Explaining Windows 11’s bad design

by Joseph K. Clark

Now hold on… when I say “bad design” here, I’m talking about bad design in the context of user experience and human-computer interaction design, not the beautiful new immaterial background wallpaper graphics. The new background images and semi-opaque Vista-like windows look great! Human-computer interaction design generally has two critical approaches; “easy to use” and “easy to learn.”  There’s also the “easy to look at” approach to design, and that seems to be more what Microsoft is going for here as many of the “easy to use” and “easy to learn” aspects have been broken in Windows 11. That’s probably going to prove to be a problem since Windows is something people often need to use instead of just looking at. The best design would have a balanced yet high grade of “easy to use”, “easy to learn”, and “easy to look at”.

Why the centered start menu is bad

Explaining Windows

I know you can move the start menu button back to the lower-left corner, where it has been by default since the mid-1990s by changing the settings, but there’s a lot to be said about changing its position by default. Most users will probably leave things at their default and frustratingly deal with the changes while gaining hatred for the operating system. The centered Start menu is new and different, and eye-catching, but is it good? Let’s start with learning some interaction design basics.

Interaction design basics

One of the extensive basics of interaction design is part of Bruce Tog’s “AskTog: A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts“. Also see “Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives, Part Two“.  Question 3 is “List the five-pixel locations on the screen that the user can access fastest.”  The answer is:

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