locked
Windows 8 UI Design decision questions - I need to understand

    Question

  • I'm just finally getting into Windows 8 dev. I haven't used Windows 8 on a touch screen yet unfortunately so I'm sure that I'm missing a few things but there are a bunch of questions that have arrisen using apps that are in the app store and the UI when it comes to the actual apps that don't make sense. Especially considering how wonderful the WP7 UI is with panoramas and pivots.  I'm asking for honest feedback on this, it isn't a bitch fest. I'm sure there are logical reasons:

    1. When using the mouse, why didn't MS take the opportunity to change at least RT apps so that instead of scroll bars you just flick the mouse? It's ultra natural. Try it here: http://www.jqmetro.com/Pages/Pivot.aspx. Yes the selection thing sucks but otherwise it's wonderful with a mouse. Way better than aiming for scroll-bars.
    2. When using the mouse, why isn't selection click and hold and then drag the edges like Windows Phone 7? Same for Drag and drop? Click, hold on something that can be dragged and then it pops out at you and then is drag-able. - This would result in the same for touch as mouse and I gotta tell you I tried the swipes with the mouse on my neophyte wife and she LOVED IT.
    3. Why are things horizontal and continuous? My example is in the big news app. You scroll to the right always. There is no pivot style, so you can easily be half way between two views (US news and World news as an example) and you have to aim it with either the scroll bar or the wheel. I would have thought it would have worked like the pivot/panorama on WP7 and swipes horizontally would have moved a page at a time. The way it is causes serious FUD from my usability tests with a few people.
    4. Why is there no vertical scrolling like the pivot control in WP7?  The beauty of WP7 is the up/down left/right right on the thumb.  Same happens on a tablet. The way most of the apps require you to drill down into data instead of scrolling up/down the details (i.e. all US news up/down right/left for World, tech etc.) seems highly counterproductive and requires drilling in and out of screens continually.
    5. Where's the panorama?

    What I'm looking for is: Where these things tried? If so, why were they discarded? If I use any of those methodologies are they going to be blocked from the app store?

    etc. etc.

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:43 PM

All replies

  • Hi John,

    You have a lot of in depth questions about the UI design decisions.  Most of them can be answered by viewing the channel 9 videos that talk about why these decisions were made.  As far as why some Windows Phone 7 features are not available... Some do not make as much sense in the two handed format of tablets vs the single hand usage of the phone, some were not implemented because they did not make the initial cut.

    Here is a great starting point for the UX design: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/hh465424

    Check out the links for navigation and layout.

    Here are videos on the subject:

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011

    See Key note #1 and #2 and specifically:

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/BPS-100

    Which deals with the reasons certain UI designs are adopted/recommended.

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 6:55 PM
    Moderator
  • A small contribution on "3.- Why are things horizontal and continuous?": see http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/XAML-ScrollViewer-pan-and-949d29e9 and the 'SnapPoint' concept in general. Quoting:

    "Using snap points to help users reach key locations in your content. You can use mandatory snap points to automatically continue panning until a snap point is reached, or you can use proximity snap points to continue panning only when the current location is close to a snap point. You can specify the snap point type by setting the HorizontalSnapPointsType and VerticalSnapPointsType properties."

    • Edited by ForInfo Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:28 AM
    Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:26 AM
  • It appears that snap points don't work with the mouse wheel (in fact most apps don't work with the mouse wheel at all!) Here's hoping someone else gives us a pivot and panarama control for windows 8 soon because the stock stuff is not friendly at all.

    I have yet to find anything related to why they didn't change the mouse function to be consistent. Only thing I can think of is old style track pads because click and drag is difficult, but man, for just that to give a split experience?
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:16 PM