Windows 11 design elements have been controversial since the OS launched last year. The uncustomizable taskbar, inconsistent right-click menu, and completely redesigned start menu have mostly received negative reviews from critics and end users.
Well, this time around, Jensen Harris, the co-founder of Textio and former Microsoft Office designer expressed his thoughts on the new Windows 11 Start Menu. As you might have guessed by the title, his thoughts were not that great.
The Start menu is Microsoft's flagship user experience. It should represent the very best UI design the company is capable of.
Today I searched for "chrome" in Windows and was shocked by the user experience. pic.twitter.com/GZq386qqzK
— Jensen Harris (@jensenharris) August 29, 2022
In a series of tweets, he stated that the design language of Windows 11 Start Menu is quite inconsistent. Furthermore, he was unhappy about the number of advertisements (bing wallpaper app) shown in the most important area of the UI.
Harris states that,
“Design matters. Details matter. Especially in UI as iconic as the Windows Start menu. I remember the team creating a special ligature in the Segoe UI font (used in Windows) to make “S” and “t” align beautifully for the word “Start”. That’s how important Start was to Microsoft,”
He further added,
“Microsoft has many brilliant designers who care deeply about the work they do—I worked with many who are still there! It just comes down to a question of what you prioritize. User experience needs to be architected with as much intensity as you architect your tech investments.”
For those unaware, Windows 10’s live tiles-driven Start has been completely eliminated in Windows 11. While searching for anything in the start menu you will now be greeted by advertisements from Bing.
While searching for browser keywords like Chrome and Firefox, Windows 11 will force you to try out Edge. Clearly, Start Menu in Windows 11 is not serving the purpose it’s supposed to serve i.e. help users search for local apps, files, and correct web results.
You will be surprised to know that in less than 24 hours of the tweets made by Jensen Harris, Microsoft has already gotten to work fixing some of the issues. The Bing Wallpaper ad is gone, and a few of the corners have been fixed up a bit.