Design ideas by Ruslan Dyak on June 16, 2016

Windows 10

Part 3. Some Improvement Ideas for Windows 10

Mobile Space. New vision on cross-platform

Mobile Space is a space, inside of which can be launched as applications created for Windows Tablets so as apps created for Windows Phone.

When phone connected with Mobile Space, user could either choose what apps to select from the phone to install in a Space, or completely synchronize phone data with Mobile Space.

Besides, to connect the phone is only enough to have a Wifi or USB connection.

Mobile Space will give users a possibility not to use a phone every time, when it makes any sound. User could look an incoming notification in Windows Notification Centre and then if interested open it in Mobile Space.

Surface Tablets owners will get, as a compare to Windows 10 Tablet Mode, not just a space with more convenient interface for fingers touching use and usual Tiles interface, but even more greater feature as to launch Windows Phones apps on a Desktop PC.

Windows Mobile Space Home Screen

Add an app to Mobile Space or create a Mobile Group. App could be installed from Windows store from section Purchased or user could buy a new one or just add an app(s) from Windows Standarts section

To find app more quickly user can use a Cortana assistant

Mobile Space Group

Apps. Here can be installed every app created for mobile devices phone or tablet. Some apps can has a Mirror mode. Every app data created in Mobile Space can be sync to mobile device and vice versa and etc.

New Windows Start from Top to Bottom

When we creating ideas for Start menu the main task was how to do that users could access their apps quickly. The Microsoft has been improved Start menu a few times, but in general not established a good result yet. In our design, Start menu only used for displaying of applications shortcuts.

The Start menu created by us has very simple design. We create Quick Access Menu were can be placed often used apps. Others app available from All Apps list. All Apps list can be filtered either as by different types of sorting so as the list of apps can be reduced by entering the some part of the name of app in a search field.

Just installed apps showed in the top under the Quick Access list. When opening All programs, just installed apps illuminated with yellowish colored back.

Attaching additional important files to main app shortcut such as shortcuts of important text files, 32 or 64 bits versions of application, other additional apps settings and etc was improved as well. Also we created the ability of quick access to some features of apps without lanching/opening the app itself.

Some software products used by the user in a professional purpose (Adobe Creative, Microsoft Dev Studio) or used daily very often (Microsoft Office), for this goals was invented a Personal Start Pane. It will be very useful feature for customers and developers and we think it will be used very often too.

  • We think that main goal for Start menu is quick access to apps. Our design is all over this idea. That's why Office Pane has arrived. Users wants access Office very quickly, but this is not always possible to do.

    Mobile Space. User could setting up the quick access button(s) to launch a Mobile Space.

    Cortana or Search. Addition to voice command, user could launch Search by select from two options. As usually, by clicking on the Cortana icon in Tab bar or by setting up a quick access button on a keyboard.

    Task View. User could setting up the quick access button to launch a Task View.

    File Explorer will no longer be available from Start menu. You can access it from the Tab bar only. Also two modes are available to access File Explorer in our design. First one as usual by opening the File Explorer window and the second, File Explorer can be opened as a Start Pane with some useful additional features.

    We think that in this part of Tab Bar should be visible every icon as a default. Only the user should decide what icon to hide. All the hidden icons will be available as a menu item from menu that apears when clicking on tree dots icon.

  • Start Menu. This is our view on how should Start menu look like: it’s simple, it’s easy to use and there are only apps links. There are no Folders link like Pictures, File Explorer and other stuff. And especially there are no Tiles. If somehow user want to put there some folder link, it very easy to do.

  • Sorting & Search for All Apps. Users can use this menu to arrange list of All Apps to find needed app more quickly. To do that user need to start typing the letter that name of the app consist in Sarch field. All available apps that will be appeared in search list will be sorted as user select in Sorting menu.

    Apps Quick Menus. There are a few types of such menus. Action menu helping user get quick access to app’s actions without opening the app itself. Another type of menus is Additional files. Developer could put in this menus different kinds of links to important files or applications to which user must have a quick access.

    Apps Sub Folders. Right pointed arrow means this is a Sub Folder. When you click, for example, on Windows Accessories item you will enter in Subfolder with list of Windows Accessories app in it. Subfolders are very helpful, when there are a family of apps or big amount of additional data is need to be available for user every time.

  • Sorting Menu for All Apps list. Here is open sorting menu. All available options for sorting are shown.

    Another example of Quick Access Menu. This are Quick Actions for quick access for some often used Windows setting in Settings app. This list can be change by user manually.

  • Microsoft Office Pane. This is another great example of how could be used Start Pane. Users always wants to open theirs Office apps or documents as quickly as it possible. No one wants to search them for a long time. Some users mostly work with Office applications over days.
    In the same way could be implemented Dev Tools Pane and many others, that users or developers could do by themselves. Adobe Pane and Game Pane also will be popular amount some users too.

Settings app. And a few interesting features

Windows Settings require from Microsoft a serious redesign job. Setting app should became the only app for Windows setting up. Setting app should be easy in use. The setting options should be logically divided by sections. The amount of sections and settings options should be reduced minimum in half.

In particular moment for Windows 10 we suggesting to do a few slight changes for Settings app.

First, Quick Access and Recently changed should be added to Settings app home page. When setting up а Windows, this panels will substantially simplified work for users.

And second, breadcrumbs should be improved and look like they are in File Explorer. User must understand which section is active and must have a possibility quickly jumping between sections.

Settings App Home Screen

Breadcrumb Trail formula: Settings home/ Sub Settings section/ and so on

Quick Actions for Settings. Users could create a quick access list for setting. We pretty sure everyone have those setting that has often used in our live. Some of those settings are hidden deeply inside of Settings app that sometime it tricky to find them. Also users could turn on Last Used Settings option.

File Explorer. User friendly design and Cortana support.

In our design concept we reimaging the File Explorer UI with a goal of interface simplicity and usability. Also was added a few useful features.

For easing of moving and coping files we invent a File Drop.

We provide support of Cortana for quick windows actions control with using of simple commands like «Cortana open folder …», «Cortana go level up (go two levels up, …)», «Cortana go back (two time back, …)», «Cortana scroll page down, one down again» and so on.

As in Edge Browser, we added tabs idea to File Explorer.

We created a different types of window modes. For example, sufficiently asked Double Browser Mode with quick access to search for duplicate files.

We added in interface of File Explore a big amount of other new and easy-to-use features.

File Explorer Home Screen

Quick Drop. With Quick Drop it became faster and easier to move, copy or upload files to many different services and more. User just need to select file(s), than drag files to action icon to copy or move files to needed folder. It's so simple.

Cortana Support

Quick Access List. There are two ways to add a folder(s) to that list. By clicking on thumbtack icon when user inside of the folder that need to add to the list or by dragging the folder to the Quick Access list.

Navigation Pane. In our vision Navigation Pane is simple without long navigation trees inside folders. Dual Browser mode could replace folder trees for users in the future.

Windows Mail Improvements

New Mail in Windows 10 got a pretty good UX and graphic designs by Microsoft. By taking it as a base, we improved UI and UX designs of it and add some new features and made a few changes in old ones. As a result we got a product that easy and logical in using.

Improvements That Could be in Windows 10 before final release.

Besides cited above improvements and changes, Windows design team could do some changes that is simply on the top.

In such apps as News, Weather, Finance is better to change places of Menu button with Home button. Add a section Recently viewed. The left menu pane should automatically increase in full size mode or scaled back when the window size is changing.

Aero Snap. It will be cool, when by holding, for example Ctrl button, and moving a black windows dividing line in between windows appears a gap. When user realize the mouse button, than in appeared gap may be insert a new app windows. Also will be great if Aero Snap can be turn off manually as user wish and could be activated when holding a Ctrl button.

Tiles. Ability to configure an information that shows in Tile blocks. Also to do clickable every news cell/line, when they shown by list in tile. Because it some kind of a stupidity, when you have a list of news, but when you try to click on some news that you interest in, you realize that you click on tile itself and the News app will be opened. And when it opened. you see the Home page that is active. And as it’s in mostly cases you then should search for that interesting news, because it not there on the Home page in top news.

About Continuum. It more likely that Microsoft should finally design a console/device something like AppleTV. The Microsoft Connect Dock is a device that only needed to connect a phone to Display. In 21 century, it’s kinda dull and look pretty cheap. And this just blow an imagination with different ideas what can be done with such device as Microsoft TV, you can only imaging how cool it could be.

A few words about interface of Continuum. May be, if some how, when phone connecting to display and environment that shown at the display look like twin of Windows 10 desktop, then other elements should be in the same design as well. For example, Phone Start Menu should look exactly like it is in Windows 10 interface. Tiles displayed right and All apps is left. Because now it’s look questionable and out of Windows 10 design, more like Phone design. And we think when you have a real PC and connect phone to it, the design of Continuum in which Windows 10 transform is really need an serious improvement.

And a little bit more. We with will be good to have alway in audio or video players visible a fully opened Volume control.

When waiting screen appears (dots that curling around), would be great to see in side of it a percentages or under it when percentages not needed a exclamation what process is happening.

Microsoft, try me out!

How the readers already understands, the author of this article have a big experience in interface design and also have a lot of different and great ideas, that will help take Windows to a leading place amount of it main OS rivals.

Will be great, if this review and improvement ideas will be read by someone from Microsoft’s Management team in US headquarter. The goal was not only to show how great Windows could be, but also, it’s some kind of a probational work that was made to receive an offer from Microsoft to make all this ideas happen.

Also, we open to do a review or an improvement work for your product or project. If you are interested, please let us know by sending us a request e-mail.

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