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The new taskbar and visibility of new windows

    Question

  • Hi all, great UI overall on Win7, loving it.  One minor peeve though:

    The low contrast on the new taskbar sometimes make it difficult to see new windows which pop-up on the desktop.  Case in point: take Office Communicator 2007 (not R2); when someone starts a new conversation, a new window will show-up, but won't pop right in your face (thanks!).  In Vista, the flashing entry on the taskbar was hard to miss, even on a multi-monitor setup.  On Win 7 I'm finding it a bit too dimmed, and very often I only find new conversation windows a good 30min after they sprung-up, to the dismay of my co-workers :-)

    Regards,
    Claudio
    Monday, January 18, 2010 10:16 AM

Answers

  • I don't think the original poster was saying the program was not flashing, I think it was that the flash is too subtle.

    Ironically, Microsoft thought so also.  They even changed the flash to be more noticeable because it previously faded to orange slowly.  Apparently, it's not noticeable enough for Claudio.

    Here's a quote:

    3.  Needy State
    "Needy window” is the internal term we use for a window that requires your attention. Since the ‘90s, the taskbar has always provided some type of visualization to alert the customer to this state such as by flashing the button. A careful balance must be struck between providing information and not irritating the customer. With the new taskbar, we received feedback that Outlook reminders or a Messenger chat sometimes went unnoticed because needy windows were too subtle. For example, Mudassir opened a bug to say “The flashing is not obvious enough to get user's attention. Sometime I don't even notice it. It flashes for a little bit and then stops. If I am away the icon flashes and stops before I come back. The icon is not noticeable.” We’ve made three changes that should address the issue. First, we changed the flashing animation curve to make it more noticeable (from a sine to a sawtooth wave). Second, we used a bolder orange color. Finally, we wanted to double the number of flashes which is currently set to three. As a nod to Windows 7, we decided to go with seven flashes instead.

     


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    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, January 22, 2010 5:52 AM
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 6:39 AM
  • Hi,

    The color of the flashing entry of Office Communicator 2007 can not be changed, then we can change the Windows themes to push out the icon until it is noticeable enough.

    To customize the taskbar color, go to Personalization->Windows Color, choose the most contrasted one.
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, January 22, 2010 5:52 AM
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:12 AM

All replies

  • I don't think the original poster was saying the program was not flashing, I think it was that the flash is too subtle.

    Ironically, Microsoft thought so also.  They even changed the flash to be more noticeable because it previously faded to orange slowly.  Apparently, it's not noticeable enough for Claudio.

    Here's a quote:

    3.  Needy State
    "Needy window” is the internal term we use for a window that requires your attention. Since the ‘90s, the taskbar has always provided some type of visualization to alert the customer to this state such as by flashing the button. A careful balance must be struck between providing information and not irritating the customer. With the new taskbar, we received feedback that Outlook reminders or a Messenger chat sometimes went unnoticed because needy windows were too subtle. For example, Mudassir opened a bug to say “The flashing is not obvious enough to get user's attention. Sometime I don't even notice it. It flashes for a little bit and then stops. If I am away the icon flashes and stops before I come back. The icon is not noticeable.” We’ve made three changes that should address the issue. First, we changed the flashing animation curve to make it more noticeable (from a sine to a sawtooth wave). Second, we used a bolder orange color. Finally, we wanted to double the number of flashes which is currently set to three. As a nod to Windows 7, we decided to go with seven flashes instead.

     


    If this was helpful, please vote by clicking the green triangle. If it solves the issue, click Propose as Answer. Thanks!
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, January 22, 2010 5:52 AM
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 6:39 AM
  • Hi,

    The color of the flashing entry of Office Communicator 2007 can not be changed, then we can change the Windows themes to push out the icon until it is noticeable enough.

    To customize the taskbar color, go to Personalization->Windows Color, choose the most contrasted one.
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Friday, January 22, 2010 5:52 AM
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:12 AM
  •    I have same issue here as well, I just got a new company laptop with WIN7. I have missed several Communicator conversations. On XP I would never miss it... ever. I also don't see notifications for incoming Outlook mail as I used to in XP, it's way to subtle. Changing the contrast of the color was useless. I use Communicator for my job and rely on it heavily.

    Thanks, Bob

    Monday, May 21, 2012 4:07 PM