the one where the branding is a disgusted emoticon
May 14, 2022 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP - 2022 Edition

a mock-up mash-up of the Windows XP and Windows 11 design languages, by Addy Visuals
posted by glonous keming (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've been unable to find screen shots from this video. Pretty much everything is on screen for no more than two seconds, so it's really hard to see any details.
posted by jonathanhughes at 4:42 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


if you're on a desktop, the space button will pause the video
posted by glonous keming at 5:21 PM on May 14


Sign me up.
Just got a good dose of OS nostalgia.
posted by MtDewd at 5:31 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Again, except with the Windows Classic theme.
posted by genpfault at 5:48 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


The moving clouds, and the starry sky in night mode? I respect that level of commitment to a joke, and this was well-executed.
posted by mhoye at 6:23 PM on May 14


Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod Packaging

for a bit of 90's nostalgia. (This was actually apparently done internally by a Microsoft team poking fun at their packaging design.)
posted by blob at 7:22 PM on May 14 [18 favorites]


I wonder who was in charge of the advertising campaign and this is exactly why you hire outside agencies to do marketing.

Microsoft was firmly a B2B company, and there's a new name for B2B that I thankfully can't remember, but I digress. Even if they owned the consumer desktop market share their clients were Dell and other 80s and 90s manufacturers. Furthermore, consumers usually bought what they were using at the office. In that context their marketing derived from competing against big metal like IBM. It is no wonder endorsements that corporate acquisitions like such as Gartner Magic Quadrant translated right to PC Magazine stickers in consumer products. When you have market dominance, cash heavy and an organization culture firmly focusing on tech it is no wonder their brand strategy contains all the excitement of a document comparing Oracle to MS SQL. Apple is facing that now. People do not buy Bruni shoes because their laces are more durable.

Operating systems as a whole, let alone the consumer market, are generally new. I feel as if Microsoft went into giant corporations at the time like Kodak or Boeing and did a giant study of what they wanted. "Lock out users? Check? Permissions. Check? Backwards compatibility? Check, etc." And that mindset went to their consumer products. Apple never went through that, saw their products as aspirational and disposable. Look at the original iPod, from a tech feature perspective it sucked and infamously was hated because of it. But no one cared, most people are technophiles or audiophiles and it was cool enough looking and just worked. There's a threshold where things gotta work within reason but at a certain point consumers want to be able to put on their device their current 100 favorite songs, not their entire catalog.

So Apple said screw it, people don't buy manolo blahnik for their superior arch support. It does the job, doesn't look dorky and you don't have to know VIM or EMACs to get music on the damn device. And someone at Omincron has made a lot of money on being able to capitalize on that.
posted by geoff. at 8:40 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


I'm curious, does Win11 add anything new to UX interface design, other than some cosmetic changes to UI chrome and the positioning of certain icons? I'm thinking more along the lines of tiling or piling of files and folders, for instance, that you get in a current version of macOS, basically incorporating (however slowly) the more useful bits of UX research that have been done outside of Redmond and Cupertino.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:49 PM on May 14


Ars Technica is the place to go for those questions, IMO.
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/10/windows-11-the-ars-technica-review/
posted by bonehead at 9:03 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


I have a ton of nostalgia for Windows XP specifically, and this era of visual design in general, but this feels… really uninspiring to me? It' hard to put my finger on exactly why, but a few things come to mind:

One of the most noticeable is the wholesale adoption of a much more flat design — this fits with 2022, but I much prefer the less flat, more rigidly separated older designs. 0:23 is a moment in the video that really highlight this, replacing five visually separated regions with only a single divider and a tiny difference in color gradation. The toolbar has been completely removed (they don't show you that part of the old UI, maybe because it might make you think about where all that stuff went?), presumably it's in the triple dot menu now? But how would that be organized — it seems much more difficult to find things, and only four of the buttons are labelled in the new version, as opposed to almost everything in the original XP File Explorer UI.

There's also a very janky-feeling (to me) combination of elements being flat and there not being any real physical metaphor for the elements, as far as I can tell. Like, the start button is rounded, but buts right up against the edge of the taskbar, which is already a strange combination that's made stranger by the actual start menu hovering above the taskbar. The "Turn off computer" menu at 0:28 looks like it wants to be a single pane that accordions out, but it separates into three sections during the animation, revealing… what exactly? As a user, there's no reason that I should conceptualize that menu as three distinct panels, so why does the animation and visual design language imply that's what it is?

The animations in general are very slow — probably that's just to show them off for the video, but one of the nice things about the XP-era of computing was that computers felt faster in many ways than they do today, since there was less animation (if you have a android phone, you can turn off animation in the developer settings, and it's incredible what a difference it makes in how responsive it feels)

All of the things that I loved about XP-era interaction design have been ripped out, and what's left feels like a bunch of hollow appeals to nostalgia — the icons, the background.

I am glad to see people imagining things like this (Mercury comes to mind, as does SerenityOS (although that's much more real than this is)) — almost any reimagining of UIs seems positive to me, but it does feel like there's a missing element of imagining how people would actually interact with this UI here.
posted by wesleyac at 11:32 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


I feel as if Microsoft went into giant corporations at the time like Kodak or Boeing and did a giant study of what they wanted. "Lock out users? Check? Permissions. Check? Backwards compatibility? Check, etc." And that mindset went to their consumer products. Apple never went through that, saw their products as aspirational and disposable. Look at the original iPod, from a tech feature perspective it sucked and infamously was hated because of it. But no one cared, most people are technophiles or audiophiles and it was cool enough looking and just worked

Can we make that "no one [in Apple's product management] cared"?

The gap between makers and users is vast. You can hardly say that nobody cared. The first iteration is a race to market, ruthlessly refined by Steve Jobs to be good enough in that it does few things excellently -- its impact on history is Jobs's key performance indicator. A few later iterations add more capability and the race to market prioritises shipping over robustness and security, causing compromises in design and implementation that the team are promised they'll come back to later. It gets so bad they can't actually fix the compromises and the replacement is commissioned. The replacement gets shipped with fewer features, rewritten more robustly but unable to match the thing it replaces because there wasn't an exhaustive list of all the things the old one did.

Nobody gets penalized for this, the industry finds an excuse like 'we'll build back the features that matter as customers demand them -- it's lean and efficient and the team is productive only on things that matter' so the team meet their appraisal goals and get a raise and bonus.
posted by k3ninho at 12:05 AM on May 15


Saying “the iPod sucked from a tech feature perspective” almost seems like falling into the same trap that had people underestimating the iPod. It was criticized for not having bells and whistles, and for having narrow format support (and one-directional file transfer) with the clear intention to push Apple’s walled garden. But at the time of release it had (I believe) the second largest capacity of any digital music player on the market, in a considerably smaller package and with better battery life compared to other hard drive players. Which is to say it prioritized tech where it counted most to actually improve most people’s experience of using an MP3 player (and then of course had pretty slick UI/UX, too).
posted by atoxyl at 12:28 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


[Having comment, I'm struggling to comment on the video.]

At the same pixel density (think Apple retina or Kindle small-size dots) as Win XP, Windows 10 looks worse to me, maybe that's nostalgia. Everything at higher pixel density looks better, if only in part because my eyes aren't inferring blocky images into glyphs and icons. (And everything stored on solid-state disks runs better and feels snappier than that stored on spinning rust.)

Win 10 and 11 have yearly sub-releases but 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' means you don't upgrade working systems. Plenty more behind-the-scenes stuff has been replaced and updated since XP, but a bunch of it that was a solved problem got remade making more problems. We do need to replace stuff with bugs and especially stuff that has bugs-with-security-consequences.

In the dawn of Win XP, MS was in denial about the influence of the internet that they're only partly adjusted to its ubiquity today. There have been remotely-exploitable bugs-with-security-consequences in the last year's Windows 10 editions. Also in the past 2 years Azure and cloud Active Directory need better security practices by MS's customers to secure business-critical infrastructure (eg spearphishing attack that set up for the SolarWinds exploits).

Nostalgia for appearance, sure, knock yourself out. Not addressing product development practices so that software still has bugs (and most bugs can be co-opted to have security consequences) is less rose-tinted and should be unforgettable.
posted by k3ninho at 1:46 AM on May 15


All of the things that I loved about XP-era interaction design have been ripped out, and what's left feels like a bunch of hollow appeals to nostalgia — the icons, the background.

Oh, it's still all in there. If you noogie Windows hard enough, your windows will start flashing vintage chrome at you, and you don't have to scrape the paint very hard to find all the old interfaces you know and love from XP in there, nearly unchanged. Noogie is a technical term, obviously.

I don't know why either, it's super weird. Probably a backcompat thing.

The strangest thing about Win10/11 to me is that every now and then, it just ... goes into the weeds. On a very modern machine, fast CPU, fast RAM, SSD, the works, you can open file explorer, and there's a chance that you'll need to wait an honest to god wall-clock minute or more for the machine to sort its life out and show you what's in the folder.

I don't know what it is but I wish it would stop.
posted by mhoye at 6:12 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Windows basically peaked with XP and Win 7, and Windows 10/11 is a festering, flaming mountain of garbage, like some kind of endless shit volcano.

The UI and experience in the video is readily available in Ubuntu and variants. I rarely have to even think about my OS.

These days it just works and I don't have to deal with the totally fucky Windows 10/11 design language where it can't decide if it wants to be a touchscreen interface or a desktop interface and trips all over itself like a really awkward comedian that just railed their first line of blow in their entire life in the green room just before their very first real gig and chewed all the curtains to shreds while mistaking nervous, polite laughter as success the entire time.
posted by loquacious at 12:56 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


One of the most noticeable is the wholesale adoption of a much more flat design — this fits with 2022, but I much prefer the less flat, more rigidly separated older designs.

I couldn't agree more. It seems to me that modern UI is so focused on smooth, sleek appearances that designers wind up hiding things in order to support the appearance goal, figuring only gigantic nerds want to change anything anyway. And nerds will put up with anything, right? Old-school GUIs often looked cluttered and intimidating, but the labels and consistent styling cues generally made them more explore-able.

That exposed-ness, that explore-ability made it easier for a user to gauge whether or not a particular goal was worth the time to chase down or not. One might open a config screen and say "Hey, there's exactly the option I want," or one might open a different config screen and say "Ugh, well I bet what I want is possible but it's going to take me more than a minute, I'll come back to this later." With the super-sleek, ultra-clean UIs of today, one often gets no idea how much digging one's going to need to do, or if one's goal is even likely to be possible.

There is a sub-culture of amateur graphic redesign of popular GUI computer software, and it's just about all focused on appearances. I guess that's the most accessible aspect of designing this stuff for outsiders today. But it strikes me as a shame that so much effort is expended on (what I regard as) the least important aspects. I don't much care how new and stylish the Start menu looks if the search box there doesn't work.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:51 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


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