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201

Yes, people need multiple windows. For example, a web developer will be looking at 2 windows all the time - a text editor and a browser. Another more general example, people like to chat with friends using something like AIM or Skype or even facebook, all while watching videos on youtube. That would require 2 browser windows opened simultaneously. This ...


107

There is an old article I got from the ACM library on Human-Computer-Interaction that provides some useful feedback. (The ACM library is not very intuitive, but Microsoft have a PDF version of it) An initial study attempted to demonstrate that users are significantly more productive and more satisfied when carrying out complex, multiple window tasks ...


76

I've always viewed it as a matter of "state" tracking. When I use a computer, I am doing a task, not using a program. This task may be something as simple as check email, and only requires one window open. Or it could be complex, such as design a section of a code project. In the more complicated case, the task is independent of any individual program. I ...


67

Take a step away from classic Windows processes. That was a huge part of Windows 8 and should help you understand this. Think about how you turn your phone on or off. There's a physical button that does this. Android/iOS? Power is a physical button. If you think about it, the power on function has to be a physical button somewhere or somehow, since the ...


36

I work in a video game studio. Everyone, from programmers to artists, uses two to three screens with multiple applications and/or windows: programmers have a window with the source code, a window with the debugging information (registers, stack trace, debugging messages) and a window with the game running. level designers have a window with the assets ...


33

Yes, people do really want to look at multiple windows/monitors/screens at once. For various reasons. Working on a screen while monitoring something else, security personnel monitoring multiple devices/networks/places, stock trading, flying an airplane (I guess a pilot needs the information available always, not through clicking and restoring ...


28

As you've pointed out, forcing speed and progress into one fixed-length bar -- per the Microsoft example -- reveals the inherently non-linear relationship between time and progress :) But more importantly for your project: make sure you understand your user and determine your motivation before jumping in. What is the purpose of your progress bar in this ...


17

The metro interface is actually made of one color in two shades, a dark one in the background and light one for the tiles. The dark color can be replaced by gray. You never get real black in any of microsoft's interfaces, and you don't get two different colors. The other colors come from content displayed on live tiles - photos and videos, mainly, but also ...


15

The guiding principles of the Metro Design Language state the following: Typography. Type is beautiful. Not only is it attractive to the eye, but it can also be functional. The right balance of weight and positioning can create a visual hierarchy. Additionally, well placed type can help lead you to more content. Motion is what brings the ...


12

I guess because there isn't really a reason to have it easily available. Laptops and tablets are usually sleeping or hibernating when not in use. To power off a desktop computer, you can just press the physical power button on the computer itself. This will signal Windows to close all active applications and shut down. Actually, the power off function is ...


11

They are trying to include two separate statistics in the graph. The left to right is the % progress, and the graph shows transfer rate (with the black bar showing the average). For most people this is overkill, and for most situations a simple progress bar is fine. However this only shown when you ask for 'more details', and so that is what you are ...


11

You can overlay your progress bar with a transfer rate graph pegged to 100% width. The result is a constantly updating histogram that remains linear throughout the operation. This gives you a simple way to display both progress and transfer rate on the horizontal axis. An example: This is a rough visual example; to make it more readable you'd want to ...


9

Note that especially if your page is only displaying one type of item in the list (and its the only list), the Windows 8 guidelines say you should actually be placing your new button in the app bar, on the right-hand side. You can check out the relevant UX guidelines from Microsoft here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh761499.aspx


9

For content consumption, it may not be that important since the user is going to be focused on the content they are consuming. This is why such an interface works well on content consumption devices like tablets. For actually getting work done however, it is frequently critical to have multiple windows open in parallel. Looking at my desktop right now, I ...


7

I would hope that it is not controversial to say that multiple on-screen windows are extremely important or even essential for many computer tasks. For web-browsing tasks as well, especially with how many tasks can now be performed via a web browser, there are certainly many cases where seeing multiple browser windows at once is important to the user. But ...


7

It's likely this is targeting touch devices where you want to have the entry area nearer to you for easier finger typing, and so that when entering a url (should you need to actually type!) your hands are not covering and obscuring the rest of the screen. This is also hinted at by the design of the buttons which are well designed for fingers...


7

I am always amazed at people who think their way of using a computer is the only way there is. Having several windows side by side can be useful and productive. And in some user cases, it's not only "nice", it's vital. proofreading a translation: Source on one side, translation on the other. Working with one window at a time is unworkable. Programming: ...


7

A toggle button usually makes the most sense when you have a number of buttons to choose between. Something like a set of radio buttons in interaction. Otherwise, one toggle button on its own isn't clear in terms of either interaction or affordance, and the other options are better choices.


6

Microsoft have left the TreeView display in mind when they introduced Windows 8. Now you move down the hierarchy by clicking items (categories) and using the back button to brows back. This is the default style of hierarchical navigation on Windows 8. So a TreeView control in the style of Windows 7 and previous Windows versions does not apply. Take the ...


6

It's usually a better idea to show the "add new" option in the same grid/list that displays the existing collection of items (especially for admin management pages). How about the following 2 options? This one displays the add icon to the far right corner of the page. This one displays it right next to the title; a bit more convenient.


6

It's a compound problem. I think MS is moving in the right direction, it's just they don't always get every step right along the way. The biggest problem with Windows has always been the mess vendors have been allowed to make from it. All computers have a power button, but it's impossible to learn what it does. A Sony might act differently than a Dell. And ...


6

From a user perspective, it seems like the design problem that you are attempting to solve is that your current layout is not linear. Thus, you are requiring your users to scan the items in a less straightforward manner (zig zag, rather than straight across). So to successfully solve this problem, you need to coerce your design into a linear one. I can think ...


6

This graph indicates that for half of the total transfer time, the file was copied at half the speed Actually, that graph would look more like this. This graph indicates that for the first 2/3rds of the progress - ie. for the first 2/3rds of the file - the file transferred at full speed, then dropped to half-speed. Thus, it is not "time" on the ...


6

It may not be your color scheme -- it may be that in your layout, nothing "wins", and there is a lot of visual noise. Every selection looks equal in importance, but I'm sure they are not all equal. Make your hierarchy of information visual. Maybe your default button should be larger than the other choices. Let the thing that is most important to the user ...


5

Even if a case could be made that people only use one window at a time, they do switch windows, and one of the quickest/easiest ways to switch windows (or modes) is to click on another window, which is only possible if the other window is (at least partially) visible. The overlapping-mouse-selectable-windows model is so useful, versatile and easy to learn ...


5

Simply put, the human brain is more effective when it can visualise (in spacial reference terms) the presence of different states while working. This does not mean that the user will be physically looking at both states simultaneously, but needs to be aware of them. The question is, where to draw the line of what a "state" is defined as. Can "state" be ...


4

Have you had a look at Miller Columns? I'm currently building a web-app and have had the exact same issue with the existing treeview control that was in place which had over 700 nodes spread over about 8 layers. There was the potential to end up with a completely unnavigable vertical list. Using something like Miller Columns allows the user to still see the ...


4

When in a localized environment, the best thing you can do is to group according to the local alphabet. On my Windows Phone I use English language as localization even though my navive language is Swedish. This means the phone organize all other letters of my alphabet to the # just before a, b, c,... I would like the option to set my contacts grouping ...


4

It took me a while to understand where the problem is, because it is very subtle. The y axis is speed (bytes/sec), while the x axis is percent. In a usual time series plot, the x axis would be elapsed time. This is fine in many cases, since for a roughly constant transfer rate, percentage ~ time. Even if not, you can still infer two pieces of information: ...


4

Hear those crickets? That’s the sound of no guidelines for dense data presentations for any design language. There has been a need for such guidelines since GUIs first arrived, but there aren’t any I know of. For what it’s worth, I’ve been developing my own approach for dense alpha-numeric GUI presentations over the years, which I described at Coded, ...



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