Dinner with Lili Cheng and her band of Merry Men (and Women) indicated that there were still a few more Vista UI fixes coming down the pike in pending releases. I’ve been reporting and recording as much as humanly possible, but until Microsoft officially assigns Lili as the Goddess of ‘All Things UI’… we’re screwed. Guess what else is probably not going to be fixed in Vista? Errant ToolTips. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy – but this is an oversight that will likely slippy, slippy, slippy.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Lili’s team needs to be given the final say on whether (or not) an app is ready for core inclusion BEFORE it’s included. As of right now, there’s no UI accountability; any team can submit any code they want at any time – with nobody signing off on UI. Since this isn’t handed down from on-high (where I believe Lili sits anyway, but not with a true ability to clean these problems before the world sees them), we’re left with the classic Microsoft “it works, therefore it’s good enough” mentality. The inmates, indeed, are running the asylum.
…and I get labeled a “nitpicker” for pointing out ways that Windows Vista can look better? Give me a break. It’s obvious that some of Microsoft’s developers aren’t designers – painfully so. The only people who have the right to call me a “nitpicker” are those responsible for user interface and user experience. IMHO, Jim Allchin’s legacy isn’t necessarily Windows Vista – it’s the power he hands to people like Lili moving forward [a thought that is equally shared with Ed Bott].
“User Interface” isn’t just about software design – it’s the communications gateway between a company and its most vocal supporters.