Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Non-resizable Windows: Showing Their Age

Some parts of Windows look like they haven't been changed since the NT days, when 800x600 was standard resolution.

Take this printer setup box for example:

Under "HP" printers, there are 20+ "pages" of printers listed. The scrolling resolution on such a small scroll bar with such a long list is awful. Given every printer name starts with "HP", you can't really hit the first letter or number of what you want either. Having installed the three printers I use maybe 6 times over the past months thanks to Vista printing issues, I've become all too familiar with this long scrolling operation, and now I've resorted to using the keyboard.

This window should be much bigger, giving a better overview allowing faster "jump to" the area of the list you want. Also, a bigger window would increase the resolution of the scroll bar. The availability of screen space is obvious in this screen shot, from one of my two monitors:

Windows certainly knows the resolution of my screen and could size this box accordingly, if they really don't want to allow me to have a resize handle.

I strongly believe it really is the little things that add up to ruin an interface experience.

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