Windows User Experience likely to change for desktop users
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Published on July 1, 2014
On touch devices, the user experience behind the most recent version of Windows has gained accolade by many designers , but it’s likely to see some changes within the next year aimed at traditional desktop users. While the Windows user experience is perfect for a touch device, such as a tablet or phone, it’s a huge shift for desktop users, who generally don’t have touch-sensitive displays. This group of users hasn’t been as receptive to the large tiles that replaced the traditional desktop, and in some cases have been downright hostile to the switch to live tiles, which are front-and-center in the Windows 8 UX. These tiles are squares of varying sizes that display application or web-connected information, ranging from flight status on an airline tile to weather information on a weather app, and they are used on all devices Windows devices, whether they are touch or not.
The next version of Windows, known as Windows 9 and code-named Threshold, will continue to provide the live tile user experience for tablet and mobile devices that are touch-centric. Desktop users will find a UX that is more similar to what they’ve experienced in Windows 7, with a traditional desktop. The hundreds of millions of long-time Windows users will also appreciate the reported return of the Start menu. These are addressing many of the questions that we’ve heard from application designers, developers, and UX professionals as we’ve delivered our Windows UX training courses and seminars around the world.
Modern applications will still run in Windows 9, and the modern-style applications will continue to use the live tiles, swipe motions, and other interaction paradigms introduced in the Windows 8 UX. This change of directions, to provide more support to traditional desktop computers shows that non-touch devices are still widely in use. If you’re looking for a place to start in understanding UX principles for both the desktop and mobile devices, you may want to consider our UX training courses which provide a foundation for designing apps and websites to meet the needs of your audience.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.