Microsoft Design - what in the world?!?!?! No class

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
What is up with Microsoft design???





Seriously.



Take a look at their website. When they first revamped, it looked distinct and yet pretty decent. Now, it looks like junk. They copy Apples menubar navigation at the top, but trash the look of it and spend no time makeing the drop downs match the overrall look. Not only that, but the main graphics are now truncated at the middle leaving this space on the side for no reason. it looks plain tacky. there are plenty of other things to say about how junky this tech giants website is, but let's move on to...





windows 7. NASTY!!!

i thought Windows Vista, as sad as it is, was a much better look than XP, which looked like crayola to me. Now, Windows 7 is basically Vista with the Crayola added in and even more transparency to soften it. Huh??? Not only that, but the Windows 7 logo is not even original. remember the start of 2008 with that Apple logo and the light shining from behind it -- or was that 2007? Well guess who's aping that now? YEARS later! And not only that, but using an old Photoshop 7 lens flare to give the effect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, Microsoft graphic design and UI design are absolutely horrid. how can this be? Don't they sell tons of Office software and tons of OS software. Then there is Exchange... How can a business of this size and success have such mediocre design? Sony has great design and it is relfected in just about everything. Apple has got to be the golden standard, but look at IBM. Their design is top notch too. It just feels like MS is tuck in the early 90's.



Now look at their upcoming "Microsoft store." Eh?

Is one needed? Can't you just go to Best buy or Fry's and get the exact same stuff? Or heck, what about Wal-Mart? To me, it looks like desperation, but back to the point of this thread - LOOK at it! Junk. From the flooring materials to the shapes they use for furniture to the way they present their ads - it screams Publisher 97, with office furniture that was popular in 95. the only thing they did right was choose birch for their table colors.



Can someone please explain this to me? What is up with Microsoft design? why is their website jacked up? Why does their OS look convoluted? why is their BRAND NEW store sporting outdated looks?



Or is it just me?



I started to think I was just spoiled by Apple. But look at IBM, Sony, and others. Is Microsoft just really "not getting it?"

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Feel better now? Got it out of your system?



    Microsoft copy Apple from time to time, and why not, Apple have a great sense of design which clearly sells. All companies take ideas from competitors, it's just how the world works. There isn't much originality left anymore.



    But Microsoft have their own ideas too. The Xbox 360 dashboard is a nice piece of design, much nicer I think that the very dull Apple TV interface. The new Zune HD looks absolutely gorgeous. And as for Windows 7/Vista, it looks fine to me. Perfectly modern and presentable, I can't see why you dislike it so much.



    Life's too short to have so much anger. Just cool down, play some video games, go for a drive in the countryside, have a nice meal out or something. Relax.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Feel better now? Got it out of your system?



    Microsoft copy Apple from time to time, and why not, Apple have a great sense of design which clearly sells. All companies take ideas from competitors, it's just how the world works. There isn't much originality left anymore.



    But Microsoft have their own ideas too. The Xbox 360 dashboard is a nice piece of design, much nicer I think that the very dull Apple TV interface. The new Zune HD looks absolutely gorgeous. And as for Windows 7/Vista, it looks fine to me. Perfectly modern and presentable, I can't see why you dislike it so much.



    Life's too short to have so much anger. Just cool down, play some video games, go for a drive in the countryside, have a nice meal out or something. Relax.



    Ok dr Phil...



    Now back to the real points-



    the reason for this post is not only to express an observation but also to have some actual discussion on the matter

    as a desiger I would thik ms has the resources and should have the care to make it right and make it sell



    even the post above recognizes that design sells

    surely ms knows this as well



    so what is going on



    yes the one price of nice design on the xbox is the nxe

    however you would be blind to see that it is not a rip off of the os x dock and coverflow



    zine HD nice? With a navigation ui that looks like a wordpress blog? I don't think so

    no wonder ms is posting sales declines now



    wow

    I have been in business management and graphic desig for just a few years now but even I can plainly see that their esign is what is their Achilles heal

    but does it go deeper than that? Perhaps their "good enough" philosophy extends into their programming too?



    I don't know

    if there are other designers out there (and not wannabe psychiatrists) who care to take a look at the same examples and discuss, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts



    start with the website/ they had a decent design going

    all of a sudden they decide they want a nav bar like apples new site, but much less refined and they put it in and it breaks the whole design

    instead of redesigning they just squeeze everything to the mddle and leave the nav bar hanging over both sides



    even early in art school you learn about weight and composition

    this is just off
  • Reply 3 of 16
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Okay, if you want a real discussion...



    Zune HD - I've read nothing but glowing reports about it. Even Ryan Block (Engadget, GDGT), who is a real Mac head said Zune HD is his most wanted gadget. Personally I think it's a great design, which leads me to...



    The Zune PC client vs iTunes. Have you seen Microsoft's Zune client software? It's beautiful, and has the type of dynamic, modern design you would want from something focussed around entertainment. iTunes by comparison looks like a piece of database software, and is about as fun to use as one too.



    NXE - Inspired by cover flow you say? Maybe very loosely, but it's basically an original design. It's pretty, eye catching, easy to use, and has some pretty smart tech in it. (such as the ability to just plug in new gadgets without any user interaction, which they will make use of soon with the Last FM, Twitter, and Facebook apps) Compare it to the Apple TV interace, which looks very static, sterile, and dull.



    Then on the flip side of course the Microsoft web site looks bad, it's always looked dull as can be. But it's designed primarily for businesses and not for consumers, which may change as MS spends more time with the consumer divisions. For now though it is indeed an ugly affair.



    MS are certainly improving with their design, and it would take a pretty blinkered hard core Apple guy to deny that. And that's something that should be celebrated. Competition is great, and some of MS' efforts with the Xbox division have been outstanding. (Project Natal could be a real game changer for example, just as Xbox Live has been)



    And before you accuse me of being some sort of MS fanboy, I have a PC, a Mac, an Xbox 360, a PS3, an Apple TV, a PSP, a Wii, a DS Lite, and an iPhone. And I like them all. (well, maybe not the Wii)
  • Reply 4 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Okay, if you want a real discussion...



    Zune HD - I've read nothing but glowing reports about it. Even Ryan Block (Engadget, GDGT), who is a real Mac head said Zune HD is his most wanted gadget. Personally I think it's a great design, which leads me to...



    The Zune PC client vs iTunes. Have you seen Microsoft's Zune client software? It's beautiful, and has the type of dynamic, modern design you would want from something focussed around entertainment. iTunes by comparison looks like a piece of database software, and is about as fun to use as one too.



    NXE - Inspired by cover flow you say? Maybe very loosely, but it's basically an original design. It's pretty, eye catching, easy to use, and has some pretty smart tech in it. (such as the ability to just plug in new gadgets without any user interaction, which they will make use of soon with the Last FM, Twitter, and Facebook apps) Compare it to the Apple TV interace, which looks very static, sterile, and dull.



    Then on the flip side of course the Microsoft web site looks bad, it's always looked dull as can be. But it's designed primarily for businesses and not for consumers, which may change as MS spends more time with the consumer divisions. For now though it is indeed an ugly affair.



    MS are certainly improving with their design, and it would take a pretty blinkered hard core Apple guy to deny that. And that's something that should be celebrated. Competition is great, and some of MS' efforts with the Xbox division have been outstanding. (Project Natal could be a real game changer for example, just as Xbox Live has been)



    And before you accuse me of being some sort of MS fanboy, I have a PC, a Mac, an Xbox 360, a PS3, an Apple TV, a PSP, a Wii, a DS Lite, and an iPhone. And I like them all. (well, maybe not the Wii)



    No, this is a discussion about the state of Microsoft design. Not a commercial for Microsoft from one of its trolls, fanboys, evangelists. Even if said MS evangelist happens to "own" every product from every manufacturer in the world. It's not abotu what you own, its what you like. And you like Microsoft. It's OK. That's your choice -- odd, but your prerogative.



    And you miss the point on the MS website being not just a bad design by tasted, but they actually kept the old design and just tacked on other elements which "broke" it.



    And you can't be serious about the Zune PC client! Remember the Wordpress Blog UI the Zune has? Yep, that's what the Zune client looks like. Junk. Oh look, there is a big picture on the right with a gradient! Wow. the whole thing just looks like a cheap.. no, a free wordpress blog template.



    And the client navigation... un, no.

    At least iTunes is easy to use and nice to look at. With the option of going minimalist or glitzy with coverflow. All of which outshine the zune software. sheesh.



    And the NXE interface is not a slight rip off of the dock and coverflow. that is exactly what it is! Except it doesn't fave cover flows 45 degree angle 3d. So um, I guess that missing part is... different.



    let's see... a row of icons on a "floor" - check.

    Icons move from left to right, enlarging (can you say "magnifying?") on the focal one... check.

    etc.



    And comparing interfaces, let's not forget that Apple came out with theirs long before the NXE, which simply replaces the horribly tragic "blade" design that was Microsofts original design.



    And Apple TV looks much cleaner than the NXE. I actually like the NXE, but the tragedy of it is that it is an Apple ripoff. I would prefer the sleekness of the Apple TV design, although they will probably update that very soon.



    microsoft design seems to just try and throw everything at you at once and you en up with an ugly, cluttery mess. Whereas Apples is well thought out and elegantly implememented in a logical manner that is easy on the eyes.



    Yes, I read engadgets HD Zune review as well. I am sure that someone who sees everything in the world gets bored even with the best and something different is welcome. next.



    Microsoft design is what it is - stuck in the 90s. My question is... why?



    Look at their upcoming store design. they are going to WANT to have it next to Apple stores? Seriously? I would think they would keep far away. the disparity in "getting it" just shows up all the worse when the apples and oranges are so close together.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Oh I give up, have it your way. I have better things to do than get sucked into a spectacularly pointless argument about which mega corporation makes better looking icons. I'll go play some Xbox games and rent a movie on my Apple TV.



    Good night!
  • Reply 6 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Oh I give up, have it your way. I have better things to do than get sucked into a spectacularly pointless argument about which mega corporation makes better looking icons. I'll go play some Xbox games and rent a movie on my Apple TV.



    Good night!





    Wow. It was never supposed to be an argument. I simply started a post. You started arguing. and now you are doing the typical "I don't know how to convince this guy to my viewpoint, so I will just try to make it sound like he is mean" cop out. So be it. have fun with your Xbox and Apple TV (another try at sounding ubiased simply because you own different manufacturers products - oh wow. Like I am not in the same boat - like MOST people). If it was so pointless, why did you already respond twice. And of course, the whole thread goes beyond pretty icons. But that is your way I guess.



    Thanks for ruining the thread.



    If anyone else cares to weigh in on what is going on with Microsoft design, please feel free. I am just amazed by the low quality. Is it part of a plan or is it just that they are so big, the detials get looked over?
  • Reply 7 of 16
    haha!! Apple fanboys crack me up..... Microsoft design is simple and elegant, as reflected in they're web pages as well as the Windows operating system. Maybe if Apple would concentrate on 'function' instead of 'de$ign' they might actually gain more than a 3% market share
  • Reply 8 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crankenstein View Post


    haha!! Apple fanboys crack me up..... Microsoft design is simple and elegant, as reflected in they're web pages as well as the Windows operating system. Maybe if Apple would concentrate on 'function' instead of 'de$ign' they might actually gain more than a 3% market share







    hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! MS Fanoby/evangelists/trolls on Apple discussion boards crack me up more... Trying to defend the honor of Microsoft on "enemy" territory. That's funny. Microsoft design is convoluted, and anything but elegant. Go to microsoft.com again and tell me that is elegant with a straight face.



    Apple is all about function. Maybe you did not relaize that is why the Queen of England wanted nothing to do witha Zune versus her iPod.



    MS has shown with vista and now 7 that they are just trying to look cool by looking at Apple and then saying, "yeah, we will do that AND everything else." So you end up with over-cluttered garbage. Apple is all about thinks just working simply, with the added benefit of looking better than everybody else. Microsoft's approach to everything is "just be good enough" and you see it with the the way they sell their products to the graphic design, to how they abandon support, to how they give speeches, to how their new store is going to look.



    at does not take an Apple fanboy to see this. Heck numerous blogs have been asking the same questions. I remember seeing an article about if MS was to design the iPod packaging. It was funny but true and their current website is found on design blogs "what not to do" section.



    And your 3 percent markeet share is about as outdated and off as Microsofts own "Laptop hunters" commercials which failed to take in current pricing from Apple.



    maybe the 3 percent was valid 4 years ago. But this is 2009. Wake up. It's more like 10 now. It was already 9 in January. here is just one article for you:



    http://www.tuaw.com/2009/01/02/apple...ince-tracking/



    And in 2008 it was 8%:



    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/articles.aspx



    Wow, so Apple is increasing at least 1 whole percentage or more each year? Guess there IS something to that "design" thing, eh? Yeah and Microsofts share is doing what? FAlling? Oh they just posted their first loss? And Apple just had a record quarter -- in the midst of a RECESSION? enough guys. You are sounding ridiculous.



    Just stick to the topic. Quit embarrassing yourselves.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


    What is up with Microsoft design???





    Seriously.



    Take a look at their website. When they first revamped, it looked distinct and yet pretty decent. Now, it looks like junk. They copy Apples menubar navigation at the top, but trash the look of it and spend no time makeing the drop downs match the overrall look. Not only that, but the main graphics are now truncated at the middle leaving this space on the side for no reason. it looks plain tacky. there are plenty of other things to say about how junky this tech giants website is, but let's move on to...





    windows 7. NASTY!!!

    i thought Windows Vista, as sad as it is, was a much better look than XP, which looked like crayola to me. Now, Windows 7 is basically Vista with the Crayola added in and even more transparency to soften it. Huh??? Not only that, but the Windows 7 logo is not even original. remember the start of 2008 with that Apple logo and the light shining from behind it -- or was that 2007? Well guess who's aping that now? YEARS later! And not only that, but using an old Photoshop 7 lens flare to give the effect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, Microsoft graphic design and UI design are absolutely horrid. how can this be? Don't they sell tons of Office software and tons of OS software. Then there is Exchange... How can a business of this size and success have such mediocre design? Sony has great design and it is relfected in just about everything. Apple has got to be the golden standard, but look at IBM. Their design is top notch too. It just feels like MS is tuck in the early 90's.



    Now look at their upcoming "Microsoft store." Eh?

    Is one needed? Can't you just go to Best buy or Fry's and get the exact same stuff? Or heck, what about Wal-Mart? To me, it looks like desperation, but back to the point of this thread - LOOK at it! Junk. From the flooring materials to the shapes they use for furniture to the way they present their ads - it screams Publisher 97, with office furniture that was popular in 95. the only thing they did right was choose birch for their table colors.



    Can someone please explain this to me? What is up with Microsoft design? why is their website jacked up? Why does their OS look convoluted? why is their BRAND NEW store sporting outdated looks?



    Or is it just me?



    I started to think I was just spoiled by Apple. But look at IBM, Sony, and others. Is Microsoft just really "not getting it?"



    I have news for you: Microsh1t has tried to copy the look and feel of Mac OSes since, well the advent of Windows. Where do you think they got the idea of creating Windows in the first place? Back then apple sued and later settled with microsoft and they continued producing the abomination called Windows.



    And they are still trying to create the look and feel... and they always will be.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tauron View Post


    I have news for you: Microsh1t has tried to copy the look and feel of Mac OSes since, well the advent of Windows. Where do you think they got the idea of creating Windows in the first place? Back then apple sued and later settled with microsoft and they continued producing the abomination called Windows.



    And they are still trying to create the look and feel... and they always will be.



    You are of course, correct. And it has been widely documented. however, the one thing I cannot figure out is how can a company so big absolutely stink so royally when it comes to design? It boggles the cerebrum.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


    You are of course, correct. And it has been widely documented. however, the one thing I cannot figure out is how can a company so big absolutely stink so royally when it comes to design? It boggles the cerebrum.



    Because you get big, bloated and lazy. Because the modus operandi that served you well 15 years ago doesn't work so well anymore. Because your business model has changed from innovation to monopoly and gaming the system.



    Remember, back over a decade ago Microfuck already had a monopoly, but nobody complained because their software was good. Excel was the best spreadsheet. Word was the best word processor, Windows was bearable while Mac OS suffered from compatibility problems and iffy reliability. Today everything they own has rotten to the point where the stench is unbearable. In the meantime Jobs has proven a genius who hires geniuses who work hard to usher in new paradigms in innovation in everything they do.



    People are slowly taking notice.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


    No, this is a discussion about the state of Microsoft design. Not a commercial for Microsoft from one of its trolls, fanboys, evangelists.



    If you don't want a discussion then say so. Of course, then the troll would be you.



    He provided counter examples of where MS' design has been good and agreed the website wasn't too good. That's fairly reasonable disagreement. Then you go off the deep end.





    Quote:

    Microsoft design is what it is - stuck in the 90s. My question is... why?



    You don't have a question. You have a rant.



    Yah, and just try to call me a MS fanboi.



    Actually, one reason why the MS site sucks is one of their better web designers left a year or two ago. Foo...I'm having a senior moment and forgot her name. There's no arguing that Apple does a better job on design. MS design is too driven by programmers sometimes. Google, oddly, has it's own design issues...too driven by numbers.



    But within their contexts both Google and MS do a reasonable job.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    But within their contexts both Google and MS do a reasonable job.



    Compared to what?



    I admit I hadn't visited MS's website for a long while. I went there just to check it out. You know, it actually looks good, but this of course because they took a page from Apple. Same basic layout.



    The last time I was there it was a jungle of confusion, now it's clean and actually navigational. Too bad it has no substance.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    cubefancubefan Posts: 52member
    Design and consistency takes EFFORT, it requires OWNERSHIP and accountability.



    A strong design team led from the top makes this happen, I may be sad and be able to name the leaders of Apples' design team but that's because the stuff looks great, feels great and generally works great.



    The UI in OS X forces a degree of consistency Windows cannot offer, loads of websites have copied round ended blue buttons, that's imitation - paying homage to something that looks good and is worthy of imitation



    Anything designed by committee, managed by committee invariably looks hopeless and like everything else - European car design for example - designed by 'focus groups', yuk.



    Lets have some leadership and vision
  • Reply 15 of 16
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    You don't have a question. You have a rant.



    No, it was a question with some context. For the contextually challenged, the question, once again, was "why?" there. Even a third grader can see that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Yah, and just try to call me a MS fanboi.



    who cares what you are? Oh great another one who actually thinks that we come here to post about THEM. and if I did call you a fanboy, what would you do about it? Seriously, point to all of your "pro Apple" posts? lol. Or try to beat me up? You crack me up.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Actually, one reason why the MS site sucks is one of their better web designers left a year or two ago. Foo...I'm having a senior moment and forgot her name. There's no arguing that Apple does a better job on design. MS design is too driven by programmers sometimes. Google, oddly, has it's own design issues...too driven by numbers. But within their contexts both Google and MS do a reasonable job.



    Um, yeah. let's stay on point shall we? this is about the state pf MS design. Google has a simpler design motif that they are consistent with. MS just has a lot of "stuff". But don't even try to lump the two together. they are not at all in the same boat. nice try though. Kudos for the effort. However, this is about MS. If we start talking about everyone and their grandma, the main subject just gets lost. although that may be your agenda. I don't know. Bottom line is that it is a problem for a company of this size to have this bad of design. even independent designers are doing great jobs. Perhaps Microsoft should hire them. And if their cute Asian designer happened to leave, well, duh... hire another, better designer. Plain and simple. As it is, I think her design influence went to Palm (which looks like a strange yet appealing amalgam of Apple and MS design)... but I digress...





    Remember, this post is not about YOU or me. It has a subject. Stick to it.



    That is Ms design. i think it stinks.



    Does it? why or why not? Looking for some intelligent back and forth. Pro and Con. And be man enough to take the con.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Microsoft design is just the tiniest bit oxymoronic. Of course MS copies. That's what they do. I suppose there is a place for that. It is the difference between professional fashion designers who make lust-worthy but expensive fashions, and K-Mart which buys or makes cheap knock offs for the unwashed masses who don't know any difference because they will never come in contact with the real thing. If not for the K-Marts of the world, I would have had nothing to wear growing up. That is the service MS provides to the world. They will never be a first tier original. They are the knock off provider for the computing masses. They don't have Expose'; they have Flip 3D. How many Windows users think it is the same thing? They don't have a Dock; they have this horrendous W7 taskbar thing. The same for the MS stores and just about everything they have done in the last several years. It is not just Apple envy that drives them. They envy and try to copy everyone who has been even remotely successful in the computer industry. Their business is a kludge of bad imitation. So it is with their webpage. They finally threw in the towel and copied elements from Apple's superior design team. Of course it is not as good, but it is light years ahead of what it was.
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