Examining Paint in Windows 7

By now you’ve had time to examine my post, “Examining the Calculator in Windows 7,” which shows some of the bad design decisions Microsoft has made in updating a simple application. It seems that Calculator isn’t the only victim of poor design in Windows 7. My colleague, Rod Stephens, examines how the same fate has affected Windows Paint in his post, “The ribbon interface: sacrificing usability for discoverability.” His take on things is a bit different from mine and it makes for exceptionally good reading. The bottom line in both cases is that Microsoft has taken relatively well-designed applications and made them harder to use for reasons only Microsoft can fathom.

As mentioned in my post, this isn’t about Microsoft bashing. In fact, Rod and I have both been staunch Microsoft supporters over the years. What these posts are about is pointing out that any company, even Microsoft, can make some bad design decisions and that the costs of these decisions are high. It’s incredibly important that you design applications with user needs in mind—not merely to meet some marketing need or follow the latest fashion trends. Both of us strive to provide good design information in our respective books. Of course, it’s always possible to provide better information. Always feel free to let me know your feelings about the application design information in my books by writing me at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at http://blog.johnmuellerbooks.com/. When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. John is also setting up a website at http://www.johnmuellerbooks.com/. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.