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Windows 8 user interface ripped apart by Nielsen Norman Group

By Shawn Knight ยท 76 replies
Nov 20, 2012
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  1. Windows 8 has once again come under fire over its questionable user interface. This time, it's Jakob Nielsen from the Nielsen Norman Group voicing an opinion based on a recent case study conducted by the company. Simply put, Nielsen's words...

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  2. Matt12345170

    Matt12345170 TS Booster Posts: 102   +28

    Yes - it does kind of feel like there are "dual environments" but having used it for a while now..I can actually see the desktop being eliminated in the future, it is no longer necessary.
  3. Oh my....:( another vista, perhaps?
  4. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    Windows 8 will make Windows Vista look like Windows XP and 7.

    Think about it.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,081

    I wasn't familiar with Useit.com but after reading Nielson's piece, I can tell you that he absolutely nails it. The problem with Windows 8 isn't just its unsuitability for the desktop, but that its not all that great on a touchscreen, either. Microsoft seems to have forgotten the most basic principles of good design, and the market will surely punish them for it.
  6. And Windows 8 is UGLY. I will never use it, it will be a flop like Vista, wait....... even worse than Vista. Look for Windows 9 next year.
    sambob likes this.
  7. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 322   +63

    I just use startisback the metro interlace is to tablet orientated for desktop use
  8. captainawesome

    captainawesome TS Guru Posts: 428   +44

    I said it before, I'll say it again - I'm finding windows 8 excellent. It's new features are rocking. I don't even mind Metro. What is bugging me are the apps on Metro - the photo's, music, videos etc are all very lacking.I cannot for the life of me find out where to add an email account on mail for Metro.
    And as said before, the file search is crap
  9. Windows 8 'does not support multiple windows'. Can it really be true ?
  10. Neil_The_Hero

    Neil_The_Hero TS Rookie

    My 5 years old son use Win8 without problem...
  11. WaveZero

    WaveZero TS Enthusiast Posts: 42

    Specifically, he said Windows 8 on mobile devices and tablets is like a tortured soul hoping for redemption and that on a regular PC, it?s like a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity.

    Sounds legit and professional, hahaha
  12. MrBungle

    MrBungle TS Booster Posts: 151   +67

    If MS eliminates the desktop in Windows it will be the end of them. The casual web surfing, email only, one thing at a time user which I'm guessing you are could deal with this. Power Users, Professionals, and anyone that routinely runs multiple programs or needs to compare data between two applications is going to be put off by something like Metro.

    I'm a database developer by trade, my development workstation has 3x 24" monitors... there are times when I could use a 4th. It is not uncommon for me to see RAM usage north of 10GB... as I type this I have outlook, Internet Explorer, Waterfox, a virtual machine, a remote desktop sesson, visual studio, an access database, and a copy of my current programming project all running. All three monitors are in use... If MS were to drop support for the desktop I would be forced to drop support for them because I could not do my job in that kind of environment.
    hammer2085 and bielius like this.
  13. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +121

    Tell that to any pc gamer, custom pc builder, or liquid cooling enthusiast, and they will vehemently disagree with you.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  14. archiTex

    archiTex TS Rookie

    We have 3 users on two PC's - both with Win 8 Pro. No issues - especially from my wife who is somewhat "PC challenged". My daughter really likes it - did not want to go back to 7. We've found it to be pretty intuitive.

    Cannot wait to see and use the Surface i5's.

    Kudos to Microsoft from here.
    HellcatM and ReederOnTheRun like this.
  15. pmkrefeld

    pmkrefeld TS Member Posts: 44

    Not necessary? You apparently never been productive on your machine. *facepalm*
    hammer2085 likes this.
  16. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 985   +230

    There are some obvious flaws with Windows 8, but overall I still think it's an excellent operating system and definitely an upgrade to Windows 7. The desktop may or may not be phased out in the future. If it is, then OF COURSE Microsoft will have to find ways of evolving the new environment so that it is as powerful and useful as the desktop currently is.

    Personally, I think there will be a merge between the two environments.
  17. Aaaand???
  18. Who is the "Nielsen Norman Group" and why should I care about their opinions?
  19. Matt12345170

    Matt12345170 TS Booster Posts: 102   +28

    Haha, I see some very narrow minded people in this thread, just because you have gotten rid of the desktop, does not mean that you are limited to one application per window. Your desktop is just a median to view your applications, already with windows 8 you can view multiple "apps" at the same time...albeit a limited way. I am in no way saying that "Ok, lets take this metro interface, fly with it and get rid of the desktop." As with everything, it will need refining.

    As far as that goes, being a PC gamer, and a custom PC builder, I can disagree with that.
  20. Let me get this right. This guy gets a handful of "experienced" computer users, sits them down in front of a new OS without training or time to adapt, and they are frustrated by it. Wow, really good research here. I have seen plenty of experienced Windows users be similarly frustrated by OS X, iOS, or Android.

    Typical case of designing an experiment to produce the results you want. Anyone who can't see this is an *****.

    I have been using Windows 8 since the first preview, on both a desktop and tablet. Its far from perfect, but overall a step in the right direction. Try it for AT LEAST TWO WEEKS and make an attempt to learn before you judge. Why not try having an INFORMED OPINION for once?
  21. killeriii

    killeriii TS Enthusiast Posts: 213   +14

    The desktop will always be necessary!
    It is part of organization and productivity. It's how our brains organize and process information.
    Try doing an office job without a desk(top). Pulling one form at a time out of a box beside your chair, only being able to look at that one paper before putting it back and pulling another to make changes based on the first.
    Windows 8 (metro) is counter-productive to me.
    Merto seems more like an OS gui I would expect running on my cell phone, not a powerful computer.

    Besides, Windows 8 is just the first step Microsoft is taking to make sure they get money from EVERY application you run on their OS. I think they're jealous of Apple and their "app store" money machine. It's just too bad MS feels the need to alienate half their customers to extort the other half.

    I'm hoping this will give Linux its time to shine.
    avoidz likes this.
  22. I've used Windows 8 for a few months - Windows 7 (desktop) is great for content creation, and Windows 8 is great for content consumption.

    Windows in general pre-Windows 8, technical people were the target audience. With Windows 8, the target audience is now pointing to generally non-technical people. Technical people can make Windows 8 work with effort and tweaking.

    Windows 8 is Microsoft's way of forcing the "App Store" model to PC's - blatant money grab.
  23. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,218   +398

    I'm a Gamer, Custom builder and I disagree with you and think he is right!
  24. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +280

    The problem isn't that it needs refining, it's that it needs major overhauling. I can see @MrBungle's point about the desktop issue, and his concerns are those of an informed user who needs productivity, not necessarily worthy of being pigeon-holed as "narrow minded" by any stretch of the imagination. I'm actually in the same boat he is in. I like Windows 8 on the touch/tablet form factor, quite a lot actually. But on my multi-monitor systems, it's a kludged mess as it is, and that's with the existing limitations that the current desktop mode have in place.

    It's painfully obvious that MS chose to concentrate fully on the touch & tablet experience, to the detriment of almost everything else UI related. They are banking on the future, trying to catch up and blend with the rest of the crowd, yet also stand out enough to get noticed. That's fine, great even, as long as they don't royally hose all of us who actually rely on basic functions and features to do our everyday work. And that is how many power users feel right now - it's not a "narrow minded" viewpoint, it's a valid concern.

    I'll admit it: I was really hesitant about the tile interface. Until I got to play with a Surface and see how intuitive some of the features are - you have to "unlearn" some habits and assumptions, then it's pretty cool. It still does not work for me on my desktop configuration, which troubles me. But, I can envision some rather slick possibilities, if MS really gets to work on the productivity side of the equation for a while.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  25. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +121

    So as a custom builder, what will you build if Windows 8 does away with the desktop? I highly doubt you'll begin building custom ultrabooks, or liquid cooling them. Do you actually believe that you can eek out the same performance in a laptop/ultrabook/tablet, as you can in a desktop that has far more cooling/graphics/processing/motherboard/upgrade options? Do you honestly believe that an operating system has that much power, to completely eliminate an entire platform? Please enlighten me so that I can understand your reasoning.
    hammer2085 likes this.

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