The User Reactions

The most common first reaction to the new look of Windows – Disbelief!

One of them did not believe it was Windows until they saw the desktop. The beauty of the operating system is that it offered something to like for every user. Some loved the pen input, some loved the new Metro apps, some loved the fact that switching between apps was a breeze.

Read on to find out more…

Finding The System Controls

This was the hardest task according to the users. Figuring out how to go to the home screen (our slate’s home button is not configured to take you to the start screen). The operating system operates from the edges for touch input. The OS related functions – charms and task switching open by swiping the right and the left respectively and the app menu opens when you swipe from the top or bottom. None of the users could a sense of this without help. Most them tried hitting the home button to move away from open apps and ended up with the windows “snap”. This could be quite annoying but it is not true for other Windows Tablets.

Once the users were told how to the new gestures work they operated with ease. All of them absolutely loved the fast task switching. They were a little irked with the fact that they had to open the charms menu everytime they want to go home. One of them said “I am used to my iPad and the home button always takes me home”.

Using the mouse
The participants were given a mouse only when they asked for one. They were told that it is a touch mouse and most of them did not have trouble figuring out the scroll gesture. The other gestures were inconsistent in the operating system as the mouse is not tailored towards Windows 8. For example the snap feature doesn’t work in the metro apps even though snap is a huge advantage for Windows 8 over other platforms. The back gesture works in the Metro IE but it does not work in any other apps. As a Windows phone user I think that the back is the most important button as Metro apps do not have chrome.

The Gestures They Didn’t like

The aero snap feature is the favorite feature in windows 7 for many. It is  simple and useful. The touch mouse implements the feature in a natural way, with one caveat. The gestures map very well, but the users were not impressed with the fact that the gesture for aero snap is two fingers to the side. They were uncomfortable moving only the fingers to the side as the natural tendency is to move the entire wrist. In windows 8 the snap feature is different with the Metro apps. It is simple and doesn’t require any effort. The users wanted to see a half split screen in the Metro apps, but MS chose not to enable this.

The three finger up gesture was often misread as a two finger gesture, resulting in a maximize operation rather than the instant view of the open applications.

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