Questions tagged [windows-os]

use this tag for questions related to Microsoft Operating System family.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
172 votes
14 answers
29k 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 ...
Anna Prenzel's user avatar
  • 2,986
76 votes
4 answers
16k 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 ...
Benny Skogberg's user avatar
68 votes
11 answers
24k 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 ...
Anirban Nag 'tintinmj''s user avatar
53 votes
6 answers
8k views

What is the reason for moving the start button to the middle in Windows 11?

The movement of the "start button" from the corner to the middle seems to be so much hated that it was impossible for me to find any justification for it in a short search, because all the ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 2,876
50 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Thomas Clayson's user avatar
32 votes
6 answers
15k 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 types a key, the search engine makes a query and returns the results. I thought that that wasn't too ...
dbalboa's user avatar
  • 495
28 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is low contrast between active and inactive window title bars considered a good thing?

It seems like recently, there is a movement toward applications forcing a color scheme on the user as well as using custom-drawn windowing elements, particularly title bars, with very low contrast ...
user's user avatar
  • 652
26 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
SimonT's user avatar
  • 395
26 votes
5 answers
21k 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 ...
Robert Grant's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Yamikuronue's user avatar
  • 1,137
23 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
Uwe Keim's user avatar
  • 2,959
23 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
jdm's user avatar
  • 402
19 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
Mark Heath's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
8k 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.
HarveyZA's user avatar
  • 742
17 votes
3 answers
22k views

The best scroll direction | Apple v.s. Windows [duplicate]

The two biggest computer companies in the world use opposite scrolling directions! When you switch from Windows to Apple, you'll notice that Apple has its scrolling reversed. But maybe it's Windows ...
Max de Mooij's user avatar
  • 2,610
16 votes
10 answers
1k views

Are some of Windows 7's UI less intuitive than previous versions? [closed]

One feature I can't understand is the minimize to desktop button. I can't imagine why it is more intuitive to put it as this little tiny transparent strip on the bottom right hand side instead of ...
RoboShop's user avatar
  • 1,241
16 votes
3 answers
4k 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?
draw's user avatar
  • 263
14 votes
5 answers
3k 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) ...
Acapulco's user avatar
  • 251
13 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Anirban Nag 'tintinmj''s user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Looking for independent usability study of 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 ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 26.7k
13 votes
2 answers
17k 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 because I'm ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
429 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 ...
Art's user avatar
  • 4,473
11 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Kevin McCormick's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
HugoRune's user avatar
  • 391
9 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
Thijs van Dien's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
615 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 ...
Ben Burns's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

The missing "Folder Up" button in Windows Explorer in Vista and Win7

Windows XP had a "Folder Up" button in Windows Explorer. Whenever you want to go to a directory higher in the hierarchy, you just press it. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a rather useful address ...
Abdulsattar Mohammed's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
jokoon's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is the Windows Title Bar off limits for customization?

With a recent Chrome update, I now have a switch person button next to the three standard Window Title Buttons that are used all the time: Minimize Window Restore Window Close Window When Chrome is ...
smoca's user avatar
  • 865
8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Bart Gijssens's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k 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): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us//library/system.windows.forms.treeview....
Jens Mühlenhoff's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why doesn't Windows tell me which program / process is using that specific file I want to delete [closed]

Most of you should already at some point experienced this when using the Windows operating system: You want to delete a folder, Windows will gladly delete every file except that one file which is used ...
Evil-Toaster's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
BlueBerry - Vignesh4303's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
278 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 ...
JOG's user avatar
  • 5,610
7 votes
3 answers
2k 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 "...
dbalboa's user avatar
  • 495
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Blake's user avatar
  • 351
7 votes
1 answer
390 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 ...
Bart Gijssens's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Jay Hacker's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Robert Niestroj's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
RoboShop's user avatar
  • 1,241
6 votes
3 answers
530 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? ...
Randomblue's user avatar
  • 2,163
6 votes
4 answers
411 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 ...
Phrogz's user avatar
  • 916
6 votes
1 answer
762 views

Where can I find an official or recommended Windows desktop application user interface usability and style guide?

I've heard there is a OSX User Interface Usability and Style Guide since the 90's. I never heard of an equivalent book for Windows. Is there any?
Jader Dias's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
33k 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 ...
Bret Walker's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
486 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 importantly,...
Aadaam's user avatar
  • 7,439
6 votes
1 answer
613 views

Is OK button with access key acceptable?

I am trying to maintain compliance with the Windows 7 User Experience Interaction Guidelines and I am having trouble in some dialog boxes with the rule that OK buttons should not have an access key (...
TomT's user avatar
  • 63
6 votes
2 answers
119 views

Should main drop-down menu always be titled File

First my question, and then the details below: Should the main drop-down menu in a windows application always be titled "File" or should it be titled something more appropriate to the options it ...
MatthewHagemann's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
396 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 ...
leMoisela's user avatar
  • 328
5 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
Dave Haigh's user avatar
  • 6,143