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Microsoft: We knew users wouldn’t like the Windows 8 Metro UX

Luke Johnson

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Metro UX
Metro UX

Microsoft has spoken out on its latest operating system; with a lead design revealing the company knew users wouldn’t like the Windows 8 introduced Metro UX.

Having been designed in part to create a seamless transition between desktop and tablet-based use, Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro UX sees large, tile-based icons which echo the interface of the company’s Windows Phone software.

Adding simple, point and click access to all manner of content, the Metro UX is a giant leap from previous Windows desktops, and one which has split decision. Responding to reports of disgruntled users, the company has now claimed it expected consumer backlash to the unfamiliar interface.

“We knew full well casual users wouldn't like it initially,” Jacob Miller, a UX designer for Microsoft said while fielding questions on Windows 8 and Metro.

"Familiarity will always trump good design. Even if something is vastly better, if it is unfamiliar it will be worse. That's why people act like a unicorn was murdered every time Facebook releases a new redesign.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Windows 10

He added: “The Windows 7 start menu IS better because it is familiar. We've used that design paradigm for the last 20 years. Metro is going to take some getting used to. As I mentioned, this is a long term strategy for MS. Hopefully in 5 years we'll look back and see we made the right decision."

Although claiming that power users quickly appreciated the benefits of the Metro UX, Miller has suggested that casual users are now coming round to the radically altered interface.

Looking to the future of Windows, and the tipped Windows 9 OS, Miller added: “Windows 7 couldn't have existed without the lessons we learned from the mess that was vista. XP couldn't have existed without 2000. Hopefully Windows 9 will be a solid refinement on all this.”

Via: Neowin

Joycey

February 19, 2014, 1:58 pm

I love Windows 8, just hate it when the design language prevents common sense such as being unable to see what a full file name is because it doesn't fit within the parameters on a tile.

Simon

February 19, 2014, 7:25 pm

"Good design"? It doesn't work on non-touchscreen devices. It's useless on non-touchscreen devices. It's unproductive. Windows OS was about, well, windows. Now it's gone. If I wanted to do my work or whatever on a tablet-like interface, I'd use a tablet. Maybe they can fix this in Win9, but to me and everyone I know, the Metro UI is just horrible - it clutters up your screen with mostly useless icons and apps and is completely unintuitive. If I wanted my laptop to be a tablet, I would have bought a tablet. I wanted my laptop to be a portable version of my desktop PC, yet I can not have it... It's an obvious mess when people DOWNGRADE their OS after buying a new computer. Heck, even Vista wasn't as bad as Win8...

Beaky69

February 19, 2014, 9:27 pm

All Microsoft needed to do was to give its customers the *choice* of whether to use Metro, or stick with the existing UI. However, they chose not to do this, but to impose Metro on desktop users, who have absolutely no need for such a touch-oriented interface. Microsoft deserve all the criticism they get. Of course their rationale is entirely obvious; they hoped that by forcing desktop users to get acquainted with Metro, they would increase the likelihood of users choosing their mobile products which use a similar interface. Hopefully the next version of Windows will ditch the Metro UI entirely, and desktop users will once again get a proper desktop OS.

Stocklone

February 19, 2014, 11:19 pm

If MS follows Fixing Windows 8 for making Windows 9 everyone will be happy. Even you. The blueprints are there. They just have to code it.

I personally love Windows 8 because it is so modern compared to 7 but I am looking forward to the changes as they correct what isn't working for people.

Stocklone

February 19, 2014, 11:35 pm

lol This is so true.

I want to see of you agree with this: I can't figure out why there still isn't a most used apps bar on the far left of the start screen. I know you can get to it on the apps page but having it on the start screen itself would make so much more sense. This would basically replicate a handy feature of the start menu functionality instead of burying it under an extra click or two if you switched the apps page to a different view. It would be an intelligently organizing start screen component.

EJ

February 20, 2014, 4:52 am

Go to my desktop and...nothing. Not even Clippy to help me along. The tiles work great on a phone or tablet but if you're going to offer the desktop, offer it all the way, with pre-loaded icons, the full menu, etc.

Fantasm

February 20, 2014, 5:26 am

I think it's only a matter of time until Metro is history... Microsoft won't admit it failed... Management types etc., never want to admit an idea failed... They'd rather sweep it under the rug and hope that no one notices the fail.
But realistically, there's not much chance that developers will have any real incentive to code apps for it and it will just fade away... lack of interest leading to lack of apps, leading to lack of interest, leading to lack of apps... and so on...

DigitalFury

February 20, 2014, 9:14 am

In term of pure efficiency and effectiveness, I miss the simplicity, compactness and cleanliness of Win2k and its "classic" theme.

L4lefty

February 20, 2014, 1:07 pm

'Familiarity will always trump good design. Even if something is vastly better, if
it is unfamiliar it will be worse. That's why people act like a unicorn
was murdered every time Facebook releases a new redesign.'
If I ever need to define arrogance to someone, I'll quote them this. Brilliant PR too, although I can't blame them for not wishing to admit their monumental clusterf*ck of an OS is about as popular as coldsores.

Asok Asus

March 3, 2014, 6:16 am

And familiarity trumps BAD new design exponentially!

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