This former Windows User Experience Manager is having problems with the Windows 11 Start menu.

Jensen Harris, Microsoft’s former director of user experience (UX), recently spoke out against the design of the Windows 11 Start menu, Microsoft’s flagship UX.

Jensen Harris, who played a key role in the development of the Windows 8 Start menu with its touch tiles, says there are some confusing elements in the Windows 11 Start menu that even make his PC appear to be “infected with a virus.”

The designer voiced his criticism in a series of tweets, explaining the importance of the Start menu and pointing out some of the shortcomings of the current design.

“The start menu is Microsoft’s flagship user interface.”

“The Start Menu is Microsoft’s flagship user interface. It should represent the best user interface design the company is capable of,” the former manager writes. “Today I searched for “chrome” in Windows and was blown away by the user interface. »

Jensen Harris thinks that Microsoft’s start menu ad promoting “Bing Wallpaper app” looks like it was carried over from the Geocities era to Web 1.0. “Honestly, it looks like she was infected with the virus. The text is offset and positioned on top of the Windows Vista era background.

In addition, the left corner of the ad is rounded — in keeping with the new design of Microsoft’s Windows 11 app window — but has a sharp right corner, while the lower left corner is a hybrid of the two.

Big promotional question

For years, Microsoft has used Start Menu ads to promote its own and third-party apps in the Microsoft Store. Many users did not like them. More recently, Microsoft “accidentally” placed ads at the top of File Explorer windows.

Jensen Harris doesn’t like ads on the start menu.

“The most important question is why are there advertising banners in the Start menu. Is the money being made worth the cheaper experience people get from this tactile UI element? It undermines trust. »

“Poorly Designed Dashboard”

He is very critical of Microsoft’s use of the Start menu to promote the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. As Jensen Harris points out, Microsoft gave this ad the most space on the Start menu and notes that “it is designed specifically to distract me and prevent me from completing my intended task.” Microsoft is actively promoting the new Edge browser among Windows 11 users in the hope of weaning them off Google Chrome.

Then there’s a “poorly designed toolbar” containing a “salmon-colored” button with a Bing icon for “open results in browser” that obscures the other two buttons. The buttons are also not evenly rounded, but square.

For Windows 11, Microsoft decided to align the Start button to the center of the taskbar instead of to the left where it has traditionally been. Jensen Harris believes that centering the start button is a bug that ignores users’ familiarity with its position on the left.

“Moving the start button to the center of the taskbar was the wrong decision”

“I think moving the start button to the middle of the taskbar was the wrong decision. The Angular not only had decades of muscle memory, but it took full advantage of Fitts’ Law to make it perfectly easy to target. Worse for mouse, worse for touch,” he wrote.

Luckily, Microsoft designers still seem to be paying attention to their former colleague. Jensen Harris notes that Microsoft has “a lot of brilliant designers who care deeply about their work.”

Within 24 hours of the review, Microsoft removed the Bing wallpaper ad and made some design improvements.

“Design is not the enemy of monetization”

Jensen Harris’ last word on Windows 11 Start Menu UX is that you can strike a balance between UX and workspace monetization.

“Remember that design is not the enemy of monetization. Compromises are hard to find, but a good all-round user experience contributes to good marketing and monetization. Experience design is a friend of business success because it results in products that people love to use,” he wrote.

Source: .com

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