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My constructive criticisms for "closing" Metro-style apps

    General discussion

  • Hey there!  Well I've been playing with the tablet for several days now, and I just thought I'd chime in on the whole "close app" issue.

    After all these years and Microsoft's various implementations, I'm surprised that they still haven't figured out that "perfect niche" way to handle the whole issue with Apps and closing them.  I understand their rationale;  they want to get users away from the idea of thinking that they should even have to close Apps, and that having them all automatically background themselves is a "better" way to do it... but that idea really overlooks some important issues.

    The first of which is User Experience and basic UI;  yes, we like to be able to do multiple tasks on our tablets and portable devices, and sometimes its appropriate to background an app so that we can quickly come back to it.  But the Microsoft guys definitely need to come to grips with the idea that there may very well be legitimate times when we are "done" with an app - that the task is completed, and for the foreseeable future, we don't want to be bothered with this app again.

    After running a bunch of apps to test things out, the whole cool concept of swiping from the left to get back to my other apps tends to become cumbersome - you wind up having to flip through a zillion apps to get to the one you want.

    Another issue;  I was playing one of the games on the tablet... I flipped out because I got bored with it and wanted to move on to something else... but lo and behold, the app was still running, complete with background sounds that are now interfering with my experience with the rest of the apps.  Sure, you can say that that's the game developers problem for not having it suspend when it's not the "active" app, but alas... that's an issue we're likely to run into in a lot of cases, and the user would end up suffering because of a dev's oversight.

    If Microsoft wants to usher people into a new way of thinking, with apps backgrounding instead of closing them, then they need to tackle the UI and UX issues that present themselves when you have lots of apps running.

    Someone else raised the idea that some users really like to be "neat", and don't like the idea of seeing a ton of apps listed when they go to clean house or switch to a different task.  I kinda thought that was a trivial gripe, at first... but in reality, that's really true - when you go to switch back to a backgrounded app, and you have 20 other apps in there - it tends to give the user the impression that something is being wasted with all that stuff running, even if there isn't.  That's a human/social/behavioral thing, I think, that isn't easily overcome by just saying "oh don't worry about the dead-weight backgrounded apps, they aren't hurting you".

    So anyway, I see the good intentions of Microsoft's approach... but it doesn't look like they've figured out yet how to compensate for the shortcomings of having tons of apps running.  My suggestion is to keep chugging on it, eventually you'll find the right combo of UI/UX elements to help us really get there.  But as things stand - at least with this Developer Preview - I think the user is left hanging without a way to close apps and resolve the issues that pop up with having lots of "backgrounded" apps.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 11:37 PM

All replies

  • with short words, is see no negative impact, if customer have the X to close. If he dont like- it's ok, but if he like (cause somebody is entering the room ;-)) he should have the option

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:49 PM
  • I'd like some app card list like in wp7 mango, when holding the back button, but then like a swipe the card up or down to get rid of it. I'd wish this for both phone and win8. I'm just not sure how you would bring up this list... what kind of gesture?
    Monday, October 17, 2011 11:37 AM

  • The first of which is User Experience and basic UI;  yes, we like to be able to do multiple tasks on our tablets and portable devices, and sometimes its appropriate to background an app so that we can quickly come back to it.  But the Microsoft guys definitely need to come to grips with the idea that there may very well be legitimate times when we are "done" with an app - that the task is completed, and for the foreseeable future, we don't want to be bothered with this app again.

    Wait! Why worry about closing when OS automatically does this for you after the inactivity timeout? Isn't it?

    I thought the lifecycle is as follows:

    Start>Work>Inactive>Suspend>Check Activity>Inactive>Unload.

    Isn't it?

     


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...
    Monday, October 17, 2011 12:56 PM

  • The first of which is User Experience and basic UI;  yes, we like to be able to do multiple tasks on our tablets and portable devices, and sometimes its appropriate to background an app so that we can quickly come back to it.  But the Microsoft guys definitely need to come to grips with the idea that there may very well be legitimate times when we are "done" with an app - that the task is completed, and for the foreseeable future, we don't want to be bothered with this app again.

    Wait! Why worry about closing when OS automatically does this for you after the inactivity timeout? Isn't it?

    I thought the lifecycle is as follows:

    Start>Work>Inactive>Suspend>Check Activity>Inactive>Unload.

    Isn't it?

     


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...


    1)because on swiping you get windows from APPs which are already done

    2)cause  sometimes there is a need for imideate stopping of action

    Monday, October 17, 2011 6:00 PM
  • Maybe someone could make a app for closing all apps and a menu to close the one you want...:D
    Spanner..
    Monday, October 17, 2011 7:11 PM