the Microsoft desktop Operating System family.

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17
votes
2answers
932 views

What happened to “What's this?” help?

"What's this?" help or context-sensitive help* used to be commonplace in Windows applications a few years ago. Dialog windows had an additional "?" button in the top right, that when clicked, gave you ...
148
votes
14answers
22k views

Do people really want to look at multiple windows at once?

I'm referring to Jakob Nielsen's alertbox from November 19, 2012. He complains about the lack of windows in Windows 8: Lack of Multiple Windows = Memory Overload for Complex Tasks One of the ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Open the folder vs show in explorer?

In Windows, when a program offers to locate a file for you, it typically does so by opening an Explorer window pointing at the containing folder with the specific file highlighted. This gives you ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Alert window, navigating to the right button

Working on both Windows and OSX, I have some habits on both. In alert dialogs, there is a huge usability variance between both operating systems. In the latter, you can either tap enter and have the ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

Should yes/no dialogs also have a cancel?

I remember once reading an article that said whenever you present a messagebox with a Yes/No choice, you should always also provide a Cancel button, even if it does the same as No. The rationale was ...
3
votes
3answers
276 views

When to show a Selection Column in a data grid

I have a windows based desktop LOB application. In a multi step process a user is requested to select a SINGLE row on a datagrid. My question is? should or shouldnt I use a selection column to ...
1
vote
1answer
316 views

Web-safe fonts: do Apple devices ship with Arial?

Currently my font stack is "HelveticaNeue-Light","Helvetica Neue Light","Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,"Lucida Grande",sans-serif. The issue I'm having is that some of my images/buttons with text ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

How do I guide users to use the Windows program necessary for my Android app?

I have published a small Android App. It is a Remote Control for PowerPoint. The Software itself would work just fine, however I have a few small issues with my users. As you can imagine, a user has ...
4
votes
1answer
408 views

Does Metro scale?

This question has bugged me for a while, I thought I might ask it. In software, we say something "scales" if it's able to stay coherent and consistent over a long period of time, but more ...
66
votes
4answers
14k views

Why did Microsoft make Windows 8 hard to Power Off?

I’ve been using Windows 8 for a couple of weeks and am certain the new operating system will work great on tablet (i.e. Microsoft Surface). On PC some say the best tile is the desktop tile, where you ...
6
votes
1answer
399 views

Why is HideSelection the default on Windows?

I've always wondered why Windows controls have their HideSelection property set to true by default? Example (TreeView): ...
1
vote
0answers
407 views

Windows Forms Best Practices [closed]

What are the best practices for enhancing the user-experience on forms on Windows, including usability, efficiency, design and effectiveness, and would you suggest that the operating environment of a ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

List Selection mechanisms - OK to mix?

I have a window with multiple tabpages. On one tab, I have a set of controls designed to allow the user to "include" or "exclude" any of a set of pre-defined items from some consideration. You've seen ...
10
votes
2answers
992 views

Inactive State of buttons, to hide or not to hide…that is the question

On a windows based LOB application for data capturing. Is it better to hide a button completely when it is inactive, or simply show a disabled state for the button.
7
votes
2answers
756 views

What is the purpose behind mouse acceleration?

Windows XP enables it by default, I don't know about vista or 7, in Mac OS X you have to buy a shareware to remove both mouse acceleration AND accelerated scrolling. Why are those things always ...
3
votes
1answer
547 views

How can the Copy and Replace message box be improved?

I have a program (running on Windows) that I am developing that has a file and folder page as part of it that is effectively copying the Windows format. I allow users to copy, cut, paste, delete and ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Why does in-line Label Edit in Windows Explorer have a delay?

When you open Windows Explorer, then select some file or folder, then click its file name, an inline label-edit will be invoked. But there is an intentional delay before the textbox is displayed. Why? ...
3
votes
3answers
191 views

Why could “installing updates” not be listed as a distinct system restart reason in Windows Server?

When I install updates on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 it often requires a system restart upon completion. When I use "Start"->"Restart" the dialog prompts me for a reason for the system ...
8
votes
1answer
250 views

Applicability of Fitts law in expert user scenarios

Fitts law states that "the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target.". Simply put, if user is about to click/tap/press a ...
5
votes
3answers
451 views

Is it good UX that in Windows 7 & 8 the “windows” of the same application are automatically grouped into one button?

In Windows 7 and 8, all the windows of every application are by default automatically grouped into one icon on the taskbar. This happens even when there are two instances of the application running ...
2
votes
2answers
176 views

Generate a list of resolutions for a new window

My program is a wrapper for Remote Desktop Connection which generates a ".rdp" file and launches the file through the normal program. I am trying to mimic Remote Desktop Connection's resolution slider ...
5
votes
1answer
516 views

Why would number lock be disabled by default?

There was a time that number lock was enabled by default (at least in a Windows environment). Then, after an update one day, all the sudden the Number Lock is disabled. Why the change? What is it ...
8
votes
5answers
658 views

Are double tabs on the same level acceptable?

In my Windows application, I want to show the user some kind of map. The information displayed on this map can vary a lot, depending on filters set by the user. With these filters set, the user will ...
7
votes
2answers
301 views

UI suggestion: Where to place MoveUp/Down buttons

It is ugly but I can't find a better place to put Move-up and Down buttons. What is your suggestion? Note: the ORDER of the items inside the spreadsheet is important to user and we save it. These ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Should a FolderBrowserDialog be used over an OpenFolderDialog?

In developing applications where I need the user to select a folder, I've always favored the OpenFolderDialog because: It looks like an OpenFileDialog Allows the user to jump directly to the path ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Display “Day entities” that contain Stuff, by day and by period

I have something like Things that happened this day that can be either of TypeA or TypeB. I want to display Day items per period and also display inside each Day item some info about its TypeA's and ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Folder picker: Some users want to preview contents of the folder but others find this confusing

In our Silverlight application we have a wizard that gives the users the ability to browse to a specific folder on the server and in a subsequent step select the specific files that they wish to ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a visual glossary of (Windows) UI controls?

Some days it seems every member of my team calls each control by a different name. Is there a good resource, preferably with images, for what the official name of each control type is? I found a few ...
9
votes
4answers
601 views

Is it still preferred/acceptable to right-align the Help menu in Windows applications?

Back when I first learned Windows GUI programming, it seemed very common to right-align the Help menu in applications. It seems this is no longer the norm in all of the Windows applications I ...
7
votes
1answer
222 views

Should filtering of data have an effect on the filter criteria as well?

My quesion is about filtering of data in a Windows desktop application. I have a large amount of data coming from a database (> 900.000 records). The records are shown in a classic listcontrol (rows ...
21
votes
5answers
17k views

Is there a Windows 8 desktop UI Guideline or HIG anywhere in the world? [duplicate]

And I don't mean Win 7 / Metro UI guidelines, I have them up the wazoo, but I've changed jobs and need to start looking at the new Windows 8 DESKTOP design. I know it takes a lot of cues from Metro on ...
3
votes
3answers
883 views

How to display a countdown timer?

I'm making a Pomodoro Timer to apply the Pomodoro Technique to my work. I need to display a countdown timer (count 25 minutes). Within 25 minutes I need to focus on my current task and try my best to ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Good alternatives for replacing multiple nested modal dialogs?

Having a mature and good-selling Windows desktop application, we are focusing on improving the user experience for the next release. One thing that I try is to get rid of multiple nested modal dialog ...
42
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I provide feedback from a save button?

I'm currently in the process of developing a Windows Application which produces Word Documents. In the program there is the ability to save your progress (different to the "Save as a Word Document" ...
10
votes
2answers
13k views

Windows 8 Metro Design Examples / Guidelines [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where can I find style guide for metro UI for web applications? Not a technical question about how to build an app (I'm just going to use DevExpress Tiles, mostly ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Any recommendations on dealing with wizard screens with wildly different amounts of content?

I'm facing an issue with a wizard import system. The content of each screen in the wizard varies to the tune of creating white spaces as big as 300px by 300px. A stakeholder thinks this is too much ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

adding/removing/searching thousands of data

I have 2 tables : a contract table and a part table. every contract has thousands of parts. The user can select a contract and I display the thousands of related parts to the user using paging. ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

“File” for name of drop-down menu

In Windows mostly, a lot (most?) applications have a "File" drop-down menu, with things like "Exit", "Import/export settings", "Preferences", ... Is "File" a blindly accepted standard/default? ...
7
votes
2answers
601 views

What's the best positioning strategy for dialog boxes?

In a Windows application, there are many options for determining the starting position of a dialog. In the center of the application's main window In the center of the screen where the application's ...
3
votes
3answers
268 views

Usability - Testing Windows applications under different settings

I'm testing a Windows application for usability. While I thought the application looked pretty usable at first, I tried the application using the "Large text" setting in Windows 7 and realised that ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Intutitive way for user to navigate to a second window in application?

I have a 3D model of an aircraft in which the user uses to navigate to get to a specific parts. When the user hovers over a part the part is highlighted with a rectangle. When the part is ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to create realistic mockups?

I need to create a realistic mock-up for an app. Are there mockup tools to create mockups that look like a final app? (Preferably for Mac OS Cocoa Apps, on any OS: Linux, Windows or Mac) If not, ...
2
votes
3answers
496 views

Why are menus always misaligned in Windows [closed]

If you've ever right-clicked something in Windows (yes! you can do that!), and you're like me, you'll have noticed that sub-menus are always slightly higher and inset into the parent-menus. Wouldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Studies showing significant usability differences between Windows and Mac OS X?

Everybody has their pet gripes about one or the other, but I'm curious if there is any actual science showing that "The Windows Way" or "The Mac Way" is significantly better for some task. Just to be ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

Where can I find a gallery of WPF UI examples? [closed]

Does anyone know where I can find a gallery of UIs built with stock WPF controls? I want to give my business partners examples of what can be (fairly easily) accomplished with the standard WPF ...
3
votes
6answers
479 views

How can I improve the perceived performance of a desktop application?

We've build quite a 'large' and regrettably slow windows application for various financial planning business steps. I'm currently trying to improve the performance of the application by slowly ...
4
votes
6answers
634 views

Good example of a Keyboard Shortcut Manager implementation [closed]

I am implementing a keyboard shortcut manager in which the user can assign shortcut keys to global (or contextual) commands in a Windows desktop application. Note that the application has load of ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the close button in the title bar red in Windows 7?

Perhaps to prevent users from closing the window or application inadvertently? But is it also a distraction because the color of red stands out? Any insights?
5
votes
5answers
629 views

What's a good shortcut key for a global shortcut

I'm writing an app that allows the user to open up a window when they put in a shortcut key. I have this feature working but I would like to know what shortcut key combination would be best. I ...
6
votes
4answers
305 views

Control to select (not open) a file on windows

I am designing a Windows application that has a dialog that requires the user to select a file, similar to the way you would with an <input type="file"> on the web. However, I cannot think of a ...