Saturday, September 08, 2007

The biggest usability bug in Windows

The startup time hurts the usability ...

"It seems that a part of human nature is to accept things as they are and adapt accordingly. This can be both a strength and a weakness. With regard to tools and products, we use what we have, most often accepting the shortcomings, until someone comes along and invents something better or makes an improvement. And then we examine the new product or improvement in awe, wondering why we didn't think of it, surprised at how obvious it is in hindsight.

It is not easy to remove oneself from the everyday flow of life, from the behavioral patterns we form and adaptations we make, to acknowledge the problems and ask "how can this be better?" And yet, this is the space where designers should spend a great deal of time.

To that lofty end, I'm going to step down from my dramatic soliloquy and ask "Why in the name of all that is holy does it have to take so long to start Windows?"

I, like many others I'm sure, use my computer for hours and hours every day. And one of my chief frustrations is waiting for my laptop to start up, and for that matter shutdown. Because I use a laptop, I start up and shutdown often. This isn't as much of a problem for desktop users who leave their computer running, but when the power goes out or you have to install new software, prepare to wait.

And why should this be acceptable? Would it be acceptable if it took a web site 5min to load? Would it be acceptable if it took your camera 5min to start? What about your TV? Your washing machine? Your car? We have adapted and come to accept it as "the way it is", but I argue that it is the biggest usability bug in Windows! To be fair, this problem isn't limited to Windows. I don't use a Mac, so I can't compare, but I'm sure it doesn't turn on instantly."    (Continued via Dexo Design)    [Usability Resources]

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