Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) have gone through numerous transformations, all aimed at creating a better and easier way for navigation. The introduction of the touch-sensitive screens has been a major contributing factor to the rate at which these changes have been taking place, especially in the current century. The development of windows 8 touch sensitive GUI for the modern tablets and laptops has generated divergent opinions on the best option to choose from between the traditional User Interface (UI) and the new UI. Reasons have been given by manufacturers and users. In this case, these differences are analyzed from the developers’ point of view, though some of the issues in this case may be shared by the users.
Comparison and Contrast between Traditional GUI and Windows 8 GUI
When developing windows 8, the programmers did not really change the capability to run the existing programs. Nearly all the applications that used to run on the previous versions such as windows XP, Vista and 7 can still run on windows 8. This means that at the time of development of the interface, there are features of the previous UI that have to be incorporated in the new Graphical User Interface capabilities. This has led to acceptance of the new interface since the users only needed to make changes on certain parts but retain the programs.
Still in terms of programs, there emerges a distinction between the Windows 8 UI and the traditional UI. While developing the interface and incorporating features, the manufacturers made changes on the capabilities of the new UI. It is not only capable of running programs like the traditional UI, but can also be used to run applications (Thurrott & Rivera, 2012). There is hardly a previous version of the GUI that can be used to navigate applications instead of programs. Application programs are not pure applications in this case, and this should not be confused. Talking of apps, major emphasis is laid on the small tasks such as Facebook apps, Google apps and many others.
The designing process of the Windows 8 GUI eliminated the start button which used to be present in all the previous versions of windows User Interfaces (Seong & Ferreri, 2012). On start-up, the designers made the display to provide all the installed programs on the start menu in terms of tiles. One is not in a position to switch between two Interfaces at the same time. There are manufacturers who have claimed that the designers did not really remove the start button. Its interface is what has been changed. While using a standard QWERTY keypad or keyboard in the new users interface, the windows key that worked as a shortcut for the menu button still plays its role. The significant difference in this case, therefore, only comes from the sense that the applications are displayed in terms of tiles and not as icons or lists like in the previous versions.
While designing windows 8 GUI-based programs, the programmers lay the first focus on the touch-sensitive capabilities. Touch comes first, though it is not the only thing (Novák, 2012). In the new developments, nearly all the laptops and tablets will be enabled to incorporate touch-sensitive capabilities. There are many features are available on the new UI that have come with Windows 8. The designers of the new UI do not only focus on what is displayed on the screen or what the users see when they navigate the windows. Rather, it will be based more on the grip and interaction that the users have with the devices. This gives the users a more real environment and provides them with a better view of the options available for navigation.
Widows 8 Touch Screen is designed to use Metro-style display style (Duffy, 2013). This is a major difference from the traditional User Interfaces. Most of the applications were based on the non-touch capabilities. There are many programs that can be run on the new UI compared to the traditional interfaces. Windows 8 User Interface has been programmed to allow for fast boot-up operations. The programs and features are boot-enabled and run fast at the time the computer is started. The speed at which the windows start is not the same as in the earlier versions. This is because the GUI has been designed not to take up much of the memory space of the computer.
Windows 8 Touch GUI is a complicated simple display for the users and developers. This statement is paradoxical but applies. In the eyes of the users, there have been numerous complaints that it is more complicated and difficult to navigate. However, to the programmers and program developers, it is more important to focus on the added capabilities rather than the complex nature of the GUI (Smith, 2006). This has led to contradicting views between the new and the traditional GUI in the context of the users and program developers. Most users have mainly focused their claims on the complexity nature of the UI but the programmers argue on the perspective of the added features that have come along with the touch-sensitive UI.
From the developers’ point of view, it is easy to conclude that the Windows 8 Touch GUI is a better and more convenient version. This comes in the sense that most of the machines and accessories that are being developed today are touch sensitive and there is need to consider speed in the rate at which the applications are run on these new technologies.