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Future Start Menu

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:59 pm
by artguy10
I'm not sure how much decision making for the start menu is just in the hands of developers or if they want (or could use) suggestions, but maybe this thread will at least give them some ideas. And if developers already decided on the future start menu design, please let us know.

Here's the current start menu:
Image

Right now, the ReactOS start menu is pretty bad (like the Windows 95 style), and it really could have much more functionality, like the Vista start menu. I'm not saying to go after the Vista design, but just improve the Start Menu in whatever way is best, most user friendly, and most functional.

I was working on a mock-up desktop while trying to put out ideas for a ReactOS theme, and I got feedback, and so far came up with this: http://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 4309#34309

Now I want some ideas to mock-up a nice start menu.

Here's what I have now:
Image
It is basically the current start menu (with some minor modifications) on a light-gray menu, Crystal Clear icons (which will change once a good ReactOS icon set is finished), and the Start button being the ROS logo stepping into the start menu.

I was thinking that the menu could become two-column, incorporate a live-search change some buttons around (and other formatting changes), and add/remove buttons. Also looking for ideas on the exact way the menu's background would look (like it is now, like the example in my current mock-up, like the Vista menu, something else?), and ideas of making the start menu button go nicely with the menu itself.

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:09 pm
by mf
Well that's hardly an improvement usability-wise. It's still just a flat menu, with a fair bit too much spacing between the items if I may add.

Anyhow, I've investigated the start menu issue back in 2002 when XP was just released, here's a mockup (back then I still ran win2k):
Image

The funny thing is that run bar is frighteningly similar to Vista's search bar, as I intended it to be focused as soon as you opened the start menu (similar to how you can instantly start typing in the search bar in Vista now). By now I would probably overhaul that mockup, and incorporate some of the more recent ideas into it. Actually, I think I'll do a new mockup sometime soon :).

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:45 pm
by artguy10
Well yeah, I wanted ideas before modifying the basic current layout. Not sure what you're saying about spacing. A live search, you know, wouldn't be stealing from Vista: it was in Mac OS X long before.

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:23 am
by mf
artguy10 wrote:A live search, you know, wouldn't be stealing from Vista: it was in Mac OS X long before.
And it was in Longhorn alphas/betas long before it was in Mac OS X. I really don't care who steals from who, in fact I never cared. Maybe you should refresh your views on the matter by watching "Pirates of Silicon Valley" ;).

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:03 am
by artguy10
Longhorn's new search interface was introduced, I believe, in 2005, whereas Mac OS X already had live searching in 2003. In 2005, Mac also introduced the Spotlight, which is equivalent to the search space in the start menu. I don't know when a live search feature was built into the Vista start menu, but Mac had it in a final release by April 2005.

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:09 am
by mf
*yawn* you really care about this stuff, don't you?

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:58 am
by artguy10
mf wrote:you really care about this stuff, don't you?
Not really. I just wanted to point out that Microsoft doesn't own the idea, but now it's just off topic. :roll:

About the start menu, here's another design. It has a little bit of XP and Vista mixed in with a ReactOS twist (if my desktop design is accepted). What do you think?:
Image

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:52 am
by dreams
Can we bring back 8 bit pixel art icons please? Like in mf's screenshot? I love and miss it. :cry:

Btw mf's startmenu looks great, something like this in ros would be my favorite. I like win2k style window borders.

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:37 pm
by Kutter9
I like the current style more... When Reactos releases a distro, it should contain all these styles (win2k, XP, Vista). So when a new user switches form windows to ROS he can find the style that he's familiar with and can continue working straight away.

Re: Future Start Menu

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:02 pm
by Ged
artguy10 wrote:And if developers already decided on the future start menu design, please let us know.
There are no plans to deviate from a win2k style start menu at the moment, so please don't spend too much time designing alternatives.

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:10 pm
by artguy10
All right. But feel free to use any ideas from my design if you want to change.

--

Four themes:
Y2K (Classic)
Plastic (XP)
Glass (Vista)
React (Mine) :wink:

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:49 pm
by geertvdijk
artguy10 wrote:
mf wrote:you really care about this stuff, don't you?
Not really. I just wanted to point out that Microsoft doesn't own the idea, but now it's just off topic. :roll:

About the start menu, here's another design. It has a little bit of XP and Vista mixed in with a ReactOS twist (if my desktop design is accepted). What do you think?:
Image
Well I do believe that microsoft research has had such a project before Apple implemented their version, I remember to read something like that at winsupersite.com, and paul thurrot is not a microsoft-fanboy... [/offtopic]

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:54 am
by artguy10
Alright. Enough about MS vs Apple. :wink:

You guys really prefer low-color icons and simple gray square menus to fully-colored icons, intuitive/innovate designs and nicer designs like in Vista?

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:56 pm
by BOT_ev
You guys really prefer low-color icons and simple gray square menus to fully-colored icons, intuitive/innovate designs and nicer designs like in Vista?
Well ... intuitive u said ... yup but thats the default win 2k start menu. Not all the multi-colored themes for XP and the disgusting (personal opinion) Vista style. For example first time when I ran XP i didn`t know what to do with the start menu ... so "intuitive" it was. So yes I prefer functional simple gray menus.

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:05 pm
by preston
artguy10 wrote:You guys really prefer low-color icons and simple gray square menus to fully-colored icons, intuitive/innovate designs and nicer designs like in Vista?
yes I do