Design ideas for Windows 8… time to Run!

Despite my reservations I’ve continued to make an effort with Windows 8, to the point where I don’t mind not having Aero and my eyes are getting used to the 8-bit esque Start Screen tiles. However I still get those moments where I think “hmmm I wonder if this would work” but until now haven’t been quite inspired enough to crack open Photoshop and give it a try. Tonight I did 🙂

The main thing that still really irritates me about full-screen launchers (Unity, Win8 Start Screen etc) is the fact they want to be IN YOUR FACE every time you want to launch an app. That’s annoying when you’re in the middle of something and just need to quickly launch a utility or Office program. I know Microsoft’s official line is to pin every possible program to the taskbar but that just leads to a cluttered mess at the bottom of the screen, I’m not a fan. As a result the 3rd party Start Menu apps have been the way out but I wanted to find something that could fit the Metro ( still using it 😉 ) style.

Over time I’ve found that I’m using Winkey+R and launching from there, which is fine for winword.exe  but not so great for C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\Launcher\VpxClient.exe  for example. Then I realised that the venerable Run dialog box hasn’t really changed in 18 odd years…


Although it’s nice to have something that’s stayed the same in an OS that’s making some very radical UI changes methinks this box could do with a makeover! My idea was to use elements from the existing Apps search panel (that currently only shows its results in full screen view) and combine in with some parts of the settings dialog (Winkey+I) to save some space. The result is below (click to enlarge)…

Windows 8 Run Box

Idea being the results would obviously work with touch or scroll with the mouse. If you wanted to stick with the hardcore methods typing the path straight in would also launch the app in the classic style. This way you get the best bits of the Windows 7 Start Menu (indexed search), Microsoft keep with their Metro vibe and users get a more efficient way to launch apps without needing to go back to the Start Menu. Contrast with the current Run box which looks rather out of place in comparison…

Windows 8 original Run dialog



2 Responses to Design ideas for Windows 8… time to Run!

  1. Pingback: Office 365 on mobile devices… consistently inconsistent | gshaw0

  2. Pingback: Office 365 & Windows 8 summer wishlist | gshaw0

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