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To say that the Windows 11 Start menu has caused some controversy is, to put it mildly. Microsoft moved this critical UI component to the center of the taskbar and removed much of the functionality it had in Windows 10. Yes, you can still move it to the left, which many people did in the first ten seconds of using the new OS. However, many people are not fans of the changes that Microsoft made in Start in Windows 11. In an attempt to seemingly neutralize some of the fury it receives, Microsoft has begun to remind people who is ultimately responsible for its design.

According to The latest version of Windows, Microsoft recently sent an email to Windows Insiders, which are on Release, Beta and Dev Channels. The email is titled “How We Built the Beginning” and reads: “Windows 11 Start is centered around you. We relied on your feedback to guide us forward. ” It includes a link to a video posted on June 28, 2021, which has seemingly been ignored so far. The video includes interviews with various Microsoft employees about the process they used to create the Windows 11 Start menu. It includes many selection quotes and discussions about how user feedback has driven the process.

A user researcher named Ashley begins by stating the obvious: “It’s really easy to design something you like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work well for everyone.” “We need to listen more than we just do.” The program manager of the “Start” button, a young man named Eric, notes that users have been asked many questions. These include such basic queries as “Should the Start button be left or center aligned?” He goes on to mention various questions they have asked people. All this makes sense of the video: Microsoft decided to just ask people what they want.

In the video, the designers say they have given users pieces of paper that are items that can be included in the Start menu. This includes the search box, time, documents, applications, etc. Users were then told to arrange them as best they could. Designers admit that although the results are different, they still see a model. “We’ve always seen search, files and applications together,” says Ryan, head of design. They conclude that this has reinforced what they have already thought about, giving them confidence that they are moving in the right direction.

The Star menu research project allows users to rearrange the “tiles” of items in the start menu; new concept. (Image: Microsoft)

According to Windows Latest, this is not going well with Windows Insiders. Most of the comments on the Insider site are negative. People just want to be able to customize the Start menu, as they could in Windows 10 and 8. In fact, most of the comments on YouTube are nasty, too. What is so infuriating about this conclusion is that it is so fundamental to user interface design. Everyone has their own preferences for what they want to organize things, so why not allow users to customize it to their liking? You know, like what people said in your study? How did everyone have a different idea of ​​how it should look and be organized?

I can’t even pin a game in the Start menu. The only thing I see when I open it is a completely random range of apps I’ve never used. I will never use them. It includes apps that aren’t even installed, like Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok. I guess they paid Microsoft for their presence. I don’t mind these apps, but I just wish I could customize the Start menu and taskbar.

What is really annoying, however, is the fact that Microsoft states that the reason for its existence is hearing their clients. These are the same customers who complain about the Start menu and the taskbar since the launch of the OS last year. Microsoft has clearly heard the complaints, because why else would it resurrect this video all of a sudden? He is more than a year old and they are just now reminding customers about him? Microsoft couldn’t be more deaf if it tried.

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