the Microsoft desktop Operating System family.

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8
votes
4answers
692 views

Mouse wheel interaction with nested scrollbars

Nested scrollbars (a scrollable area within another scrollable area) present some unfortunate difficulties, mainly when scrolling trough them with the mouse wheel. Whether such scrollbars are a good ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Segmented buttons in Windows desktop applications?

Is there an equivalent to the OS X segmented Buttons on Windows 7 / Windows 8 Desktop (not Metro) and if so, what does it look like? Example in OS X (Settings, Listening Key, Commands):
11
votes
3answers
704 views

Has a proper usability study been published on the Microsoft Fluent UI?

I have been trying to gather objective feedback/response on the design of the Fluent UI ('Ribbon') interface. Apart from one study by Forrester which was commissioned by Microsoft anyway, and various ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Alternatives for multiple popup dialogs that look the same and are frequently used

I am trying to improve the interface of a tool. Currently, we have 4 popup dialogs which all look the same and have the same functionality. They consist of a list and add/remove buttons and in each ...
49
votes
11answers
9k views

Why did Microsoft choose the word “Recycle Bin”?

If you delete something in Windows OS, it will go to Recycle bin. But if you think about it nothing recycles in it right? Say, you delete a virus infected file and again restore it from recycle bin ...
1
vote
2answers
249 views

Why is it an industry-standard to have a window automatically grab focus and how do we change it? (in Windows at least)

Why is it an industry-standard to have a windows automatically grab focus? From a usability point of view, why is it considered "good practice" for a desktop application to grab (more like hijack) ...
2
votes
3answers
488 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
283 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? ...
13
votes
3answers
345 views

Why do scrollbars revert to original scroll distance when mouse is dragged sideways too far?

When dragging the scrollbar using the mouse, the contents of the scrollpane move up and down as the bar moves with the mouse. But if you keep the mouse button held down, and move the pointer sideways ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the close (cross) button in Windows gets special attention?

In Windows's window even if you don't hover on the close (cross) button it always stays red. But the minimize or restore button is transparent, if you hover then it will become blue. So why does this ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

What's the point of closing windows by double-clicking their top-left?

In Windows, you can double-click the top-left of a window to close it. But why? It's not intuitive. At all. What sort of advantage is there by using this kind of behaviour for closing windows? I ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Buttons in the “tab area” of a page control

Is it OK to put buttons (or a toolbar) in the "tab area" of a page control? In the example above, the number of tabs is fixed. The rationale behind this is to "save space". However. It "feels" ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

“Revert to Default” UI element

In the settings dialog of our Windows desktop application, the user can type or select a certain (template) file. If nothing is specified, the application falls back to the default. This is indicated ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Smoothly transitioning from mouse drag to text entry

I have an application I'm working on where a portion of the interface is very mouse-centric. You drag the mouse to create/manipulate regions, then assign properties to those regions. Below is an ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Highlighting a property in combobox

I am currently doing an application with a combobox, like this: Obviously the visuals can be better, but leaving that aside: How can I highlight a boolean property of a particular element? A ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

How does Windows 7 Aero taskbar determine button hover-state background colour [closed]

This has intrigued me for quite some time. Does anyone know the algorithm Windows 7 Aero uses to determine the colour to use as the mouse-tracking hover highlight on taskbar buttons for ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Modification by value or percentage

Each train type on each section of track has a specific running time, set by Those Who Know. My users need the option of modifying the value of that setting (train journey time in minutes) by either ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What is the list view in Windows Explorer called?

In Windows Explorer, the Details view looks like this: As you can see, there is a list view in which the items can be sorted by one of many attributes. I would like to know what this sort of list ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Should messages (e. g. in a message box) be terminated with a period? [duplicate]

Compare To I think that as long as the message contains a complete sentence, it should be terminated with a period. But I rarely see it in the applications, usually there's no period. It is ...
0
votes
5answers
205 views

Correct use of Ribbons in Windows program

I need some advice on the correct use of Ribbons in desktop applications. The program I'm working on is for a clinic, I have done a simple mockup below to make it easier to visualize. My client wants ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
241 views

Why is the Windows taskbar default at the bottom?

In Windows operating systems the taskbars default position is at the bottom. Why is that so? Especially it is strange to me because all windows application have their main menu bar at the top. To me ...
2
votes
1answer
532 views

How do I indicate that fields are mandatory in Windows Desktop UI?

I need a method of indicating that certain fields are required within my forms on a Windows Desktop UI. I have read and searched the Windows Design Guidelines, but can not find a standard that ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

How might Windows show a loading status instead of just freezing?

Every now and then, you'll have a bunch of desktop applications open in Windows. Let's say you have a word processor, a web browser, a music player, and video game open simultaneously. All of these ...
4
votes
3answers
83 views

User Interface Changes for Mac when Porting Windows Application

I have an existing windows application, for which I have decided to create a Mac version. The problem is that the current UI involves a lot of buttons, tabbed panels, multiple windows etc. This UI ...
1
vote
1answer
665 views

Prevent Active Directory password expiration when user never logs in

Let's assume the following in a hospital: Each nurse has her own Active Directory user, with a password. The password expires automatically 90 days after the password was set. A nurse uses her own ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

User Interface Changes for Mac when Porting Windows Application

I have an existing windows application, for which I have decided to create a Mac version. The problem is that the current UI involves a lot of buttons, tabbed panels, multiple windows etc. This UI ...
3
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
378 views

Better way to provide software downloads for an exe application

We plan to release an .exe file to public. The options would be to download the .exe file from the websites direct server link, so that we can provide direct download support with respective to ...
4
votes
3answers
155 views

Checkboxes vs Selection in dialog

In my application a user can search for messages in a database. Users may select mailboxes and folders where the search will be performed. These folders are represented as a tree with checkboxes. But ...
0
votes
3answers
153 views

Why does MS Outlook Express store data in a hidden folder? [closed]

Microsoft Outlook Express stores your email files in a hidden data folder buried deep in the user's home folder. I can't understand why they chose to do this. It makes it nearly impossible to ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Is the indeterminate checkbox state a Microsoft UI pattern only?

A quick look through online search results show that the indeterminate checkbox state does not seem to be a very common UI interaction, yet Microsoft has persistently stuck with it and are probably ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Studies on the impact of switching operating systems in corporate organizations

Browsing through a previous question on the usability between Windows and Mac OS, I thought an interesting question would be to see if there were any studies done on the impact of changing operation ...
6
votes
3answers
191 views

When is the best time to deploy operating system updates?

Related to this question, it was proposed in the comments that it frustrates the user even more when when they go to shutdown their workstation and it takes forever to install updates. However, it's a ...
-4
votes
2answers
57 views

What's the best program (that you have used) to compile a professional windows help file (CHM)? [closed]

I have to make a help documentation in windows help file format. The amount of time I have got for this is ~ 5 hours and I have got about 50 pages (slides) that need to be added to this document. So ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

How to display NumPad keys to user

We are trying to map how a user will see key presses for custom hotkeys. However, there is some debate which I cannot find a standard for: How to display the number pad keys: num1, num2, numPLUS, ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

What is an effective way to present System Update Progress to a user that also lowers frustration?

I am working on an app that starts installing any pending updates when a user logs off the (Windows) workstation. The finished app will look like this (minus 'button1'): Our branding is in the ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Keyboard navigation of editable fields skipping other controls

I've been browsing StackExchange, the MS UX guidelines, etc and have yet to find an answer, or even a suggestion about this. In a Windows environment, Tab usually moves focus from control to ...
2
votes
0answers
268 views

Why does scrolling when dragging an element scroll faster on mouse wiggle? [closed]

I don't know about other operating systems, but this is very prolific in Windows. Let's say you have a scrollable container that items can be dragged onto. You want to drag an item onto the part of ...
7
votes
3answers
201 views

Should we use Microsoft's feature names, or our own? “Autofilter” vs “Column filter”

Many Microsoft softwares, like the Office suite and the Windows Explorer, feature a type of column filter that they have dubbed the Autofilter. It filters rows based on column content. It adapts the ...
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, ...
8
votes
4answers
271 views

Why did older Windows installs delay before automatic restart?

Every time I need to install an older copy of Windows (today it's Server 2003 Enterprise), I run into the screen where the initial install phase completes and my machine needs to reboot. The ...
6
votes
2answers
533 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
16k views

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

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 ...
15
votes
6answers
877 views

Delay on keystroke when search as you type

I'm deploying an instant search on my windows app. At the first implementation, when the user type a key, the search engine make a query and return the results. I thought that that wasn't too much ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

position-based application switching in traditional window managers

I have a related question on SU that is asking for any tools which apply this concept: Suppose that I've got a perfectly reasonable set of two terminal windows, two web browsers, and one email ...
17
votes
2answers
783 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
339 views

Which button should get the focus at delete dialogs?

I thought that most destructive actions should be avoided from default actions. But when a delete dialog comes, I see that most Windows applications (even the OS), by default, set the focus at ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

User interface design [closed]

I am writing an application in C# using Visual Studio and need my UI like this: +-------------------------------------------------------------+ |Action1 Action2 ... ActionN | Toolbox | ...
144
votes
14answers
21k 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 ...