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My slightly-above average users first time Windows 8 experience

  1. #1

    My slightly-above average users first time Windows 8 experience


    I performed an experiment with my wife last night, who I would qualify as a slightly above average computer user. She hasn't yet looked at Windows 8, and she isn't out reading about it, nor trolling forums to see how it works.

    I brought home a work laptop with Windows 8 installed on it. I gave her the username and password to log in. I pressed the power button and walked away.

    THE RESULTS:

    After about 2-3 minutes, I noticed she wasn't doing anything. I asked her if she got logged in and she said, "no, I'm still waiting for it to bring up the log on screen". I told her it was ready about 2:30 minutes ago. She then clicked on the screen, or hit something on the keyboard and got the log on prompt. Her response, well that wasn't intuitive at all.

    The "new windows UI" appeared with the tiles, and she said, "What the hell is this...is this the new version of Windows?". I gave her the task of getting calculator running. About 2 minutes later, she said, "I screwed something up. I got to the desktop, but there is nothing here, and I cannot figure out how to get that first screen back". A few minutes later she said, "I got it". I said, "you got calculator running". She said, "No, i got back to that first screen thingie". I asked her how she did it, and she said "um, I don't remember". So, I told her to click back on the desktop and show me. It took about a minute for her to discover how she did it, she had accidentally discovered the "Charms Bar" and hit the Start Button.

    So, now that she was back to the "new Windows UI", I asked her to again launch calculator. It only took her about a minute, and she had calculator up. I asked how she did it, and she said she got that "wierd menu on the right" to pop up and she clicked on search and typed calculator.

    Next, I put her back on the "new Windows UI" and asked her to launch mspaint, but WITHOUT using the Charms bar. I kept repeating, launch mspaint, and I was spelling it out, over and over and over again". After about 3 minutes, and her getting nowhere, I said to my 5 year old, "Logan, go find MSPAINT" for mommy. He walked over and naturally just hit the M key and was hunting for the S, when my wife said, "Ah, so you can just type what you are looking for?". So, I showed her how she could also right click and pull up the apps list, or just type what she wanted. Again, she said, "for somebody used to how to use a computer, this isn't very intuitive".

    Next, she managed to open one of those "New Windows UI" applications and after a bit she said. So, I opened something up, and now I cannot figure out how to close it. After about a minute, she said, "Ok, I got out of it". Once again, she utilized the "Charms Bar" to get the Start Button. She said, "Why did they hide the Start Button in that hidden menu?". I explained to her that she didn't close the app, but rather just left it and started something else...just like she would do on her phone. She couldn't figure out how to actually terminate it. I showed her how to grab the top of the Windows with the hand and drag to the bottom of the screen. She said, "how would anybody figure that out?.

    Finally, I got her to launch 2 metro apps and I got her to get them both running at the same time. She spent a little time trying to figure out how to size them on the screen so they were both usable. She figured this out, she said, "so, one is always going to be small and one is going to be large, and that's just how it is?" Then she said, "what if I need more than 2 things". I said you would have to use the desktop and the desktop apps for that. She said a bit relieved, "ah, so that will work like it always has?"


    The Verdict
    She said, that it's not intuitive, but once she learned to use it, "I don't hate it". She said, but "wow...companies and such are going to have to spend some time training people on how to use this thing or else people will just be sitting at their computers and trying to figure out how to do anything. They will just be playing and won't be getting any work done".


    I'm certainly hoping that when RTM gets installed, there is a quick Interactive How-To, that the OS will walk you through to teach you the very basics about "the new UI", the charms bar, "the new UI apps" and how to get back and forth to and from the desktop. That would resolve many a first users complaints on day 1.


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  2. #2


    Palm Coast FLorida
    Posts : 370
    Windows 8 Pro ($39.99 upgrade)


    I would assume there would be a help guide or its a trip to the local book store to pick up a copy of windows 8 for dummies
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    While I think this is a fair assessment, It should be noted that you really only need to know 4 or 5 things. And these things are all pretty common to people that use phones, they just don't expect them on their PC.

    You have to know that you use the windows key to open the start screen. There are other ways, but pressing the windows key is really the simplest and easiest way. (this is like the Main screen on the iPhone or Android's apps menu).

    You need to know that you can type in the start menu to easily find what you are looking for. Navigating the Start menu is easier if you have a touch screen, but if you are keyboard bound then it's simple to start typing what you need. (this is like the home button on the iPhone)

    You need to know about the charms bar, and that this is how you access settings and other kinds of features. (this is like the settings features of iOS or Android)

    You need to know how to manipulate Metro apps, and shut them down by dragging (or if you know alt-f4, that still works). (this is not exactly like the phone, but analogous enough to managing iPhone apps with double tap home button, etc..)

    You need to know to just use the power button to shut down your PC, don't go looking for it in the OS. Just hit the power button. (this is like either android or iOS devices).

    If you know those things, then you should have no trouble with Windows 8. Millions of people figure out how to use their iPhones and Android devices. Why do people suddenly get dumb when they sit in front of a computer?
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  4. #4


    Posts : 248
    Windows 8 RTM (Retinas taking damage...)


    I would have to sat that feature discoverability is complete garbage in windows 8. After getting over the learning curve, the desktop is not too much worse than windows 7. Considering how stupid the average user is, I think making things hidden by default was a very, very stupid thing to do.
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  5. #5


    Did you get this idea from phailmoor's post where he loaded 8 for his mother?

    I, myself, think it not to be fair with showing a user without them reading some of the help files, or a "What's New" if included in final release. Help within RP leads one to here as one place: Windows 8 Release Preview This learning curve has been true in other past OSs, although I'll agree that 8 is much different.

    Just for starters and not to boast, but I intuitively new to push enter to rid the splash screen when I first saw it to get the sign on screen. Lucky I guess. I think the splash screen is there to hide the sign on screen as not to tempt one to fiddle with someone else's sign on screen. Outa sight - Outa mind so to speak.

    Bottom line, 8 is not ready for enterprise if ever at all and enterprise is not ready for 8 if ever at all. I've read that a lot of Pros are suggesting to stick with 7 or previous for now.

    Also, when I get back home next week I'm going to stick 8 in front of my 16-year-old daughter and some of her friends to get results of what they think. Like your wife, they are above average computer users since most of this generation learns and uses it in school on a daily basis. It'll be interesting indeed.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 636
    Windows 7/8


    Heh, you know how there are those books "OSX for Windows users" and such that take you from one type of paradigm to another?

    Someone could probably make a lot of money on a "Windows 8 for Windows users" book
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  7. #7


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


    There will be plenty of books - with big simple pictures.

    Nice little earner for the writers and publishers.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 636
    Windows 7/8


    "How to survive Windows 8"

    Instead of complaining on W8Forums I should have been writing the book!
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  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    If you know those things, then you should have no trouble with Windows 8. Millions of people figure out how to use their iPhones and Android devices. Why do people suddenly get dumb when they sit in front of a computer?
    That's the issue, you gotta know those things. Somehow people need to learn those things. The reason that doing this on the iPhone or Android device tends to be easier is that they don't have 10+ years of doing it another way on something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Did you get this idea from phailmoor's post where he loaded 8 for his mother?
    It's something that I have historically done for previous versions of the OS. I was just curious to see the reaction of somebody who really couldn't care less if it was XP, Vista or 7 to see how they would get along with things in front of a Windows 8 PC.


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    I, myself, think it not to be fair with showing a user without them reading some of the help files, or a "What's New" if included in final release.
    But there will be lots of people who either buy a new computer, or decide to purchase Windows and upgrade their existing computers and today there really isn't an in your face guide to get you through these basics..hopefully there is in the RTM release. People who have stopped by and asked me about Windows 8 at work have gotten the tour, but I am curious to see how those people get along without the tour. I don't think average joe's really sit around and read the "help files" As far as the OS goes, there is no "in your face" help button either to guide a novice around in the OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Just for starters and not to boast, but I intuitively new to push enter to rid the splash screen when I first saw it to get the sign on screen. Lucky I guess. I think the splash screen is there to hide the sign on screen as not to tempt one to fiddle with someone else's sign on screen. Outa sight - Outa mind so to speak.
    I'm sure some will do just like you did. Others will try pushing CTRL-ALT-DEL and will manage to get the logon screen. But undoubtedly some people will simply just sit there and wait assuming that after the upgrade it's just taking their computers a long time to get them to the desktop or a logon screen.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10
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My slightly-above average users first time Windows 8 experience
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