Fixing Windows 8: Check Out This Interesting Start Menu Concept


In the last few days, there were reports that Microsoft is planning to bring back the Start Menu in Windows 8. The biggest question is, how will the Start Menu look like? And how will it function?

Joseph Machalani, an UX, UI & Branding Architect blogged about his project on fixing Windows 8. In his project, he discussed about fixing the jarring difference between desktop and Metro work environment, new Windows Explorer UI with icons and more. More importantly, he brings back the Start Menu in his concept.

His description of the proposed Start Menu, 

If we want to separate the Desktop and Metro environment we need a way for each of them to access apps, files and basic features like search, notifications and settings. Since we need to kick out the Metro Start Screen and Charms bar from the Desktop, let’s just bring back the good ol’ Start menu that worked so good for all these years. If you hate it, who cares, you’ll be in the Metro environment anyways! This is not the old Start Menu, so please give me a chance to explain the idea here. You can make it bigger or smaller, pin your apps and live tiles, resize them, get a quick access to the Classic apps Jumplist (loved that feature from Windows 7), access the notification center, settings, power options and search. It makes sense. Give Windows 8 to any regular user that show him how to shut down his/her computer through a gesture to open a sidebar with three menus and his reaction will be my proof. Everything is there and easy to access and click, we’re following all of the rules and you still get that Modern/Metro touch.  Everybody wins.

Read his full blog post with all his work here.

via: The Verge

  • BIAS

    Leave the Start Menu outta this!

  • Nham Thien Duong


    • poken1151


  • rjmlive

    I like what I saw.. I don’t even care what they add.. I just hope they simply allow the options to turn things on and off.. that’s all it needs.. Don’t force it on everyone.

    • poken1151

      Exactly. That’s all that was needed in the first place. A duality, options. If only a temporary lie before a full cut. My Ideal was as follows (probably the same as many many others):

      – On install, as part of the process, ask the user, “Is this PC primarily a tablet or a desktop”, or “Would you like to start in Tablet more, or Desktop Mode?” with a lil click here for an explanation. 10 seconds out of the install process.
      – Depending on the mode, simply do one of two things out of the box with further options in settings:
      – On Desktop/Laptop option, launch Metro-apps in windows.
      – On Desktop/Laptop option, start menu is a flat designed, but still familiar start menu.
      – On Tablet option… what we have now basically.

      C’est tout. I think doing that, would have alleviated so many issues for so many people and enterprise.

  • CX1

    The menu looks nice,but I have no interest. The long press on the home button seems annoying.

    • Abdul9

      Thats exactly what i thought.

    • poken1151

      From the video, yea. But if you read through the blog, it’s all about options. The example is showing when the user opts for a primarily desktop experience. So the newer start screen becomes secondary. In his blog hie points out the retention of the current form (to some degree) for a tablet option (option as in a settings preference, not different SKU).

      So in this form, yup, I’d agree if I had to keep going to that particular menu. However here, it’s a matter of flipping a switch for what works for you, without downloading third party options…. well… were this the actual MS implementation.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    I agree. This is not a fixing but a feature at this point. To be fair to those who would benefit from a startmenu in the windows 8 desktop environment, I would suggest to the UI developers to leave the choice of how the startmenu should look like and be used by leaving it to the wish of the consumer. At this point a consultation by desginers has no added value and will probably not comply with the wishes of the mainstream end user. My solution. Just make adds and post a big survey online directing consumers to write how they would like to see the start screen. I would not suggest a multiple choice poll as that would limit the degrees of freedom, further increasing the likelihood that the startmenu wishes will not comply with the views of the end user. The most relevant trend in end user answers will statisticallly significantly determine the road to take.
    Good luck Microsoft.


    The best Win8 start menu I’ve seen to date.

  • khingjay

    I like it including the transition of the start button from full screen to desktop mode. What I don’t like is having to holding the start button to go to the start screen.

  • Alf Lenni Erlandsen

    Why does everbody insist on adding a search field to the menu? It’s already right there. Swipe from right, problem solved. All these menu buttons concepts are so lame, it is for people who have no clue what they just bought.

    • poken1151

      The problem with the current implementation is that the previous implementation (prior to 8) was near perfect. In 8 it became a multi step and slow process. In 8.1 they brought the search back as a universal search, but it’s still painfully slow compared to what was there before. Compared.

      • ryan

        Win key and start typing, exactly the same as w7. Results include apps, control panel items, files, media, people, web results… just hit enter to launch. Not “painfully slow” at all, that’s ridiculous.

        It is an objective fact that the windows 8 start implementation has not compromised anything from the windows 7 start in any usage scenario and also brings many useful new improvements. I agree that windows 8 start was brought about incorrectly and users should always have choice but that doesn’t mean w8 start isn’t an improvement in every way.

        • poken1151

          While I can understand the basis of where you’re coming from with this, understand I don’t mean to bash the resulting implementation as much as to highlight some changes that I as a Windows user saw. My reference was mainly to the initial change in 8.

          You went from Win-Key -> type cmd, msco or devic, and you had a long list of suitable items easy for the picking (clicking. In 8, they provided this as grouped info. Which took (yes, horribly sad) an extra click and a search to find what you needed. It was a step backwards with rational for moving forwards.

          On it’s base, it served as an improvement, just not a great one.

          Then in 8.1 they resolved this, and I, as a user, am much happier. However it is, it is, it is for me, running on an i5 desktop, with a GForce 660 Ti (yes, yes, I know great hardware doesn’t have to mean it’ll run smoothly… but doesn’t it?), it takes quite a while for search to happen, and I run a pretty sparse system. Much less the results. Which are now far more relevant, but only go so deep.

          At work, it encompass searching everything including my outlook email. In 8.1 the result list is rather shallow and, though I actually do love the bing/result transition window for the full search, it’s still an extra step that wasn’t needed before. Now with a lot more scrolling.

          All this is great actually, on a tablet, but it does not fill the needs, I think, of most who’ve grown accustomed to the results of the OS prior. Accustomed to the results. That is not the way it looked per say, but that it took me all of 4 keys and less than 3 seconds to get to something that now takes me anywhere from 10 – 30 seconds. That, relatively, is painfully slow.

  • Sean D.

    Funny… who said it needs to be “fixed” to begin with??

    • poken1151

      It’s not so much that it’s broken, but from a CS perspective, things can always be better. And in this scenario, I’m taking it as a fact that there are a lot of users who’d rather certain things change; either to be more like they were before or implemented in a better way.

      The guy below you talks about search not being an issue. However for many it’s become both more and less useful than W7 had it. Thus, it’s a fix.

      • NGM123

        THIS ^ ^ ^

    • NGM123

      Sales volume says

      • Sean D.

        Yeah, cuz +100 Million just isn’t “good”.

        • NGM123


  • Leo Tran

    Can very much see real world use for this. I hope MS reads the blog and considers most of the design choices proposed, even if Threshold is suppose to be on path (assuming some decisions are already made for it). The desktop icons refresh is a must -embrace the flat design everywhere. I’m onboard!

  • Guest

    Of the various things wrong with W8/8.1, I find it hard to understand how so many put the start menu absence high on the list.

    • NGM123

      Anyone who comes to this site will fail to understand. There in lies the problem.

  • SategB

    Here is the issue, a good friend of mine ask ” if I need to learn a new OS (as he sees Windows 8 too be) maybe I should try Apple’s.” Despite knowing my relationship with MSFT.

    Windows made things different, not better, it is not a great mobile OS; too resource hungry and not a great desktop/laptop OS by many.

    Great products and their updates solve old problems not create new problems, should make task simpler not more complex, give joy not frustration.

  • Mike

    Recall and refund and Windows 8 licences and devices. It is the only solution.

  • tomakali

    touch is 50% less productive.

    adding tabs will make it easier to access to the system

    hope this helps