Metro and Micro-soft

These Windows 10 updates are really taking the life out of me ! Fortunately I figured out the restart options for these updates at my desired time settings.

But, then I saw the UI, and unfortunately it wasn’t so pleasant, well at least for me!

time-windows Nothing which looks like scrollable.  Hour, Minutes and Day/Night settings all at the same level. Nothing seems clickable.

I agree this is the real deal. Less is more. But for me too less is definitely not more and it looks shitty. If you have space constraints, I kinda get it, but even when you are a desktop application and you minimize stuff (and only the god knows the reason), you will only be messing with the user’s mental model.

.deep.

Skype…

This one was pending on my list from a long long time. Skype!

Skype  flaunts one of the worst  UI and UX. (According to me of course) EVER!. Without wasting our time, lets jump in right away.

Let’s start with the main items visible under your profile pic.

skype.home

First visible thing under there, is the status.  Either you are available or you are away or something like that.  Then you have the search button,  and I am not sure what does the search do here ! Then we have the home button which says,  see update from your contacts in Skype.  If I click that, I can see all the status updates I put under my profile and profile updates from few others. Strange eh?

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Next to that, we have dial pad kind of thingy or let’s say a series of buttons,  is that a calculator ?  Oh I get it, That is the Call button from which you can make calls to the landline or mobile !!

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Why can’t they use a damn phone receiver icon which is a standard to depict a phone call. Next to that is a plus symbol and I wonder what it would be?  Adding a contact? If I look at the search box and since I can see the contacts down below, I assume it must be the option for adding a new contact ?! You are damn wrong. It is to start a conversation where others can join in. Let’s move forward and see that there is a video camera icon thingy and I believe this must be to initiate a video chat with the friend and yet again I am wrong. This is a button to add a ….what?  Add a Bot to your contact list…?   are you kidding me?  

Let’s begin to dissect the anatomy of having a chat conversation with one of your friend. Click on any of your friends from the left pane and you get the chat window activated in the middle.

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The right side obviously has a sh#tty advertisement which is totally irrelevant to me but I must see it anyways. The input window below has some plain blue icons which on mouse over will give you a tool-tip description of what they really do. In other words, they send an image, file, video, contact or a smiley.

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Input some text and…

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Fortunately, the input window gives a helper text which says type a message here. When you start typing something into it, the icons for contacts, video and image, immediately disappear, and attachment icon is displayed beside the smiley.  I thought I can attach a file directly by clicking on it but instead it displays a tool tip as more and extends the previously quoted icons once again.  Duh…!

Now coming to the Calling functionality of the Skype.  Suppose you want to call someone, you got to click on that contact and you see the call button on the top right and you click it.

skype8Connecting…. And you are connected. You start talking. (obviously) and through the conversation you receive a chat message from the person you are talking to. Alas…and you can’t find it.

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Why? Well that’s how it is. Where’s it hidden? Over to the top right corner, see the message bubble? There you have it. Click on it and you can see the chat message that you just received. Oh… I forgot, those icons only come up when you mouse over the active window.

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And well, how can you share your screen? What can a plus (+) symbol really mean? Add? Add what? Add people to this call? What else? Show dial pad? And..? Share screen? Share contact? Send files? See that’s a multipurpose Add button. Not every application can do that! That’s the super minimalist approach. One + button to do it all!

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Wait, there is one more super minimal confusing icon that I just missed.

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Any guesses? No chance… This is what it does.

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Settings? WT…*

OK. That’s it. I had enough. I can go on and on, but I am utterly shocked by the bizarre vagueness of this crazy experience I had. Stopping it here…

.deep.

What’s up WhatsApp

So, the big news! Whats App has new updates! Updates to the status.

Let’s first dissect what’s changed.wp55

Majorly seen changes on opening your WhatsApp are,

Before, there were 3 options on menu, Calls | Chats | Contacts

Now, Camera | Chats | Status | Calls

What this meant to me…?

Old: No cam tab on the menu

New: First tab is the Cam. On click of which, you can take a pic (edit it) and continue to share it with someone (or multiple contacts) OR most importantly you can set it as My Status (in which case it would be flooding it to people on your list).

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Before, the cam option used to be on the right of the text (chat) input field where in, you can take a pic and send it to the contact with whom you are chatting/conversing with. Well it still is the same case inside a chat/conversation window. But adding the Cam button on the main menu as the primary option is somewhat intriguing.

I believe Whats App (now a part of Facebook) wants a more solid personalized profile of its users. Best way to do so is to get more from its users. Upload more pictures, more videos so they can build a more customized and more robust personalized profile of you and link it up with Facebook, so that they can push more personalized adds for you…or whatever…I am losing my mind

Old: If you have an existing chat conversation with a contact, you can click on the profile pic and view the picture enlarged. Same was the case with your contacts on your Contact list.

New: First point holds good. But the second wont. You can’t click on the profile pic from your contact list and view them enlarged. How can you do that? Initiate conversation with them and they will pop up in your chat list and then you can go ahead and view their profile/display pic enlarged (if that was your guilt pleasure, you stalker…)

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Old: Contacts tab

New: No more. And I was in a state of panic, thinking something got messed up and spent a good 5 min search on finding where my contacts at? Pissed off.

Now coming to the most prominent update: Whats App status

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Don’t you dare clicking one on the top, its a non stop update train…

People say they copied Instagram, Snapchat etc. I am not sure coz I don’t use either. To me it was apparent. What’s the hook, that was missing?

For a minute, lets dig Facebook. My crazy brain somehow thinks that this whole Facebook thingy is based on Likes and comments. You upload a pic and you wait for the likes. People start liking your pic and you get a dopamine rush (refer neurology and other BS), you feel good and start uploading more pictures and wait for your virtual likes again. This is how you get addicted.

Ring any bells?

How can I make you more addicted to WhatsApp? You used it to have a chat with someone. Was there a way where you spoke your mind out? Yes, the status! Was there a way people reacted to your status? Nope, unless they want to have chat with you about your status! duh…

How can we solve this?

Make it more dynamic, (by not allowing to enter text anymore) let’s have a status wherein I can put my stupid selfies or pouting videos in a restaurant and flood it to countless members on my list. (well they have privacy settings for it, I am a moron for not using it, and I can selectively share my half naked pics only to my spouse/partner as well!)

Best part, it will even flood it to the contacts you might have added for a temporary reason despite they don’t have your number saved on their contact list! Fkin Great! , the plumber, the cab driver and god knows who was Harry!!? But, hey !they are on your contact list and you just flooded your status to them.

Have a great day! What about the hook…ah right, back to the hook?

Then comes the twist! Eureka, you can see, who have viewed your status update!

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You post your status and keep looking at it, to see how many have seen it yet.

 

You know what’s the next thing? Adding reactions and likes and comments to your status!

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Oh…I forgot, the status will only be alive for 24 hours, which means you gotta update again after a day, damn hook…

And well, if you mistakenly click on any of the updates on your list, you are doomed, it keeps playing the updates from everyone on that list one by one…enjoy those stupid selfies…or a sh#tty video

There you have it, a wannabe Facebook on crack at your fingertips!

.deep.

World is Flat !

Continuing my previous discussion from the last post, I don’t have any hard feelings against Flat design or Minimalism or whatever you wanna call it.

I am not totally in for Skeuomorphism as well. But we need to find a little balance between the two. There does exist a sweet spot between them.

But there are some designers who are just riding the flat/minimalist unicorn and have taken things for granted. This has spread extensively to web design as well. I have observed some discussions where in, these so called “designers” doesn’t even hesitate a bit, to isolate a group of people who find it difficult to understand/use the flat design.

Here, this is from freecharge.com

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Amount button is clickable, Switch to fresh recharge is clickable ! But you wont get a clue.

Grey on Grey?, Common….

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Why? Why cant we have this,

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Instead of this :

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Think about it…

.deep.

 

 

Show me some Style.

Somewhere in Apple:

Image from Apple.com

Somewhere in Microsoft:

Image from Microsoft.com

Why the former looks so stylish ?

1. Use of proper shades of black/gray 2. Clear distinction between the active and rest of the menu sections. Color changes between Active, Mouse over and passive sections.

3. Passive sections (the sections which are not clicked or teased with mouse pointer) have embossed fonts.

 

 

4. Click a section and the font seems engraved i.e. it gives a feeling as if a button is pushed in and the button label reveals itself out, giving the user a solid impression that something is pushed in.

 

 

5. If you just run the mouse over a section, it turns it self to a much darker version of its existing color but not strong enough to match the darkness of the already clicked / active section. So it gives the user a feeling that its very “ready” to be clicked. Note the transition of colors here ! Light gray (i am not clicked) -> Darker gray (i am above to be clicked) -> Super dark gray (i am already clicked and active)

6. Also note the font color, as you run you mouse pointer over any section, it turns from black -> white. [Pardon my definitions of gray, I just want to refer them, in that manner ;)]

7. Notice the fine lines between the sections:

It reminds me of something (except for the color changes between the sections): .deep.