4 suggestions on W8 using mouse/keyboard - think WP7 Emulator ! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Thanks for all that goodness coming into Win8. Have installed it on my laptop and it is already impressive, even the setup got "fast and smooth animations", like that.

    Now some suggestions for the gazillions of users like me that does not have touch hardware.

    1) having to use mouse+scrollbars in "metro" screens is painful.

    Let the Metro UI reproduce the same gesture behaviours as the Windows Phone Emulator - ?
    i mean, to scroll items you just click, drag-hold-release, anywhere in the list.

    It feels really natural and close to the touch behavior, even when using a mouse.

    I think there would be no conflict with the "mouse click-hold-drag gesture to select multiple items" as we know in current windows releases, since there is nothing to multi-select in the tile ui

    2) also introduce a "long tap/press/click" gesture to the Windows logo / Windows Key to bring the tile UI or app switcher (like in WP7 again)
    - if the user just click the windows logo or briefly hit the Windows key, bring the classic menu
    - if the user click-hold the Windows logo or hold the Windows key, show either the tile UI, or, show the app switcher of WP7 -again! - to let the user switch to a specific app. It would be far better than the unsable tiny thumbnail that is shown when moving mouse to the left pixel (and would also remove the need to use the mouse wheel to pick a specific app - an absolutely painful gesture)

    3) let the "charms" vertical band appear on the right, exactly same as in touch mode. The user would either use the windows logo on the bottom-left to bring a classical menu, OR the charms on the right. Hence we won't have to reconfigure our brain when switching from work=mouse to home=tablet W8 PCs ! ;-)

    4) Merge W7 aero snap gestures with W8 split-screen. To swap my sideapp from left to right i want to click on its top X pixels (i know there would be no chrome window title but reserve some pixels for that, like the pixels you have reserved in WP7), drag to the right, to swap those windows. It would be better and natural for Windows 7 users. Today with W8, click-dragging the "grid-splitter" is painful - aero snap was easier on that point.

    Last, -not related to mouse- seems that in setup you show the wifi connection picker BEFORE the locale / keyboard selector. I had to enter my WPA password by playing the old azerty-keyboard-but-win-thinks-it-is-querty game.
    Julien Brunet - .NET Architect
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 5:36 PM

All replies

  • I seccond all your suggestions.

    Hopefully someone in MS is reading this.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 5:54 PM
  • Absolutely I agree. I have no problem using the Windows Phone 7 emulator on my computer, the click and drag is very natural and fluid in an interface like Metro UI. The scroll wheel is a second thought when looking at an interface like that. Microsoft, listen to this person!
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:20 PM
  • Definitely agree with point 1). I kept trying to click-drag the background in the Metro apps to no avail. I also can't figure out how to close/leave an app once it's open, and had to do a web-search to figure out how to get to the settings pane (Win+i).

    While I understand that this is a developer preview, I'm of the opinion that developers want to ensure their apps are equally great to use on a touch screen or with a mouse and keyboard.

    That said, I really appreciate still being able to launch apps by tapping the Win key and typing the app name and enter. Still the fastest way to open something and it works great here too. I don't miss the old start menu at all.


    I agree with point 2) to a certain extent. I don't think holding the Win key is the solution, but definitely W8 needs a better method of selecting open apps in the Metro interface. Cycling through apps only gets you so far. Even WP7 creates a rich experience for switching in and out of apps that is not available here (yet. hopefully.)

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:07 PM
  • I couldn't agree more with item 1 and 3. After watching the build videos, using a mouse and keyboard was a very frustrating experience. When the touch interface reserves a pixel on the edges of the screen for interaction, it seems completely counter-intuitive that this isn't the case for the mouse. In the first 10 minutes of using the mouse, I repeatedly attempted to click-drag on the upper, lower and right side of the screen.

    Took me a long while to discover that the lower left corner shows the charms menu. Once I did, I found it very counter-intuitive to have to bring up search, to have it appear in the most distant location from where it was initiated. The same thing goes for all other interaction. Initiate to the left, move all the way to the right to continue.

    I think Jensen Harris even showed a useability study where they concluded "expect the same behavior in all apps". Having widely different touch and mouse experiences violates this principle. I know this is a developer preview, but please, pretty please, unify the experience before releasing this.



    Sunday, September 18, 2011 1:03 PM
  • Windows 8 Developer Preview does have a touch simulator (it comes with Visual Studio).  It's slow as heck on a Virtual Machine, but it's easier to navigate around.  You can find it on the installation drive at \Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Simulator\Microsoft.Windows.Simulator.exe


    It's another layer, and not the same as having it integrated into windows.  I second your suggestion.


    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:04 AM
  • I agree with all your suggestions.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:19 AM
  • Yes, please!
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:12 AM
  • Oddly, the lock screen DOES support mouse drag, whereas the start screen does not.

    Furthermore, since the lock screen moves vertically, it would make more sense for that screen to support the mouse wheel than it does for the start screen to support it, since the start screen pans horizontally. Microsoft got it backwards.

    If you're going to have one screen support the mouse wheel and the other screen support mouse drag, then please flip flop them. 

    The middle mouse wheel for horizontal scrolling is just bizarre ergonomics. It would only make sense if your mouse had a second thumbwheel like on the Logitech MX Revolution.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 2:17 PM