Windows Taskbar Sucks

By Xah Lee. Date: .

Windows 10 taskbar user interface design sucks in many ways.

Hard to Tell Which App is in Front

It's hard to tell which app is in front. The contrast is not enough.

It's also hard to tell which app is open. Opened app has a blue underline. It's not big enough.

Windows 10 taskbar 2021-06-07 fbQXj
Windows 10 taskbar 2021-06-07

Windows keyboard shortcut problems

The Alt+Escape shortcut is idiotic. It hides the current window after switch. Alt+Shift+Escape doesnt

The ❖ Window+Tab is also idiotic. After you press it, and after the windows goes into array position, then there's a half a second glitch, then the icon and title pops up. Ctrl+Alt+Tab is much better. Instant.

Another problem is that ❖ Window+Tab does not visit every window. Once you have a window minimized, it'll be skipped over.

Switching windows problem

Lots problems with how Windows user interface to switch windows.

There is the classic Alt+Tab

Windows has ❖ Window+1 ❖ Window+2 shortcut sucks

The most efficient way , is to have a 2 keys, both single key, say F7 F8 , that switch to prev/next app. And another key, say F6 that cycle windows of current app. But Windows doesn't not have a shortcut to cycle windows of current app. Windows, provides lots shortcuts, but all together, is a mess. You are forced into mouse and click and glance at the popup then brain cycle and select one.

Failing that, it'd be nice to have just prev/next window key. But again, windows cannot do that. Window has Alt+Escape and Alt+Shift+Escape to switch prev/next window. But, 2 problems. One, it will skip minimized windows. Two, when you do Alt+Escape to switch to next window, it hides the current window. Very disorienting.

Then, Windows has ❖ Window+1 ❖ Window+2 etc to directly switch to a pin'd window on taskbar. But, when you have multiple windows of the same app, it doesn't switch to it, instead, pops up this mini preview. Now, again you have to hold the key down to look. Else, no switch all.

when you click on a app on taskbar, sometimes it hides the window. Super annoying. (it first activate the window, then if click again, it acts as window hide toggle.) This means, you cannot brainlessly click to bring the window to frontu. you have to know, what state it is.

User Interface Design