Former User Experience boss shocked by poor Windows 11 Start Menu

August 30, 2022

Someone speaking their heart out! The redesigned Start Menu in Windows 11 remains perhaps the most divisive feature of the new operating system, with opinions very much split on it.

Redmond believes that it is a great piece of engineering, but there are many users who think that this marquee feature of the OS could be a lot better. A former Microsoft executive is in this camp too, as he makes clear that he is not a fan of the Windows 11 Start Menu.

The company’s former Director of User Experience Jensen Harris reveals how he was shocked by the design of the Start Menu in the operating system.

He then went on to describe his grievances in a long Twitter thread that is very much worth a read if you want some insider insights into all that is wrong.

One of his more pressing criticisms is for the banner advertisement for the Bing Wallpaper app that he says looks like a virus, has a dated background color choice, and to boot, the text is misaligned too. Additionally, the left side of the banner has a rounded corner while the right side has straight edges.

Clearly, someone had not been paying attention!

He also highlighted several other bad design choices and inconsistencies that he believes should not have made it out the walls of Redmond. Likewise, he says that banner ads in the Start Menu cheapen the experience people have in this high-touch piece of UI.

Harris then dived into the history of the Start Menu, explaining how the previous iterations were built with so much thought and effort put into the intricacies of the design of what remains the most used feature of the OS.

And finally, he concludes by saying that he is not a fan of the Start Menu being moved to the center, as it also goes against the recommendation of Fitts’s law.

Jensen is quite an authoritative figure in the domain of UI design, having devoted 5 years in his role at the company where he spent 16 years in total.

He was also responsible for the famed Ribbon UI in Microsoft Office that stands as one of the finest and more innovative pieces of user interface design from the company. In addition, he was also at the company during the development of Windows 8 — a time that gave us some radical UI changes.

Do you agree with Harris and how he is making his feelings known to the public? Or is the revamped Start Menu your jam and you are okay with how it is designed? Let us know in the comments below!

Article Categories:
Criticism · Design · Featured · Features · User Interface · Windows 11

Fahad Ali is a professional freelancer, specializing in technology, web design and development and enterprise applications. He is the primary contributor to this website. When he is not typing away on his keyboard, he is relaxing to some soft jazz.

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