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Windows UX Taskforce highlights Vista's problems

by Parm Mann on 11 June 2008, 15:12

Tags: Windows Vista, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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You know your flagship operating system has a few issues when a longtime fan takes the time to create an entire website dedicated to highlighting "user experience quirks".

For Windows Vista, that's precisely what Microsoft enthusiast, Long Zheng of istartedsomething.com, has done. His website, titled the Windows UX Taskforce, is a Digg-like "voting-centric community feedback portal", through which users can make known various problems with Microsoft's flagship operating system.

Long Zheng had originally asked his users what Windows user interface quirks they’d like to see fixed or improved in the next version of Windows. Upon realising that Windows quirks are in plentiful supply, Zheng concluded that going through each suggestion by hand wasn't a viable option, and the Windows UX Taskforce website was born.

Zheng states that in the past seven days, 449 submissions have been posted from 573 registered users, and 18,128 votes have been cast. The statistics prove two things; Microsoft users are committed in helping make Windows a more pleasant experience, and Microsoft needs to get its act together on Windows 7.

At the time of writing, the three most popular submissions are as follows:

  • Safely Remove Hardware dialog is programmer-oriented, not user-oriented
  • Permissions editor is way too complicated and outdated
  • Application Continuity - Pick one!

We've got to hand it to Mr Zheng on this one, the Windows UX Taskforce serves a valid purpose and works rather well. The question is, are the folk over at Redmond paying attention? Come on Microsoft, this is your big chance to listen to the community and score brownie points aplenty.

Official Windows UX Taskforce website: istartedsomething.com/taskforce

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Good idea hopefully Microsoft do take notice especialy of the problems with lots of feedback.
There's a lot of problems highlighted with a good amount of detail. Here's two of my favs:

Problem: Every application that ships with Windows Vista starts with “Windows” like Windows Photo Gallery and so on (except for the old ones like Paint or Notepad). If you open enough of them, the taskbar shows a lot of “Windows…” titles. I have counted (more…)

Solution: If that works on Mac OS X why not on Vista? Hide the term “Windows” on the taskbar buttons or rename the new applications. There is nothing wrong with simple names like “Paint” or “Notepad”.

Problem: When explorer dies, the taskbar returns with apps in a different order than they were originally.

Solution: 1. Remember the order (save them maybe every minute?) and restore if explorer is restarted.

2. Allow the user to re-order them.

It seems silly that we should have to install extra software to do the reordering.

Apparantly MS is listening to the feedback too, an anonymouse MS poster had this to say:

"… Just know that this website HAS gained attention in the WEX org, bugs are being filed as new suggestions are posted, and many are even being FIXED for beta. I’ve been surprised at how many good, detailed bugs have been found; even features I own had bugs from Vista I wasn’t aware of. Keep submitting posts everyone! Screenshots are really helpful too. There are “real” ways MS takes customer feedback, including newsgroups and MVP forums, but this is one of the few “everyday user” sites I’ve seen that is really simple and straightforward. Great work, Long!"

There's no way of knowing if the comment is authentic, but here's hoping MS is making note.