As I have been going through the Windows 10 content from Microsoft’s recently completed Ignite conference one of the sessions I've really enjoyed so far was by Chaitanya Sareen.
Sareen is the Principal Program Manager Lead on the Windows User Experience team and his session was called The New User Experience with Windows 10.
The best thing about his presentation was that he only used three PowerPoint slides. A title page, the now familiar One product family, One platform and One store slide and a feedback slide.
What he spent most of the session on was demoing the Windows 10 User Experience and then taking about 20 minutes of Q&A.
As he demoed Windows 10 build 10105, which was the same version that Joe Belfiore had used during the Day 1 Ignite keynote, he discussed why some decisions were made concerning the UI.
For me this was very enlightening and helped me understand some of the reasoning behind the changes we are seeing in the technical preview.
Perspective is a great thing to have when you are remotely involved in testing Windows 10 and, for me at least, allows me to understand why I cannot always have the specific topping I want on the pizza – I mean system.
You will need to watch the session video to understand that pizza topping comment though!
Here are tidbits from Sareen’s session that helps expand on why some decisions were made with the Windows 10 UI and also some other interesting facts:
- Windows 8/8.1 had the highest customer satisfaction rating for any version of Windows – when it was used with touch.
- When Windows 8 was released in October 2012 only 4% of PC’s in major retailers were touch capable. 18 months later that number was over 40%.
- The plan for Windows 10 is to merge the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1.
- The Start Menu in Windows 10 is highly configurable so that it can become “the menu you want it to be”
- Live Tiles on the Start Menu can be disabled/removed using a Group Policy.
- Battery saving tip: Play games and view videos in full screen mode on Windows 8.1/10 and it will save up to 30% of battery usage.
- Snap Assist exists because telemetry showed that after snapping a window users almost always snapped a second one.
- Windows 10 now allows you to snap apps/windows on the shared edge of a multi-monitor setup.
- Only 6% of Windows 8/8.1/10 users ALT-TAB. The Task View button was placed on the Taskbar to make this feature more discoverable for the other 94%. Since the Task View button has been added to Windows 10 its usage now exceeds ALT-TAB.
- Virtual Desktops: Windows Insiders were asked to rate a Filtered/Global view of all open windows across Virtual Desktops in the Taskbar. Filtered would only show the open windows on that specific Virtual Desktop while Global would show all windows on all Virtual Desktops. Windows Insiders were 3 times as dissatisfied with the Global option as they were Filtered so that is why the Filtered view is the default setting now in Windows 10.
- The Tablet Mode Taskbar was redesigned to remove extra program icons and only leave the Task View, Cortana and Back Button plus core system tray icons. Windows Insider feedback indicated users did not want to manage apps in Tablet Mode so the shortcuts were unnecessary. They can be added back as an option in Taskbar settings.
Sareen made it a point to mention that this process of co-creating Windows using Insider feedback is the first of its kind with Windows and it is resulting in an evolving UI. That change will continue over time once the OS is widely available.
During the Q&A session there were questions about bringing back configurable cascading folders on the Start Menu; having both IE11 and Edge on the same system with the resulting user confusion and the ability to customize Virtual Desktop names.
Of course they were all acknowledge and Sareen indicated he would either take the feedback to the specific teams or that it was an area they were aware of but nothing more concrete was provided.
Watching the entire session is well worth your time.