A weblog dedicated to Ergonomics education, dicussion and debate. This emerging field has the power to transform industry, business and the lives of ordinary people for the better. The Industrial Athlete intends to encourage and document our profession's vision of an ergonomically-friendly future!

Monday, February 19, 2007

My First Impressions of Windows Vista

In my last post a couple weeks ago, I promised an usability review for Windows Vista, the lastest OS from Microsoft.

There are many features that I, as a casual user of computers, might not be familiar with yet, but the verdict is this:

It's alot like Windows XP, only with nicer visuals and sounds.

The OS still delivers fatal errors from time to time, shutting Internet Explorer down. They moved the Windows Explorer icon (the one that allows you access to the files on your hard drive) to the Start menu (which is now just a Windows icon on the status bar), which was a headache.

Internet Explorer 7.0, which launched with the new OS, shrank the Refresh, Cancel, and Forward/Backward buttons, which led to more frustration. Instead of being able to hit them quickly, I had to hone in on them to click them correctly, and in the early going, I ended up hitting the wrong buttons!

Finally, instead of giving me a labelled shut down button, they provided the international symbol for "off" with no label. And when I clicked on it, my computer "hibernated" instead of shutting off (to get it to do that, you have to trigger a non-descript arrow button, and select the option from a long list).

Overall: good visuals, but no significant improvements in human factors over the last OS, and in some quarters, it actually got worse!


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