Monday, 4 March 2013

Usability horror: where will it end?

Windows 8 has lost the start menu.

I’m rather disappointed to lose this newbie instruction:
in order to shut down a windows machine, click on the start menu
I’m curious how eliminating a single global menu to find everything that is replaced by a bunch of cryptic keyboard shortcuts is an advance. The Ubuntu Unity interface and trends in the Mac OS interface represent a similar design sin:
pretty is not simple, if it obscures basic ability to get stuff done
Apple started moving that way since Jobs returned to Apple and fired the human interface team, who used evidence-based research to drive design choices. As the usability leader, sadly, others have followed when they started going wrong.

The notion that a desktop interface should look like a tablet interface because tablets are popular is like arguing in a market where bicycle sales exceed car sales that we should throw out the steering wheel and adopt handlebars in cars.

If I search on Windows 8 interface, almost all articles on the first google page are negative, or “fixes” to make it the way it was. A similar search on the latest Mac OS (Mac OS X Lion interface) produces similar results. As does a search on the Ubuntu Unity interface.

Am I missing something obvious, or are the Dutch about to produce a car with handlebars?

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