Windows 8 on Desktop – The trick is to organise the start screen

Working through the Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start videos and just had a penny drop with a thump. My first impression was that without the Start button, end users will find Windows 8  frustrating on the desktop. The trick is to organise your tiles into logical groups for your organisation. Sorting out the grouping could be challenge – my suggestion would be to borrow a principle from web design – that is to organise content from the perspective of the end user, not the organisation. This might mean different teams get different groups of applications on the left – to suit their needs and view of the world. Going for bigger tiles for organisations with older users? – I have just entered the trifocal zone of life and I  find the smaller tiles are OK.

So if the apps are well grouped, I could argue it is more convenient than the old start button – especially where applications were buried in sub menus in the past – they can now been brought to the “surface” more easily.

The challenge in Windows 8 training will be to demonstrate the ease of use and prove this to users as soon as possible.  Windows 8 training builds will need groupings to suit already in place (or at least prototype groupings) for people to see and use.  The reinforcing this with showing them how much better search is (Windows Key – then type your search term) to get people seeing this as change equals improved ease of use, not change equals frustration because its all different.

Timing of training will be important.

Training will have to be before or close to roll out of Windows 8 – so trainers can demonstrate the new geography and its benefits and get people off to the right start.

Now I have to think about how to approach shutting down. Using Windows Key + I to bring up the Settings pane and then Shut down from there seems easiest – then it isn’t more work, its just different.

Your comments please