Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design
Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

The Windows 11 Start menu is once again drawing criticism from users, this time from a former Microsoft employee. Jensen Harris, who worked at the company for 16 years, criticized the Redmond company for ruining the design of the Windows 11 Start menu.

Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

He posted a series of tweets to share his thoughts on his experience with Windows 11. He called the Start Menu the top user experience and says he was shocked by its design in the latest operating system.

Image blend: Jensen Harris

Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

Microsoft recommends Edge as the default browser whenever possible, even going so far as to change the default browser a bit complicated. This is something that has been widely criticized among users, the tech community, and even other browser manufacturers. These ads extend to the Start menu of the operating system. Harris compared the recommendation of Edge in the right pane of the Start menu’s search interface to the Internet Explorer toolbars of the 2000s.

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He said that the ad for the Bing Wallpaper app at the top of the search result looks like banner ads from the Geocities era. The former Microsoft employee seemed to have been equally appalled by the inconsistent design principles in the user interface, specifically noting the corners of ads and buttons, one of which was rounded, another has a square edge, while the third has a squircle design . . It’s kind of ironic, given that the rounded corner design was promoted by Microsoft as one of Windows 11’s design standards.

Harris also questioned the company’s intentions to place ads in the Start menu, questioning whether the amount of money the background app makes is worth “shrinking” the user experience. The former Microsoft engineer also criticized the migration of the Start button to the center of the taskbar.

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Harris was Director of Program Management for Windows User Experience. So it can be imagined that it has a lot of information about the GUI. He recalled the time when Microsoft once prioritized the design of the Start menu, explaining how his team created a special ligature for the font used in Windows (Segoe UI). They had to work on aligning the S and t in Start together. But that is no longer the case. Harris emphasized the importance of the user interface, while noting that many of the designers he worked with are still at Microsoft. The talent is there, but it doesn’t seem to be being used properly.

I think he is perfect with his arguments, after all the Start menu is one of the most used functions in the operating system. But it’s barely recognizable if you’re coming from an older version of Windows, which in turn ruins the user experience. Of course, there are other issues in Windows 11, such as the lack of an option to move the taskbar to the top or sides of the screen, the right-click menu on the taskbar, etc.

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Users have been complaining about Windows 11’s Start menu ever since the first preview version of the operating system was released, but when a person who was formerly in charge of software design at Microsoft gives his opinion on the user interface, it comes down to a another level. It clearly shows that the company is not focused on the user experience.

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Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

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Former Microsoft employee criticizes Windows 11 Start menu design

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Jensen Harris, a former engineer at Microsoft, criticized the design of Windows 11’s Start menu.

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Ashwin

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