I’ve tried to be open minded about Vista; I get that they’ve embraced User Experience and are trying to make Windows the best they can. But slapping a bucket load of pretty ontop of Windows results in … The Farrah Fawcett of operating systems.
My humble opinion is that Microsoft was asking the wrong questions about User Experience in Vista, the UEX people were only able to dress things up. The file-copy operations, for instance, now have huge, fancy, graphical dialogs warning you that files might be overwritten instead of the old Yes/No dialog
And then you get the full-screen Permissions splash thing.
I immensely dislike the way “All Programs” works in the Start Menu; if it’s going to play the role of a tab then it should be a tab. I think introducing a new, broken and hideously unique abuse of the menu option at the first button you click in the operating system is indicative of some kind of malady amongst the team members.
There’s a lot to like about Vista and Aero, but for me I just have too much user experience. User experience ought not to be about how many different ways and how prettily you can explain the inconvenience, it ought to be about establishing fundamental, simple, atomic and most of all intuitive operating functionality, and using that to create a vocabulary of functionality so that I can easily, quickly intuit how to do any particular task.
The massive overhaul Microsoft did to introduce the right-click last century – that was good User Experience. Putting dialogs at every possible point of confusion for inexperienced users … Lousy User Experience.
What Windows needs now … Is a rethink. In all fairness to Microsoft, Vista supports a phenomenal amount of legacy crap.
Microsoft need to draw the line and start over. Build Windows over, with your new User Experience and modern functionality in mind from scratch. Worry about legacy compatability second, and throw in a Virtual PC or Parallels style solution for running older, legacy software.
I’m sure I’ll be flamed as a hater as I shut down Vista and boot back into Windows XP – both fully paid for products. I’m pretty sure that puts me on stronger grounds for having an opinion about Microsoft products than half the people who bandy the H word about.