Thursday, September 14, 2006

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: The Dark Side of Windows Vista RC1

Criticisms of Vista's UI ...

... It's the UI, stupid. Actually, it's a stupid UI.

... Last year, I infamously called for the firing of the person responsible for what was then a miserable Media Center user interface. That was a bit harsh, perhaps, but you have to remember that the Media Center UI that debuted in the October 2005 CTP (see my review) was also absolutely horrible. Since then, Vista's Media Center has improved a lot. At least Microsoft listens.

This time, I'd like approach a bit of UI that will almost certainly not change by the time Vista ships. And that's too bad, because it's one of the single stupidest UI decisions I've ever seen. (As a side note, Mac guys like to point to the Start button as a stupid UI decision, because you have to go to "Start" to shutdown the PC. Whatever. This one makes the Start button look like divine inspiration by comparison.)

Here it is. In previous versions of Windows, wizards and wizard-based applications provided logical Next and Back buttons so you could easily navigate forward and backwards through the various steps presented. Here's a typical example.

... Vista, too, offers a variety of wizards and wizard-based applications. And like XP, Vista's wizards offer Next and Back buttons. Here's a typical example.

... What? You don't see the Back button? Oh, it's that weird blue thing in the corner. Why does Vista use a graphical browser-like button for Back and an old-fashioned text-based button for Next? I can understand why Back is on the left, and why Next is on the right, but why is Back on the top of the application while Next is on the bottom?"   (Continued via Supersite for Windows)   [Usability Resources]

Vista Wizard - Usability, User Interface Design

Vista Wizard


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