_time on x86! The name of this OS should tell them the way to go! Make them resizable, and movable around the screen like in desktop!
    4- Give us a smarter right click mený, ribbon could be fine on touch, here we should have buttons where we click
    5- Delete the desktop and use the start screen as the background, in the end what's so different between them? In the end now we just have two different desktops which are partially useless

    Now, I know this is release preview and they are not going to change anything, but don't you think these would be good ideas?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    The metro UI is Microsoft's approach at not unifying UIs between PCs, but with the Xbox and Windows Phone. It's an interesting thing they're doing that if they pull off well, it will be something.

    That is the main complaint with metro apps is that you can only see two at a time, if you have a screen resolution high enough, you have app snap. The main concept of metro IS minimalism of design and immersiveness. It's supposed to lack a lot window chrome in an effort to focus solely on content, which is something that has been a concept of the design for Windows' UI for about a good decade now. The main thing with the Start Screen is that it helps you find what you have on your PC faster compared to the start menu, where you had a default list of about 15-25 items in the All Programs, with folders and subfolders underneath that. The Start Screen is like the menu, but visual, and more configurable to your usage.

    The main difference's I see with the two interfaces is yeah, one is more customizable than the other. One can serve as a sort of a Desktop for tablets while the actual Desktop is there to always use.

    I actually use IE 10 metro because it works A LOT better than the previous build versions and I think it's pretty nice. It's just the website, not chrome, just the content. I usually do a lot of tabbed browsing, there are a couple of limitations to that, but overall, I find it's pretty nice to use.

    May I also suggest pinning Desktop items to your Start Screen? I think a lot of complaints come from the default setup of the Start Screen with all the apps there and in the way for many.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 636
    Windows 7/8

    I like most of what you have there and agree with the reason for it.

    One thing though, instead of desktop apps running in metro space, I'd rather have metro apps to be usable on the desktop (and resizable). Maybe they are always full screen on a tablet/phone but on Win8 desktop I should be able to resize them. Take that sudoku game, it could live in a 300x300 px window on my main desktop and I'd be very happy. I could live with the full screen start menu IF the metro apps behaved more like desktop apps on a desktop system. SOME metro apps may need to be full screen like some programs do, others 1/4 screen and still others are little more than gadgets that don;t need more tha a few hundred pixels. In fact Metro apps could replace the windows gadget system if they were able to be resized. (Try snapping the sudoku app to the side of the screen, LAME! Besides it not working I want like 8 things snapped on the right on my huge desktop monitor, not just one :/)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 5
    Windows 7 and 8

    May I also suggest pinning Desktop items to your Start Screen? I think a lot of complaints come from the default setup of the Start Screen with all the apps there and in the way for many.
    Having Desktop apps there doesn't help because it continuously forces me to switch environment. What I dislike is this idea of making the consumer use the product as the software house wants, it's apple's philosophy, and so far I've preferred MS because of a better degree of "openness". I don't care if the idea behind it is to be immersive. This UI does not let me do the same things I could do before it, and using two different worlds (metro and legacy) at the same time is not a solution for me, and I think many people will agree. Metro gives me only ONE thing at a time, whereas I usually have AT LEAST 4 windows open at the same time on w7, switching between them, to chat, to watch videos, to listen to music, to surf the web, to explore my files and so forth and so on. Besides in this very moment i have 15 tabs open in my browser and i'm working on more or less all of them, plus another group of a dozen of tabs on which i'm not working on but are there for future use. How can metro apps work for me?
    The idea of giving more space to content is definitely good, but if killing the window means that every process has to occupy my entire workspace I say no! Besides at the moment the tab bar is enormous and the ribbon for right click is intrusive and wastes more space than the old drop down menu.

    One thing though, instead of desktop apps running in metro space, I'd rather have metro apps to be usable on the desktop (and resizable)
    In the end it's almost the same thing i said. The start screen is made up of a uniform background that slightly moves and a transparent surface of tiles that can be moved. Tiles would work exactly like desktop icons if they could be better organized in dimension and position, so in the end if the uniform background could be replaced with a custom image, the start screen would be exactly like the desktop but with moving icons and zoom (which is damn useful to make icons smaller and get free space on the background image). Instead of separating metro and legacy they should join them! But taking the best out of them! If they did this and made windowed apps the system would be consistent and easy to use. Oh and also there should be a unified (and customizable) task bar with both metro and legacy apps (if they managed to unify the UIs the distinction would become useless)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

What if...? (integrated UIs)
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