Windows 11 UX: The Good, The Bad and The Inconsistent
So it took microsoft just six years to launch their new operating system and and it’s just got announced. It got leaked as well. You can probably find the installer. As you know, apple and microsoft are notorious. If there are launches there is cringeworthy moments, we put start at the center, it puts you at the center all those different wishy, washy waffles about you, know, purpose and things of that nature. You’Re, literally just developing a tool and ecosystem and the ecosystem is the rightful thing here which i’m gon na highlight across a video now to pre face and to avoid biases. This is you. This is my mac machine. This is my windows machine. So, as you can see, i use two different machines. Mac is my daily driver windows is for very serious stuff, like blockchain engineering and things of that nature, but this is where i was really excited to see. If i could take that heavy side that hardcore professional work and improve the user experience on that – and i think windows 11 is taking there slowly, one thing to notice immediately, just from the announcement itself, we tried to round the corners everywhere that glossy glass type of Translucent look and feel the key change which is very similar to the actual mac os is that central dock, which is almost like a direct copy? Of course you can customize it and push it to the left, but ultimately they figured that that’s, probably where the people’s attention is most of the time and we’re almost deviating from that standard windows.
Left alignment and the teams are now going to be fully integrated in the launchpad so that you can actually open the app just with one bit they’re just priming you to use teams more and adopt the teams more. I guess it’s driven by the professional world, need there is different, a launch pad type of approach where you’re gon na have your pinned apps recommended documents trying to ultimately tie it in and make it much more simpler. Just like what mac is doing. What i like about that recommendation and search engine itself, or at least what we demoed, is that it’s gon na tie in all the different tools. You know, microsoft is great. The only actual thing why teams is great is because it allows you to quickly integrate to your emails to your file sharing like onedrive it. It has a very, very probably the strongest ecosystem in the world, but what it doesn’t have yet – which i hope windows 11 is going to address – is tying it in in a user friendly way. So you can easily look into it and almost like connect those services into one holistic service, as users need not as the business needs or wants to represent it for the users forcing them into using products a certain way which is not natural to be users. Themes, hey well, exciting thing. What we call snap layouts is super exciting it’s, not anything groundbreaking, but it also is, is the simplicity of it, because what it allows you to do is it gives you the grids to adjust your open windows automatically and snap them in place, depending on the size Of the screen, you can then easily pick the layout that suits you and you know just click it through and it opens up and you can multitask at once.
This is massive change for me at least i work with big screens. I love doing that, especially in the design work. I can just imagine opening mirror on one side, but you know there’s some sort of requirements, documents on the other side, the insights or maybe user research capture on the other side and then working from one window to the other. Instead of having to adjust and having multiple floating windows, what i enjoyed a lot and what kind of like took me aback was these workspaces, so they add the desktops, but you can actually customize your desktops and theme it for work, design, chill gaming and just swap From one to the ever as you need to now other big bits, adding android apps as well, so that developers are now able to port the android apps i mean the key reason is because microsoft store has been a wasteland for quite some time. For years now, it’s almost like embarrassing, you go to that store and it looks like you know. There is no quality measures, you can almost publish any crappy app and there is no consistency and it’s. Just a horror show so opening it up for android developers is gon na, allow to add more quality apps, which is in return gon na make the actual ecosystem of windows much more complete. So the previous leaks were all about windows 10x, which was supposed to be tablet first. In reality, it was almost like a predecessor to this windows 11, because you can have the same ecosystem working through your tablet and windows and it all scales, because a lot of machines in windows ecosystem are based on the flexibility of becoming tablets or like full.
On laptops or desktop machines, in fact, i was looking at this power and simplicity document on my phone this morning and now with just one tap i’m right back into it, and so this is another hit of what windows is trying to achieve, which is great to See almost hinting at what mag has with imessage and icloud capabilities, you know creating that quote: unquote echo system, which makes mac user experience so superior. If you have a phone, if you have a laptop now that widgets thing is pretty interesting launcher. If you ask me, because it allows you to get that auto generated ai driven content and it’s supposed to be tailored for you, based on your other apps and integrations – and i think you know just the actual look and feel updates – always makes the tool much more Usable and much more engaging that’s, what to me was missing having to work with both ecosystems. At the same time, i know the differences and windows always felt so clunky compared to mac, and you know it’s everything from the micro interactions to the motion itself to just apps, which are very simple at that, but with windows it’s never been that easy. It’S, almost like everything we’re running in silos, i don’t know if it’s, because it’s no joint design, leadership or flow or vision or kind of ways of working which would tie it all together. But look at the actual apps in windows, 11 you’re, going to see that there is still no consistency.
Every windows version introduced new patterns and new ways to do so. It’S just almost like a notorious windows thing which we are known for.