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Submission details

This submission [Enforce UX Guidelines.] has been removed because

Third-party software issue

81 +107/-26 votes

Enforce UX Guidelines.

Submitted by mrmckeb on November 2, 2008 to Aesthetics, Annoyance, Usability

Microsoft may not control software makers, but Microsft should be working with them to ensure they make more effort to conform to Windows UX guidelines.

A major gripe is that Applications like iTunes, Quicktime and CS4 don't have window shadows and thus don't fit into the 'Aero' interface. In fact CS4 has NO indication of whether it is or isn't in focus.

This affects the way people interact with their computers. They need to be able to tell which Window is in focus. It also makes Vista / Windows 7 look much less attractive and polished when guidelines aren't followed.

Enforce the UX Guidelines as much as possible. Work with the offending companies and help them fix their mistakes.



Not fixed

Discussion (14 comments)

alirobe wrote on November 2, 2008, 10:56am

You can't really enforce guidelines - but you can educate people and offer incentives. A document is not really the most accessible format. As a developer, I read enough documentation - but I wouldn't mind a short screencast. I might also be more likely to follow the guidelines if there were some incentive in it (Also, the UX guideline docs should have special 'sample' watermarks over examples of bad UI)

Adobe's UI needs to be customised because it is an industry standard that works across platforms. A professional needs to be able to use their tools, regardless of the OS. Artistic, non-computery people spend years in training courses learning to use this stuff the way it is. It can't change. So Adobe is spot on for doing a custom UI, and Microsoft is spot on for letting them. As far as Safari is concerned - it is an application to be used by Mac users who are not accustomed to the ways of the PC, and also as a testing tool for PC developers. It's not a serious competitive browser and therefore it should follow its own guidelines. iTunes, on the other hand, is a completely unmitigated UI disaster that reflects badly on Apple.

fcsteve wrote on November 2, 2008, 11:28am

Apple aren't at all interested in windows guidelies.. why do you think they ported their own wanky ui (and badly ported) to windows?

GRiNSER wrote on November 2, 2008, 2:06pm

The easiest way would be that MS finally creates an API for the DWM for displaying shadows around a given shape...

lituus wrote on November 2, 2008, 6:31pm

It would be interesting to the see the kind of uproar that would be caused if the MacBU at MS shipped the next version of Office with UI that follows the Win 7 guidelines instead of the OS X guidelines. That might not drive home the point for Apple though, it would just make MS look bad. It's true that the Apple apps for Windows: iTunes, Quicktime & Safari are all free unlike Office, but I'm surprised Windows users don't complain about it. I mean, even Mozilla customized Firefox for each OS's design guidelines, while keeping their own style. And Opera does a decent job with that too.

Kaz wrote on November 2, 2008, 8:47pm

I disagree! Certain applications such as the new Adobe Ui go a long way to make better use of vertical screen space by moving elements such as the file menu into the space normally reserved/wasted for only the glass boarder. This feature was probably first widely introduced by the Maxthon browser and is a few steps ahead of the windows Ui team in making the most of screen-space. (Even on a 1900x1440 display the extra space comes in handy, certainly more-so on your run of the mill machines)

On the way window focus is indicated, probably this topic should be targeted towards MS looking at new ways of indicating window focus beyond the current shadow approach. There’s numerous/better ways of doing this.

nb. When it comes to expensive applications like Photoshop, they should be able to do what they want (rather than be restricted by Ui guidelines) to ensure their customers can make the most of their apps and keep upgrading.

hoopla_punta wrote on November 3, 2008, 2:57am

I feel that a unique UI and UX is what makes a software truly unique. Its up to the developers to develop the UI that best matches and has the best UX.

mrmckeb wrote on November 3, 2008, 7:34am

Unique UI is certainly a plus, but within reason. Seriously, Adobe and Apple don't even try to make their applications compliant - even on things that they could do it with (such as shadowing, or window focus).

adondai wrote on November 3, 2008, 8:33am

@lituus I disagree, FF made a half-hearted attempt at customizing for each OS but in reality (well I'm thinking of Windows here) it doesn't fit in any better than any other program, the elements are similar but not the same as Vista and I find it more annoying than if they simply did their own thing.

clifgriffin wrote on November 3, 2008, 12:23pm

Microsoft has published the guidelines and exposed the UI hooks to make it all happen...companies that wish to write their own GUI will continue to do so. This isn't a Windows 7 quirk.

keff wrote on November 4, 2008, 11:04pm

Adoba has well damn reason to make custom UI. Downmoded.
Also, how you would enforce it? If vendor doesn't want windows certification, and customers buy the product, you have no way of forcing him.

Only think you can do is not buying the app you don't like!

ruben wrote on December 16, 2008, 10:53pm

It's funny that Apple is so vocal about all Mac OS X apps having the unified interface, yet all of their own Windows apps port their interface wholesale with no regard for the Microsoft UX guidelines...

TheDub wrote on December 18, 2008, 6:28am

I agree. Microsoft can not force companies to make their applications conform to the Microsoft guidelines but they should offer some incentives to do so. What adobe did not only creates inconsistency but it is ugly to look at. Did they even have a technical reason to do this? You could easily make that top toolbar/title bar combo a normal toolbar and use Vista's title bar style.

+1 Microsoft should talk to companies like Adobe to try and help create a consistent user interface across all applications.

Jeroen wrote on January 11, 2009, 5:45pm

On my perfect desktop this consistency would be bliss. Unfortunately it can't really be inforced. In order to make Windows desktops more consistent though, MS could start by enforcing the guidelines on their own OS and applications. I mean, Office anyone?
I'm quite picky with this stuff though, any application that finds itself too important by using their own window borders and such does not make it onto my system.
On XP I even noticed applications having Luna style buttons hardcoded into them. And I was using Classic! What's the point in that? Let the OS theme take care of it!

Jeroen wrote on January 12, 2009, 4:44am

Good news that the ribbon will at least be the same, although I feel that currently the ribbon in Windows 7 already looks out of place. Buttons, tabs and toolbars all look different from elsewhere in the UI.

nyp wrote on March 27, 2010, 9:48am

Marked as removed.

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