Imagine you are faced with a tablet-sized screen that is almost-but-not-quite a tablet.
- It has a physical keyboard, and there is no on-screen keyboard.
- It has a touch screen, but also has a port where you can attach a mouse if you want to use one.
- It has a stylus, but it's not obviously marked and therefore isn't much used.
The layout is simple, very much like an app found on a tablet. The menu is 1/4 of the screen width and aligned left. By selecting a menu item, that section is displayed in the remaining 3/4 screen width.
Very few of the sections have an additional level into which you can 'drill down', but for those that do, a modal-style file explorer window will open listing the files inside as a grid.
Selecting an individual file opens the program to which it is attached, filling the entire screen. OpenOffice, for example, would display as you would see it on a desktop.
Unlike a tablet or smart phone, there is no centered 'home' button or icon to immediately indicate how to exit the current screen.
I feel for the modal-type screen, a centered 'close' button is more clear and effective, as there are no other buttons needed for those modals. There are no other possible interactions other than select a file or close the window. The current modals use a top right x and are displayed very similar to Windows 7 'windows'.
The programs that fill the entire screen are all OpenOffice or similar and, of course, also look like the Windows 7 windows with the x in the top right corner, which is normal for programs of that type. These programs are not as often used, but when they are used, the mouse is almost always used to interact with them, which makes selecting the X in the top right corner much easier to target since they aren't using their fingers.
Does it confuse the user or break the user experience if the file explorer modals are closed with the 'close' button (without an x to close in the top right corner), and the program windows are closed with the X in the top right corner but no close button?
Update to add pictures of screens
Most screens on this devices are going to be panels for settings or grids of items to select. Those screens, in my opinion, would be effectively closed with a button like so:
The few programs that users have access to that act like word processors or spreadsheets, I think should close like so:
I don't feel like they have to both close the same way, because of how they are used.