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Stupid Usability 124

Windows 10 Design Inconsistencies

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 11/16/2015

From the mind of Aaron Kronberger, Consultant at High Monkey:

I like to start these posts by emphasizing the fact that I’m a fan of the products that are in the spotlight here. I’ve been using Microsoft Windows products since the early nineties, briefly with Windows 3.1, and much more in depth with Windows 95 onward. Windows 95 recently turned 20 years old, which is pretty difficult to believe, and yet some aspects of its design remain in the most recent version of Windows. Take the context menu for instance, this is the menu that appears when the user right clicks on a file or many icons throughout the operating system. This menu hasn’t changed much in the twenty years since Windows 95.

Here’s how it looks today in Windows 10:

Sure it’s a little flatter and cleaner than it used to be, but it’s still pretty consistent throughout Windows today.
The issues come in when the user right clicks elsewhere in Windows. There’s a few spots that the design is inconsistent, and quite jarring to the user. This is especially true for power users who are used to being able to do tasks in these menus quickly and consistently. Take for instance right clicking on Start Bar, this is how that currently looks:

The idea is the same as the other context menu, but the design is strikingly different. A nearly inverted color scheme, as well as much different padding between elements make this feel like it’s from an entirely different operating system. When it comes to their code base, it essentially is, I’m sure!
Keeping in mind that comparing the code and design for Windows and the code and design for any site we do here at High Monkey is somewhat “Apples and Oranges” but this type of stark inconsistency would definitely not be desired. Consistent UX is something that we pride ourselves on.
Here’s another example of the context menu when the user right clicks on a search result in the start menu. This one is similar to the previous one, but the colors shift back closer to white, yet the increased font size and padding remain.

(Windows 10 Screenshots taken on the newest public build 10586.3)
I really enjoy using Windows 10 overall, in fact I’m perhaps the biggest Windows 10 supporter here. The speed of it is absolutely wonderful, even when compared to something as recent as Windows 7. However, there are definitely some improvements to be made as far as design consistency goes, and that is something that hurts my argument for upgrading.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 11/16/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments