1. bilzkh's Avatar
    Although the Charms menu is a contentious issue for Windows users, I am a little bummed that they're removing it. I've grown accustomed to using it on my tablets, it's tough to ignore the benefit of having so many system-wide functions so close.

    That said, I wonder if it would be a good idea to replace the Charms menu with a Windows Phone-style notifications center with action center, the action center having toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Sharing, Projection, etc. It could also be a neat place for accessing Cortana, i.e. from any app or place in the OS.
    08-07-2014 05:27 PM
  2. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    Although the Charms menu is a contentious issue for Windows users, I am a little bummed that they're removing it. I've grown accustomed to using it on my tablets, it's tough to ignore the benefit of having so many system-wide functions so close.

    That said, I wonder if it would be a good idea to replace the Charms menu with a Windows Phone-style notifications center with action center, the action center having toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Sharing, Projection, etc. It could also be a neat place for accessing Cortana, i.e. from any app or place in the OS.
    I do hope they don't remove the charms from Windows RT, but sadly it seems like they will.

    How would a notification center work for applications that use the charms menu to access their settings?
    08-08-2014 09:40 AM
  3. bilzkh's Avatar
    I do hope they don't remove the charms from Windows RT, but sadly it seems like they will.

    How would a notification center work for applications that use the charms menu to access their settings?
    I think in that case we'd get the "..." from Windows Phone. Or perhaps push all of the Charms menu stuff onto the Notifications Centre?
    08-08-2014 07:29 PM
  4. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    I think in that case we'd get the "..." from Windows Phone. Or perhaps push all of the Charms menu stuff onto the Notifications Centre?
    I suppose that's possible, but there's no reason to take it away from mobile as well as desktop. Looks like I might be staying on 8.1 with my tablet for a few years, barring any developments.
    08-09-2014 09:21 AM
  5. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Although the Charms menu is a contentious issue for Windows users, I am a little bummed that they're removing it. I've grown accustomed to using it on my tablets, it's tough to ignore the benefit of having so many system-wide functions so close.

    That said, I wonder if it would be a good idea to replace the Charms menu with a Windows Phone-style notifications center with action center, the action center having toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Sharing, Projection, etc. It could also be a neat place for accessing Cortana, i.e. from any app or place in the OS.
    It's very good with touch, but if you have a mouse and keyboard, not so much. Which is why many are still on Windows 7. I can see a "Classic" theme option (not default) in Windows 9, something Microsoft would do to get Windows 7 users back.
    08-12-2014 05:01 AM
  6. nasellok's Avatar
    IMO - The only thing that can be done with the Charms menu functionality will be to merge it with Notification center. The charms will be there still, but they will be accessible from the notification center - think quick toggles on WP......the Settings, Devices, Start, etc, will most likely still be there, but it will also include notifications. We have notifications on W8.1, but they disappear quite like they used to on WP8. This is the way to make it better. The feature will most likely have the ability to be disabled on any PC - desktop or tablet. Hopefully for those out there that don't want a notification center, maybe it will be customizable, and allow you to just show the charms.
    08-15-2014 08:44 AM
  7. astondg's Avatar
    I don't understand all the people saying that it just plain doesn't work on a desktop system. I use the charms menu on a desktop frequently and find the very useful (I use both an actual desktop and my Surface Pro when it's 'docked' with keyboard, mouse & monitor).

    I know some people have had some trouble with trying to activate, or accidentally activating, the menu so there's more work that can be done there but I think the Charms concept is very useful in both tablet AND desktop environments.

    I have never had these issues but it seems MS is intent or changing this so I just really hope the Charms don't go away completely, i.e. they keep the functionality but change the interface somehow.

    A notification centre would be nice. I can see how integrating the Charms with that could work. It would be nice to see a concept.

    EDIT: For those that are finding them annoying and haven't really tried them out, try activating them purely through their keyboard shortcuts ({WindowsKey} + C for Charms, each function within has its own shortcut as well). Try using them for different tasks, share stuff from Modern IE to email, Twitter, your Reading List or OneNote, try Printing and PlayTo from the devices menu (the latter particularly when in Xbox Video or Xbox Music). Sharing a web page with a list of music from Modern IE to Xbox Music is another cool feature. I use all those things when set up as a desktop. Also try using Modern apps in split screen, side by side with Desktop apps (70/30 split works well for a lot of things).
    08-19-2014 09:49 PM
  8. DustinRyan's Avatar
    I'm with you. I really have no problems with the Charms bar on desktop or tablet. It seems to be that people who have the absolute most hatred for it just keep trying to find ways to frustrate themselves so they can declare the Charms bar a failure. But it's quite useful.

    Instead of taking up space in every single window, app, etc. it's easier to have a "drawer" that can slide out for universal options. Seems really logical to me.

    I hope the Charms bar doesn't go away entirely in Windows 9. Maybe the look and location and how it is activated will change, but the general premise of having universal options outside of every single window seems really efficient and reasonable to me.
    08-20-2014 10:58 AM
  9. TheCudder's Avatar
    The charms bar is silly to me, and I suppose the planned removal of it is part of the reason the Start button was relocated on the SP3. I think the issue with it is you have OS level and app level functions all in the same menu's and it creates confusion and an awkward experience.

    Each app should have it's own dedicated Settings, Share & Search menu. Using the charms to "Search" is a pain, and the original design of it has caused many 3rd party apps to not include a dedicated search button. The "universal" search within the charms was poorly designed. You would swipe the charms out, then search and it would default to the entire computer. I hated using YouTube RT because it would always default to searching the computer instead of within the app. So after changing it to only search YouTube RT whatever I had already typed was cleared out ---- back to square one.

    The navigation of the apps settings is not the best, you swipe out, click settings, go one level deeper and if you accidentally click/or tap back in the Windows, you've got to go through the motions again. I'd much rather see a "Gear" or "Tool" icon in the same location in EVERY app --- bottom right hand corner?

    The share icon should be in every app.

    Take every app and place these menus/icons in the bottom right corner of each app. Search / Share / Settings. Either always shows or by swiping up & part of the "..." aka the hidden menu indicator. Which is my last problem with the charms and much of Windows 8...give indicators for the hidden gestures. The only one I like is the left swipe to change apps. I'd rather have an icon to close apps than the swiping down gesture personally. As for "Devices" I never cared for it being located in the charms, although it does allow for quick connectivity to a Miarcast adapter.
    08-25-2014 03:53 PM
  10. Wevenhuis's Avatar
    For a surface device it is unthinkable to have a device with a functioning charms bar. If not I think microsoft should cosider further refining the charms bar, especially for touch screen device. Right click is passe, the charms bar is the future. If the charms bar will be removed in windows 9, you can just as well sell your surface for a windows phone!
    08-25-2014 04:04 PM
  11. astondg's Avatar
    Each app should have it's own dedicated Settings, Share & Search menu...

    Take every app and place these menus/icons in the bottom right corner of each app. Search / Share / Settings. Either always shows or by swiping up & part of the "..." aka the hidden menu indicator.
    So you hate the Charms menu but then describe your ideal to be something that's functionally the same as the Charms menu? As a dev, and also from MS point of view, it's much easier to handle this in a system 'charms bar' then try to force every app to implement them inside the app.

    I agree that search is a problem, I actually never use it from the charms bar, but with the original Windows 8 it was specific to the app and much more like you described. I think they got poor feedback from users & switched to a global search for 8.1, I was sad.

    I have no issue with the charms as they stand but obviously others don't agree so I am happy for them to redesign the UI as long as they keep all the functionality & simplicity. I think the charms are very useful functionally and you seem to agree on that point.
    08-25-2014 07:13 PM
  12. simon.b's Avatar
    Well, the charms bar has several usability problems even in the modern environment. Search already went from global to app specific and it only makes sense that the other stuff follows. The search button is also now on the start screen, so you could discover and access it that way.


    • There is a discoverability problem because you actually need to know how to get there. So unless you discovered the charms your unable to share, print or do any of the other actions that are burried in the charms bar.
    • The start button is actually redundant as there is already one on the bezel of any windows tablet or on the keyboard.
    • You actually never know when the charms are actually applicable. You basically have some globally accessable actions that are in reality very contextual. (Go to devices > print ... Oh you cant print from here. Share? Um sorry, nothing to share. Devices > Play? This app cant play anything). So it's better to just put a share or print button in the apps UI where it applies.


    The underlying programming constructs won't really go away if they remove the charms so apps only need to add UI to get the task done.

    The settings are the only global functionallity that is really usefull to be accessible through the charms and I hope they will still be available and the share charm is a really fast way to share a screenshot from anywhere.

    The other functions have the mentioned problems outlinded above.
    08-26-2014 05:33 AM
  13. astondg's Avatar
    There is a discoverability problem because you actually need to know how to get there. So unless you discovered the charms your unable to share, print or do any of the other actions that are burried in the charms bar.
    When you first start Windows you get a short video and then prompts that tell you where all this stuff is. Also most of the usability complaints I have seen is that the Charms bar gets in the way when people are doing other stuff but your saying that people can't find it. It can't go both ways.

    The start button is actually redundant as there is already one on the bezel of any windows tablet or on the keyboard.
    I agree with that, the Start button doesn't need to be in the Charms bar

    You actually never know when the charms are actually applicable. You basically have some globally accessable actions that are in reality very contextual. (Go to devices > print ... Oh you cant print from here. Share? Um sorry, nothing to share. Devices > Play? This app cant play anything). So it's better to just put a share or print button in the apps UI where it applies.
    You can share from anywhere, at the very least it allows you to share a screenshot or link to the app you are using. Although I actually struggled to find an app I have installed to verify this, most allowed sharing in some form. This also comes down to developers supporting these features in their apps which will only improve over time. And like you said earlier, the Charms are out of the way, it's not like they take up space when I can't print for example but then they are there when I do need to.

    The underlying programming constructs won't really go away if they remove the charms so apps only need to add UI to get the task done.
    That's still extra stuff I have to do develop my app that I don't need to right now and could either mean inconsistency in where & how it's displayed to the user in-app OR MS is going to have to add further verification to apps before they are allowed into the store.

    The settings are the only global functionallity that is really usefull to be accessible through the charms and I hope they will still be available and the share charm is a really fast way to share a screenshot from anywhere.

    The other functions have the mentioned problems outlinded above.
    The Share Charm was one that you mentioned above too but now you're saying that it's useful? And what about Project when you have a wireless display? With Windows 8 soon supporting being a Miracast receiver you could use this Charm to send your desktop to another Windows 8 PC. Or Play? I use the Play Charm a lot to send media to my Xbox, media that comes from a variety of apps and having a consistent, simple way to send it straight to my Xbox is really nice.

    I don't expect you to agree with me here but people state that the Charms are a nuisance, a failure and just plain not useful and they state this like it's accepted fact. I can say that it is not fact and I find the Charms very useful and have never felt like they've been cumbersome or in the way.
    08-27-2014 06:30 AM
  14. simon.b's Avatar
    When you first start Windows you get a short video and then prompts that tell you where all this stuff is. Also most of the usability complaints I have seen is that the Charms bar gets in the way when people are doing other stuff but your saying that people can't find it. It can't go both ways.
    A well designed User Interface should not need a tutorial to find basic functionallity. It's just better to put a respective button right there into the app UI. Many Apps already do that anyway for that reason. See how Mail, Onenote and Reader have a Print button directly in their respective app bars. The Bing News app has a share button directly at the end of the news page.
    Speaking of the app bar, Microsoft also made it more discoverable by displaying the 3 dots in the bottom right corner. So Microsoft is actually commited to make the UI more discoverable.
    I cant really comment about the complaints about the charms bar getting in the way. Maybe people are annoyed when it pops up on the desktop when they mouse over the windows close button. I have no idea, not a problem for me.

    You can share from anywhere, at the very least it allows you to share a screenshot or link to the app you are using. Although I actually struggled to find an app I have installed to verify this, most allowed sharing in some form. This also comes down to developers supporting these features in their apps which will only improve over time. And like you said earlier, the Charms are out of the way, it's not like they take up space when I can't print for example but then they are there when I do need to.
    Yes but what if the users expects to share something specific from the app and the app cant do it. He will find out he can only share a screenshot. Not what he might have expected. Putting a share button in the apps UI makes this explicit.

    That's still extra stuff I have to do develop my app that I don't need to right now and could either mean inconsistency in where & how it's displayed to the user in-app OR MS is going to have to add further verification to apps before they are allowed into the store.
    Oh please. It's a simple button that needs to be placed in the apps UI that initates the share operation. The rest is the same as before and would need to be implemented anyway. In windows phone there are no charms wich means you have to do it there as well.

    The Share Charm was one that you mentioned above too but now you're saying that it's useful? And what about Project when you have a wireless display? With Windows 8 soon supporting being a Miracast receiver you could use this Charm to send your desktop to another Windows 8 PC. Or Play? I use the Play Charm a lot to send media to my Xbox, media that comes from a variety of apps and having a consistent, simple way to send it straight to my Xbox is really nice.
    I specifically said using the share charm to take and share a screenshot is usefull. I can't think of a faster way of doing this. Kinda like a power user feature that is nice if you know where to find it. Shareing in app content can be done much easier with a simple button in the UI.
    Play could also easily be a button inside the UI that is displayed when applicable.

    I did forgot about Project. That would be usefull to have access to globally just like the settings but I already mentioned them.

    The charms are still a weird mix of globally and contextual functions. Keep the global stuff and remove the contextual stuff. In my opinion swiping should just bring up the settings menu directly. You can also place project there.
    08-28-2014 01:34 AM

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