User Interface for IE7 needs serious work.

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by John Dibble, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. John Dibble

    John Dibble Guest

    I'm the head of the quality assurance department at my company, and today I
    decided to test our app on IE7 to see if everything worked alright - it does,
    but I think the user interface for this browser is, frankly, terrible. Having
    looked at other opinions online about this interface "confusing" and
    "cluttered" were common terms people used to describe it.

    Here is a short list of the problems I have with it:

    1. Buttons that in previous IE versions were neatly organized together are
    now all over the place. The Back/Forward, Stop, Refresh, and Home buttons are
    better left next to eachother, as it allows for a better 'flow' resulting in
    the user being able to browse faster. I realize space is an issue, but
    useability should also be considered.

    2. I find it strange that the 'Classic Menu' isn't on by default. This menu
    is pretty much standard to all applications across Windows, so one would
    think it should be there. Another complaint about it is that it is not on the
    top of the other elements, which is also standard to other Windows
    applications.

    3. The Search Bar - don't get me wrong, it's a great feature and I am glad
    you allow the user to plug in a different one from the default MSN one if
    they so wish, but what I would like is to be able to just turn it off and not
    have it displayed at all. I don't generally use it, so just being able to put
    it away would be a good feature. Another option to solve this might be to
    have a button that opens the bar temporarily when the user wishes to use it.

    4. The Toolbar placement is a bit awkward since it's to the right of the
    tabs. This is more of a subjective opinion than an absolute problem with
    useability.

    That's roughly it. I can offer two possible solutions to the problem:

    1. Simply place items as I suggest in a static fasion. The following three
    lines represent the three layers of items(with the classic menu on there are
    three layers as there is now) with items organized from left to right.

    -Classic Menu, Toolbar
    -Back/Forward, Stop Loading, Refresh, Home buttons in that order, Address
    Bar, and 'Links'(if turned on)
    -Favorites Center button, Add/Subscribe button, Tabs, Search Bar

    I think this organization would allow for improved useability while still
    meeting concerns regarding space.

    2. Increase the amount of customization that a user can implement. Allow the
    user to unlock the position of things and move elements - bars, buttons, ect
    - to the place they choose. For instance, if the user wants the Toolbar right
    next to the Classic Menu, let them put it there, or if the user wants to move
    the Back/Forward buttons to right side of the address bar instead of the
    default left, let them do that. In this way a user can put things where the
    user wants with little problem.


    Well, that's my honest critique of the new UI, and I hope my suggestions are
    seriously taken into consideration. If things are left as they stand, I will
    not be upgrading to IE7 for my home computer, and will either stick with IE6
    or make a full switch to Firefox. I also hope that the next version of
    Windows doesn't have a similar interface, as that would discourage me from
    upgrading to that at any time.

    ----------------
    This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
    suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
    Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
    link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
    click "I Agree" in the message pane.

    http://www.microsoft.com/communitie...&dg=microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general
     
    John Dibble, Feb 1, 2006
    #1
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  2. John Dibble

    DWL Guest

    I totally agree.

    If Microsoft doesn't listen to all the posts here and just lets it slide
    more and more people like us will be pushing Firefox out to our users. In
    addition to that I'll start installing Firefox for everyone that uses me for
    their computer help.

    IE7 is going to fail big time unless they make some really big changes.

    Wow, I cannot believe how crummy IE7 is.
     
    DWL, Feb 1, 2006
    #2
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  3. John Dibble

    Nocturnal Guest

    I truly believe MS will take all of this into consideration. I'm sure
    they'd like to wait the market share back and I'm sure they know that by
    listening to the consumer, that they can make a great browser and win back a
    lot of people. I think it would be detrimental for them not to.
     
    Nocturnal, Feb 1, 2006
    #3
  4. John Dibble

    Josh Guest

    I have used IE for years because it is the default for Windows. A few months
    ago I tried testing out Firefox & Opera, which I'm sure everyone already
    knows beats IE all the way. When I found out there whats now a new IE, I was
    excited to try something new and thought that this could possibly be a
    winner. I mean, when you observe your competitors, you are suppose to advance
    your product, not equal it. The only new feature that I found to be the most
    unique was the ability to view your tabs as images. Come on MS, is that
    really the best you can do? By the way, what ever happened to the email
    button? Here's an idea, add an IE/Outlook Express combination upgrade that
    could work together in the most unique, yet powerful way.
     
    Josh, Feb 1, 2006
    #4
  5. John Dibble

    S K G Guest

    I completely disagree with Mr. QA.

    I like the way address bar and other buttons are placed. It feels new and
    everything is easily accessible at a glance.

    It easier now and I don't see any reason why people will get confused. After
    all who needs the same IE4 interface?

    I have been using IE7 since the beta 1 was available and it's been a long
    time now. Starting from day one I never faced any trouble with the interface
    - the placement of buttons.

    Moreover, I guess the inclusion of Page and Tools toolbar buttons is really
    a step forward from IE7 Beta 1. Now I've removed the Classic Menu as well.

    It’s a new year. And it's a new IE. It's IE 7. Better get used to new
    interface which provides more viewable space. Why stick with same old stuffs?

    AND what do you mean by disabling search bar? It would be non-sense to
    remove it as all current day browsers comes with such search bar. You say
    that you don't use it. But it doesn't mean no user would use it. All points
    you have mentioned is base less. And hope less. Since the day I installed IE
    7 I have been using that search bar coz it's something handy. It’s a handy
    tool.

    Microsoft is trying to make IE 7 a feature rich browser while making new
    standards in user interface.

    Well I would like to add that I have even tried Windows Longhorn (Vista) and
    the standard position of classical menu you are talking about is not at all
    standard any more. So better get use to NO classic menu or expect it to
    appear below address bar.

    Best wishes to IE 7 team and to Microsoft.

    Best Regards,
     
    S K G, Feb 1, 2006
    #5
  6. John Dibble

    Thrawn05 Guest

    New does not always mean better. What you like may not be what others want.
    If somthing works for someone, there is little reason to change just because
    someone like you says new is better. The point is IE7 needs better UI
    customization. The ability to move/remove ALL the elements to fit what each
    person wants is the biggest complaint that I am seeing in this forum.

    If you like it the way IE7 does it now, fine. I don't care. I do care when
    you essentially tell people that they shouldn't have a choice.

    And if Vista is ANYTHING like what IE7 is now, there is no way in hell I'm
    going to get it. Period.
     
    Thrawn05, Feb 1, 2006
    #6
  7. John Dibble

    Bones Guest

    I like the new user interface as well. It gets rid of a lot of useless junk,
    and has a nice clean look. I think at this point a lot of people are just
    nit-picking...after all do you get in a car at a car lot and start whining
    about where the ashtray is located? Actually, I guess some people would. I
    know it's all about personal opinion (like my opinion about how bad firefox
    is...I personally refer to it as the Fischer Price My First Browser), but
    what it really comes down to, is that with any new piece of software, you're
    never going to make everyone happy unless you make every single button so
    that you can drag and drop it where you like.
     
    Bones, Feb 1, 2006
    #7
  8. John Dibble

    S K G Guest

    You are right. Many are whining as they can't find things at their usual
    place. Most of them might be willing to change [everything] in their living
    room but want to stick with the same Win 95/98 classic menu and an address
    bar below it. huh.
     
    S K G, Feb 1, 2006
    #8
  9. John Dibble

    S K G Guest

    Whether you believe it or not, Microsoft’s Windows Vista will mark the
    beginning of a new era in application interface, usability and security. Take
    my words, you will join the party, no matter what, with or without spirit.
    It’s the future and it’s approaching. Microsoft's Windows Vista will define a
    new decade. Period.

    Regards,
    Sagar Gupta
     
    S K G, Feb 1, 2006
    #9
  10. John Dibble

    ZenWarrior Guest

    It will not for me. On my mother's grave I swear my next computer will be
    either Linux or Mac. I'm tired of fighting Windows, Gates, and Micosoft. This
    feeble attempt at creating (or even copying) a browser, something that
    clearly is too difficult for Microsoft to do, has finally made up my mind for
    me. I'm typing on the last Windows machine I ever plan to own.
     
    ZenWarrior, Feb 1, 2006
    #10
  11. John Dibble

    ZenWarrior Guest

    I am willing to change on a whim, and have many times in computing
    environments over the years. And it is that very same wide-spread experience
    that tells me this time Microsoft still just does not "get it." Some days I
    fire up Opera; others Firefox. I even use Netscape still at times. I do not
    mind change. I do mind someone trying to pass-off a POS as a browser, however.

     
    ZenWarrior, Feb 1, 2006
    #11
  12. John Dibble

    Pete Guest

    I love it! I don't really agree, but I do love your optimism! I hope you
    are right, and even if you're not, I'm sure I'll enjoy getting to know
    Windows Vista.

    As far as the original comments go, while I do like some things about the
    new UI (the forward/back buttons in particular, except the lack of mouse-down
    feedback), I also agree that a) the menu bar needs to be configurable to be
    at the VERY top of the window, where it belongs, and all of the toolbar
    elements need to be moveable by the user.
     
    Pete, Feb 1, 2006
    #12

  13. MAC is more proprietary than MS has ever been, and Linux is turning into
    bloat ware so bad, that almost the only useful forms are the Live Distros
    for emergency use, save one; Unbuntu (though I prefer it in KDE over GNOME,
    which is called Kunbuntu) http://ubuntuforums.org/index.php *BUT* before you
    do that, make sure you know your basic Command Lines
    http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/user/ch6.html (Unbuntu is based on
    Debian).

    The only thing you're missing now, is a crate of aspirin, a massive
    supply of coffee (get a back up coffee maker, as the first one probably wont
    get you all the way through the learning curve. 'Cause if you can't handle
    one little IE Beta from MS, you're in for one steep learning curve with
    Linux!)

    There you're all set to switch from Windows to Linux :)

    Cordially,
    Steven Fredette
    President http://www.prowebsites.net
    Indianapolis, Indiana. USA (-5 GMT/UT)
    "For Your Internet Wants and Needs" Since 1997
     
    Steven Fredette, Feb 1, 2006
    #13
  14. Here's just a little idea of how bad IE7's current UI is....I have only
    loaded one webpage in it, and that was www.microsoft.com.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1) Put the "Classic" menu above the rest. How difficult is it to understand
    that NEARLY EVERY OTHER WINDOWS APPLICATION HAS IT THERE, and therefore
    people are used to it being there.

    2) Why have the Home / Refresh etc icons moved away from the Back / Forward
    ones? Most people these days are using 1024x768 as a minimum resolution,
    therefore space is not an issue. Put the icons back together, its cleaner,
    faster, easier, etc etc etc

    3) The New Tab icon...... A GREY SQUARE?!?!?!

    4) Page Tab icons are too big, they need to be reduced to about 3/4 of their
    current size.

    5) Make the toolbars MUCH MORE CUSTOMISABLE please. Take a look at Opera,
    just about every button / toolbar / panel can be adjusted, moved etc. Maybe
    IE7 doesn't need to be as customisable as Opera, but it does need improvement.

    6) Finally, please consider moving the "Favorites Center" and "Add /
    Subscribe" buttons to the right hand side (currently where the Home / Reload
    buttons are).

    I am a real fan of IE6, however due to security issues I am currently using
    Opera (which is a far better browser IMHO). If IE7 doesn't improve its UI
    considerably, then that situation will not change.
     
    PerpetualMotionUK, Feb 2, 2006
    #14
  15. PerpetualMotionUK:
    Here's a link to how my browsers look. If IE7 can't look as easy as
    this, then I'll never use it I guess :)

    http://home.chello.no/~larse/Browsers.jpg

     
    Lars-Erik Østerud, Feb 2, 2006
    #15
  16. John Dibble

    Maung Guest

    I would like to have tabs reordering function which is available in firefox.
    thanks
     
    Maung, Feb 3, 2006
    #16
  17. I fully agree with the orignal posting. I've never had any real problems
    with IE6 at all, regardless of the security issues said to exist. The beauty
    of IE6 to me lies in how it can be customized. Personally, I've always
    favored using the Favorites in a drop-down menu fasion via the Links toolbar,
    as that seems faster than a left-panel, click & expand style of navigation.
    As such, and given the wealth of Favorites that I have organized into
    folders, I like having a Link toolbar that spans the width of the browser.
    With IE7, the Address bar area is rigid and non-customizable, with the
    Address window itself wasting far more space than need be. Meanwhile, the
    Classic Menu toolbar has a wealth of usable space right of the Help menu
    which is an ideal place to nest a smaller Address bar toolbar as I did with
    IE6. By reducing the size of the tabs for the multiple page views, the tab
    bar area could be used to provide placment of other navigation buttons.
    Ultimately, various customizations would permit in essence, only two
    "toolbars" for everything but the Links, which would then be a 3rd toolbar.
    I hope that makes sense.

    On the whole, the structure of the toolbar area strikes me as quite poorly
    designed with a great loss of flexibility in comparision to what IE6 offered.
    I'm not going to waste any further time using IE7...it just isn't as
    friendly to use for my way of working as IE6.
     
    Daryl Pritchard, Feb 6, 2006
    #17
  18. John Dibble

    MrDale Guest

    I'm with SKG all the way on this one. It's time for a change. Browsers have
    looked the same for a very long time. There can be improvements with the UI
    in IE7. The address bar should be shrunk and the "home", "print", "tools"
    etc... icons should be moved up to the right of the address bar between the
    search bar and andress bar. The RSS Feeds icon makes more sense to be next to
    the add icon on the left since it is part of the Favorites Center.

    Other than that, what is so bad about this browser? It makes absolutely no
    sense to have the stop, go and refresh buttons on the left side of the
    address bar. You type from left to right and when you're done you can press
    the go button or stop button, not go back to the beginning. This is the best
    place for these buttons to be logically. the way ie6 and the other browsers
    are set is awful IMO.

    hit the "alt" button on your keyboard and the classic menu appears when you
    need it. why clutter up the UI and your viewing window with an extra level
    that you don't use that often?

    the addess bar HAS TO BE ON THE TOP. this done to prevent spoofing from
    spyware idiots hijacking your address bar. This has happened to me twice. I
    will adjust and get use to the address bar being on top if it prevents my
    address bar from being hi-jacked and so should everyone else.

    I'm ready to move on an advance to new looks and new features together, not
    stay behind in 1995.
     
    MrDale, Feb 9, 2006
    #18
  19. John Dibble

    MrDale Guest

    I would stick with Maxthon in a heartbeat if this was IE7's default UI look.
    Looks like my browser looked 10 years ago. It's time to move on for me.

    Hopefully you'll be able to customize a little bit with ie7 final release to
    get what you're shooting for.
     
    MrDale, Feb 9, 2006
    #19
  20. MrDale:
    Why change somthing that is working? Why waste space on "eye candy"
    icons. Some of use a computer to use it - not to look a fancy icons.
    If I can't have them all on one line, then I'll just use Firefox
    instead :)
     
    Lars-Erik Østerud, Feb 9, 2006
    #20
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